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July 6, 2016

Milos Raonic

London, England

M. RAONIC/S. Querrey
6‑4, 7‑5, 5‑7, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you rate that with all your matches here this year?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's definitely a step in the right forward [sic], the best match I played all the way through and through. Other than a span of three games, everything was quite good. I had quite a few looks. I made the most of it.

Q. Your attacking numbers were impressive today, serve and volley, second serves, coming into the net. Are you still working on that? Is that something new? Has John McEnroe had an impact on you in that regard?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, he definitely has. That was a part of the motivation to bring him along to help, was to improve that aspect of how much I can implement it in my game and how to use it and what the right moments are.
I was efficient with it today. Other than those three games, I think I had a very good percentage when I was coming in. So I'm proud of that.

Q. I imagine you watched the end of the Federer match. What are your thoughts on his performance, facing him again?
MILOS RAONIC: I look forward to it a lot. Definitely a great opportunity. Two years have passed since I played him here in the semifinals. I'm happy that I have another shot at him.

Q. Is that fresh in your mind, or your victory over him earlier this year?
MILOS RAONIC: I think a bit of both. One thing, I'll probably look at that one from the beginning of this year, what I did well. Probably from the mental side, I'll look at what I wouldn't want to repeat from two years ago.

Q. Your second Grand Slam semifinal of the year, second here in your career. Is that enough? How far are you from satisfied with this?
MILOS RAONIC: It's not enough. I came here with a simple goal for this tournament. I think everybody on my team has that same objective. I think that's why John was willing to join, for that same goal.
This is a process, and hopefully I can keep it going.

Q. To be clear, that same goal is winning the tournament?

Q. How much closer do you feel to winning a Grand Slam than two years ago when you played Roger?
MILOS RAONIC: Definitely mentally, physically. I think from every aspect, I've improved. I know what I need to do on court better. I know how to sort of turn things around to get them on my terms. I know what I'm looking for. I know how to go about it, to try to get to that position as much as I can. And then when things aren't going well, I know what things to look for to change.
From all those kind of things, I'm definitely a lot more aware.

Q. John was commentating Roger's match rather than being in your box.
MILOS RAONIC: We knew that from the start. He commentated one of my matches. The other matches he could make it out for, he was there. But if he was commentating, he couldn't make it.
I expected that.

Q. You didn't unleash your cannon as much as we see from you. Sam out‑aced you today. Was that part of the strategy going into this match?
MILOS RAONIC: The thing is, I saw he was standing pretty far back on the return. If I take something off my serve, it allows me to get closer. I think that's why, yes, I made a few good volleys, but most of them were pretty routine volleys. I was always in a good position.
I wasn't sure where he was going to stand. But when I saw where he was standing, it sort of allowed me to sort of get myself closer and be in a better position when I was hitting the volleys.

Q. You played really well at the Australian, especially the first three sets against Murray. Is this an advance on that or the same sort of thing?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I'm definitely a step further along. I think my attitude, my mental prowess on court has definitely improved. Hopefully that makes a difference.

Q. What have you learnt from John McEnroe's experience at Wimbledon? What has he brought to your game?
MILOS RAONIC: We haven't necessarily talked about his specific experience.
First things we focused on when we were spending a week of training was really about not passing up any opportunities to come forward, to always keep the pressure on my opponents, keep them guessing, making them feel uncomfortable, trying to make them play unbalanced as much as possible.
Then when we played the tournament at Queen's, when I was playing, it sort of shifted to obviously putting those things in effect, but also about attitude on the court throughout matches, having a bigger presence, trying to make a difference.

Q. When you have a goal like that, you're two wins away from winning, how do you make sure it brings more positive vibes than pressure?
MILOS RAONIC: Two wins is quite far away. I felt that two years ago. I'm not even in that stratosphere right now. I'm just focused on what I need to do for the semifinal.

Q. During the commentary, they were describing your style of game as a 'biff, bang, wallop.' They were comparing you to Pete Sampras. How would you describe your game right now? Do you see a comparison to the way Sampras played?
MILOS RAONIC: I've never heard that expression.
I've always looked up to Pete. I think he did a lot of great things. I think I'm trying to implement things in a different way, like he did. He was probably‑‑ not probably, but definitely the best guy at keeping guys off balance.
You go through a set, don't make many balls, then in an important moment he makes a few critical balls. It's a 6‑4 set, but you felt like you sort of weren't even in that set. He was good at that and I'm trying to somewhat implement that.

Q. Some players have cursed the fact they have to play Roger in the semifinals here at Wimbledon. Are you quite pleased you're playing one of the biggest players the game has known on the biggest stage possible?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, that's what you want to face. I have very clear objectives for myself, goals, that are beyond this tournament. To achieve those things, you have to face off against the best players at the best tournaments.
You know, I hope I can relish in that opportunity.

Q. Most matches are on your racquet, for the most part. Do you feel it's the same case when you play Roger?
MILOS RAONIC: He can come up with great things. Obviously, the terms are to bring the match on my racquet, sort of take away rhythm and timing from him. That's what I'm going to be striving to do tomorrow, or two days from now.

Q. When you're a young guy, you have such a big serve, is it tempting to think not beyond the serve, hope it does so much for you? Do you have to get beyond that and start spot serving, thinking of the rest of the points, especially against a Roger?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, you definitely have to, I think. There's great returners on tour. Serve can get you through a few games, but eventually you're going to have to back it up.
There's some great servers. I feel like I'm one of the best guys at backing up my serve. You know, you have to do specific things well. You have to try to play it on your terms, whether that be from the back or coming in. But you have to stick to your game. Just the serve isn't enough.

Q. When you're in the locker room, are you still in awe of people like Murray and Federer, or do you feel you're at a point now with your ranking, the years you've been on the tour, that you can approach them? Do you find them approachable? What is the relationship?
MILOS RAONIC: They're definitely approachable. It's been that way after sort of spending one year on tour. Those things change pretty quickly. When you talk about guys in the locker room, considering how many days we see each other in locker rooms, other people are more in awe of being that close to these greatest players of all time than you are.
For us, you become desensitized to it pretty quickly.

Q. I know you're not going to say who you're actually cheering for, but in the situation of watching the end of Federer and Cilic, knowing you're going to play the winner, what kind of thoughts are going through your head? How do you look at it?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I didn't see any of the tiebreak to finish the fourth set, so I didn't see any of that. But I was just pretty much studying and seeing where guys are going on the important moments, what patterns to pick up, so you can try to cover up some things in those moments.
Other than that, it's quite far ahead. I have a lot of reading here to do. I'll do the studying then.

Q. You're not cheering for anybody as a fan?
MILOS RAONIC: You know, probably closer to Marin, so that would definitely be an aspect.

Q. All the talk about how McEnroe has improved your game. The first time you really sat down, was there an A, B, C, or how did that develop?
MILOS RAONIC: I think the first time we sat down, we were just about to go on court. He was coming in from Paris after the final, calling that. We were practicing the next morning. We were about to go on court. We started straight through practice. That's when he started implementing the things.
The other time when we got on the phone call, we were trying to set things up, it was very clear about things he believed I needed to do, and things I wanted to get out of the relationship.
Obviously being more effective coming forward was a big thing on my side. A big thing on his side was demeanor on the court, presence on the court. Both those things have been given quite a bit of attention to.

Q. Do you think he saw something in you that you didn't see in yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: He definitely keeps emphasizing demeanor on court, which I probably would not have put in as one of the priorities for what I needed to improve at that moment.

Q. You seem very calm and focused about the whole situation. Are you excited inside? You must be? Are you playing it down deliberately?
MILOS RAONIC: I am, but it's nothing quite different from the other times. I think you probably get more nervous when you start tournaments because you don't know how things are going to go. Now you know where you are.
Yeah, of course, you get nervous. It's probably the best feeling to have. If you're not really looking forward to stuff, not playing with something to lose, it can probably get mundane pretty quickly.
I think it's more of a process than an emotional one.

Q. When you're playing a champion like Federer, how helpful is it to have the advice of a champion like McEnroe?
MILOS RAONIC: It helps. But at the end of the day, you got to step out there and find a way to win, try to win that last point.

Q. When you talk about having a bigger presence on court, how do you go about enacting that?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's about being more positive on court. I think it's about, you know, making sure you don't sort of, in important moments, let yourself just quietly drift away, getting the most out of yourself. All these kind of things. Whether that be being more vocal, being more positive.
But you have to be able to notice these shifts in momentum sometimes, react on them. If you can't physically, maybe you have to be a bit more verbal to get some stress or tension out of you. There's a lot of different ways.

Q. How much do you believe in statistics in order to work out a match plan or do you know everything already about Roger?
MILOS RAONIC: You read statistics quite a bit. I'll look through it a little bit. Carlos will look through it a lot. John called the entire match. I'm sure he's going to have plenty of things to say, as well.
You put it where you need to put it. At the end of the day, most of the focus is pretty internal on what I need to do, then on how to make small adjustments.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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