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June 17, 2016

Milos Raonic

London, England

M. RAONIC/R. Bautista Agut

6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty tight second set. Would you say that's your best match of the week?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. You know, the first two guys I played I thought they served really well, but when I was able to get in the point and be at that neutral state, I was able to dictate today. Obviously I got to that neutral point, and I was pretty effective in that situation coming forward. Served well. Other than that one game, it was a pretty good, clean match.

Q. You seem to be happier and happier with each round that goes by coming into the net. Is that the case? Confidence growing?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it is. Confidence is growing. But also, as much as you sort of say these are the shots you should come in on, it takes a little bit of putting yourself in those situations, seeing that it works for you more convincingly and more aggressively. Sometimes you might hesitate at first. Now it's more of, okay, this has worked for me this week and you keep putting yourself in those situations trying to be effective in that position on the court.

Q. When you were a kid, when was the first time you saw a grass court?
MILOS RAONIC: Personally or on TV?

Q. Personally, personally.
MILOS RAONIC: Probably when I came here to play Junior Wimbledon.

Q. Was it not until then?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, so 17, 18. 17 because I turned 18 late in the year.

Q. What kind of experience was that for you?
MILOS RAONIC: It wasn't that great. I can gladly say that was probably the only tournament that I or Grand Slam that I won a singles match in as a junior. So that was a positive.

It obviously wasn't the best thing, let's say, in the start of my career just because I didn't have the right understanding of it. I wasn't effective with my serve. I served well, but I thought maybe the grass would be a bit more generous so I wasn't going through my serve enough.

When the guy would guess right he was able to punish me a bit more in those scenarios, whereas now, even if I'm sort of getting the free points, I go for it more. I don't try to hit the spots at 110. I try to hit them at 125. So even if the guy does guess right, it's still a very difficult return to make it back and make me play on.

Q. Andy Roddick used to say very much the same sort of thing and he ended up winning this a number of times. Things can turn around.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, for sure. I think I have a much better understanding of what I need to do on grass courts. I have been very effective with my serve so far this week. I have given myself plenty of looks.

You know, I'm doing the things right, putting myself in the right place. I'm most importantly improving with each match, and hopefully I can continue to do that.

Q. How near do you think you are to your very best?
MILOS RAONIC: I feel pretty close to being there. I don't know necessarily how to sort of judge that, but I feel like I'm moving well. I feel like I'm taking care of things I want to take care of. I'm being effective on the court and those sort of neutral positions I'm able to get myself ahead.

Q. Would you consider yourself a contender for the Wimbledon title?
MILOS RAONIC: If I can play well, I can definitely give myself an opportunity to do so.

Q. How much better are you playing on grass now than when you got to the Wimbledon semis?
MILOS RAONIC: It's hard to put a number on it, but I'd say significantly.

Q. Really? That much?
MILOS RAONIC: Because I felt that year I served well, but that was sort of -- you know, I felt like I would create a few opportunities for myself and I was efficiently converting them. I feel like I'm creating a lot more opportunities for myself, and I'm being more effectively -- I feel like I'm more of a nuisance to the other guy this time around.

Q. You're probably getting fed up with answering this question, but John's input, is it growing with each day?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, because you sort of -- it's very different spinning it and discussing things in practice. Now he can sort of say to me in this point scenario. It's not just about what I should do. He can actually pinpoint specific points.

Even if it's not a specific shot, he can say, You know what? Maybe at 15-30, you're ahead, go for a little more. Even if you miss, the other guy's not going to have rhythm, he's not going to feel good about it. And who knows? If it goes in, you can get ahead and all of a sudden you have two chances ahead of you.

Q. Boris Becker was saying earlier on that those coaches kind of maybe have an edge on some other coaches just because of the experience they have going through it themselves and winning it. Would you say that's fair from where you see it?
MILOS RAONIC: I think they have some benefits from their experience, but I think they also maybe have some, let's say -- I wouldn't call it a downfall but some disadvantage. I think the coach that has been there and coached for many years will know how to speak and how to communicate with more players.

I think when you get with the top guys, they haven't really dealt with many players and this kind of stuff. At the end of the day, John's been coaching a lot. He's had an academy. He goes there. He spends five days a week there. He works with kids. Obviously it's not the same as the pro level, but he works well with me. I don't know. Maybe it could be the scenario with everybody, but you have to find -- I think you're looking for more of a good collaboration and good understanding when it comes to working with a former guy, because obviously for them it worked a specific way. The question is can they translate that to you? And obviously there is not -- no two players are the same.

Q. You worked with another former No. 1. How different is his coaching in regards to John's or Ivan Ljubicic's?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I think that Carlos gave me and continues to give me more of what I need to do on a day-to-day basis understanding and how I can affect the other guy's.

John really has been able to, especially for what we're looking for, has been able to emphasize the coming forward and sort of what I can make the other guy feel on a point-to-point basis. And Ivan I think was able to generally help me improve things, whether that be on how I do things around the tournament and how I do things back home when I am sitting down and training.

I think also I have been at quite different stages when I have sort of communicated and worked with each guy, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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