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July 4, 2016

Milos Raonic

London, England

M. RAONIC/D. Goffin
4‑6, 3‑6, 6‑4, 6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I guess the obvious question is, why were you so poor at the beginning and so fantastic at the end?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I allowed him to play too much on his terms. I was getting a lot of balls in and playing the points and playing maybe better‑looking tennis at the beginning. I sort of gave up on that and said, I got to play this on my terms. Maybe committed a few more unforced errors, but was hitting through the court more, not allowing him to play the way he wanted to.

Q. How good did you feel at the end?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, of course. It's the first time for me and probably the most significant situation for me to come back from two sets to love down. I definitely felt good about that.
Hopefully a nice pivotal match for me.

Q. What was going through your mind after you lost the second set and you were sitting on your chair?
MILOS RAONIC: I just had to change something, had to change the way the match was happening, all the things that were happening on the court. It was too much on his terms. I was allowing him to play too much, get too much rhythm. The points were too long. He was feeling good, he was doing a lot of good things at the beginning. I wanted to take that away from him.

Q. Do you think you would have had the mental strength to do what you did today a year ago, two years ago?
MILOS RAONIC: Maybe I would have had the mental strength, but I don't know if I would have had the exact same perspective on what I needed to do in those right moments. I think that's probably the general understanding of myself and my game that I have significantly improved on. That helped.

Q. When do you think the momentum firmly shifted in that match? Can you pick a moment or a point?
MILOS RAONIC: I think sort of when he, let's say, gave me a little bit that first break in the third set. He had the double‑fault. He had that backhand down the line that was just a bit long. He gave me a look at that. That sort of just told me, Okay, I can get him out of his element, which he definitely was in in the beginning. That was sort of a sign that, you know, there's something to work with here, I just got to exploit it.

Q. You said you were playing too much his style, pretty tennis. Are you often tempted to try to play more Goffin‑like tennis than your style?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's feel‑good tennis. You're out there, hitting a lot of balls, you're getting in these long rallies, you're feeling the ball. That's the last thing I want, not just for myself, but for the other guy.
Obviously I'll get a lot of free points on my serve. Then it's about sort of taking the game away from the other guy. Even if I miss 10 balls in a row, as long as it's not on my serve. When you put those ones in, the guy won't have the rhythm of hitting 20 shots in the last 10 points. He has no rhythm.
So either he sort of might pull back and be hesitant, and that gives me some more looks, or he's going to go for it and maybe not have that rhythm and momentum. Maybe he can sort of make some mistakes. Just sort of keeps more pressure on him.

Q. When you watch tennis, do you prefer watching guys like Goffin or guys like you or Querrey?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's more the matchups. I think I try to learn from everybody, whether that be David, top guys, everybody. I try to sort of pay attention to what's working for them.

Q. When you face Sam, it's been a while since you've played each other, how would you describe the similarities in your game and your observations of the state of his game to get to here after beating Novak?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think he must be doing great things. Today was definitely not an easy match by any means for him, especially coming back after that huge upset, all that came with that.
He stepped up today against a difficult opponent on grass who's been playing well, many years on grass, and especially was playing this year well.
I'm sure he's serving well, from what I've seen. I'll take the time to watch more. He's obviously doing a lot of good things with his forehand. I see he's coming forward a bit more.
We pretty much try to do the same thing. Maybe I try to sort of push the aspect of coming in a bit more than he does. But I think we're pretty much going to try to play on our own terms.
Serve is going to be important. But it's really going to be about who can throw the other guy off.

Q. What did his victory over Novak say to you about his game?
MILOS RAONIC: It was incredible to see. There were so many moments where, you know, first there's the rain delay. You're like, Okay, maybe this will turn around. Then you had that third set that was pretty one‑sided. A lot of looks in the fourth. He stuck through with that.
I'm sure he sent a message to other players, as well, that he's ready to play.

Q. During the match, there was this funny situation where you specifically asked a spectator to go to Centre Court and commentate for the BBC. How would you deal with the situation? What do you think?
MILOS RAONIC: It's okay. I understood what we were getting into when I asked him to help me. But after, I believe it was at 3‑1, the little rain delay, they didn't let us come all the way back here. We went in the rooms that they have under the court. He came there and spoke with me. I didn't look up for a while, but then he was gone after.
You know, I'm out there playing by myself. Nobody can win those points for me except for myself. That's what I was trying to do.

Q. How is it working with John here at Wimbledon? Is he saying anything to you that's really new to you that you hadn't thought of?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I think he's just enforcing things. He's probably talking to me more about my attitude on court in a different way, let's say, than the other guys I have around me.
He's telling me to go out there and impose myself more, maybe be not necessarily more loud about it, but make sure the other guy knows you're there.
We've spent quite a bit of time. I just saw him now because he finished his commentating responsibility for the day. I'm sure he'll be there for practice tomorrow 'cause we practice quite early, before he has any matches, I believe, to call.
So I see him quite a fair bit. We're staying at a house close by. He's come by after his days as well to discuss things.

Q. In the second part of the match, your serving went way up, too. Is that a part of a function of everything?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it is. You take the rhythm away from him, then he knows how important the return is. Just puts a little bit more pressure on him.
Obviously I got it back more on my terms. I felt like I was just letting him get too many looks. I tried to sort of keep him uncomfortable.

Q. Anything about the mechanics of the serve? Why would it be so much better?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I started serve‑volleying more, just going through the core a bit more. I don't know what my percentages were like, but obviously I was getting a lot more free points. I don't think I hit significantly more aces. I think I probably had more aces in the beginning.

Q. He did get a lot of points off your serve in the first two sets. If he could get his racquet on it, he was returning it. Were you startled by how well he coped with your biggest weapon?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, he moves well. He's got quick feet. Because he doesn't have a long reach, I thought maybe I could get around him a bit more. He was leaning the right way most times. Definitely was expecting maybe a bit more free points when it comes to my serve.
But I just sort of tried to keep mixing it up. I think that's maybe one thing I did not do enough in the beginning. I wasn't expecting necessarily that many serves to come back. Then I sort of tried to power through him.
After, I tried to hit some slower, faster serves. Even if he got his racquet on the ball, it wasn't the same timing he was playing with.

Q. A lot of people circled the match between you and Djokovic as a blockbuster match. Now it's not going to happen. Any part of you wish you got a shot at him?
MILOS RAONIC: Definitely. It's something we worked at. It is what it is. I'm not going to complaining by any means what's ahead of me right now. Sam deserves to be there. I've earned my right to be there, as well. I'm going to fight hard to try to win that match.

Q. Do you know if John was able to follow your match whilst he was commentating?
MILOS RAONIC: I believe he does have an extra monitor in there. I'm sure he asked them to turn it to my match. I know he did. We spoke about it previously.

Q. Do you think you're proving to yourself and opponents that you can come back from two sets down, stepping up into the elite tiers with Djokovic?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't know if it's there. They've done it significantly more times than I have. But it definitely does send a message.

Q. Were you disappointed at all not to be on Centre Court?
MILOS RAONIC: I didn't expect to be by any means. Obviously, today is the, let's say, more entertainment‑friendly day of the tournament. You have both men's and women's round of 16s. I didn't expect by any means to be on either Centre Court or Court1, let's say.

Q. You've done a lot of mental work off court. In this particular match and situation, do you take that benefit of this work?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it does. It's about the time I've spent working ‑‑ improving mentally has been about staying in the moment, not looking ahead and not looking behind. I think that was one of the more important things that made a difference for me today.
I stayed in the moment and I just tried to deal with what was ahead of me, the next point. I tried to put it together, and I was able to do so.

Q. You're known for applying everything you have to improve your game, become a better professional. I believe you have three coaches or advisers now. We saw Nick Kyrgios out there today. He's such a fabulous talent, a great entertainer. He doesn't seem to really be applying all he can to get to his goals. Do you have any thoughts about that?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't know if that's necessarily a fair judgment. I think he does work pretty hard and I think he does try to improve.
I think we probably have a very different perspective on the way we go about it. I'm sure he has strong people around him, and he has the people he feels he needs around him.
I think probably we both feel we have very different needs. The way I've always looked at it is, don't spare any expense when it comes to improving. Maybe some other guys look at it a different way.
I have three coaches here, not here right now, but around me. I have numerous physios I alternate. I have a fitness guy. I have numerous people that either come to tournaments or are taking care of me behind the scenes. I feel that's what I need.

Q. You're saying Nick just might feel like he might want more of a freeform?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't believe John really traveled with anybody, other than Palafox for six months, throughout his whole career until he hired Larry at the end where he tried to really assemble a team. He was just there with his manager going to tournaments. He was just having dinner each night with Peter Fleming because they were playing doubles together. That's what he felt he needed.
I've looked to other people to really try to help me, try to get the most out of me, because I think that would be my biggest regret if I didn't do everything I could.

Q. Regarding David Goffin, would you rate him as the fastest on the tour right now?
MILOS RAONIC: There's a lot of people competing. He probably has some of the better footwork. It's hard to say who the fastest is.
You have Novak, who maybe has a bit more reach than him, so probably is able to get his hands on more things. But it's hard to put it. But you definitely notice that his footwork is probably his biggest weapon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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