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August 19, 2016

Milos Raonic

Cincinnati, Ohio

M. RAONIC/D. Thiem

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When you're playing someone for the first time you obviously don't know about their game. How do you prepare for that? Did you think you executed your game plan?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I definitely executed well. I did quite a few things well today. I practiced with him early this week. I've practiced with him many times, so to some extent I have an understanding of his game, like he has of mine.

But it's a little different come match time, so I did a little bit of studying. I spoke with my coaches. Just things I may expect to see out there, and I feel like I took that all in and adapted well.

Q. When you do studying and preparing for someone you haven't seen before, do you watch footage or take what others tell you?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I'll watch footage, but Dominic being a top player, I've watched him on my own that wasn't specifically for today that I could sort of recall back on.

I've definitely watched plenty of his matches, especially throughout this year, because he's been playing well. He's been pretty much there in the latter stages of each and every tournament.

Q. Obviously it would be a big I guess headline for media at least if there was that player born in the 1990s to get the Masters 1000 title. Obviously it would be a big thing for your career. Is there any buildup in your mind?
MILOS RAONIC: Not necessarily anything specific. I'm not competing with the guys around my age or younger than me. I'm competing with the best players.

That's pretty much where the focus is. Today I had a very important match ahead of me that I wanted to win; the next is going to be even more important.

Whoever I play, I'm going to go out there with the very simple goal of doing everything I can to win in that situation.

Q. You've done a lot of work in the past, especially on your volleying game. Do you feel all your work is coming together now that your game is coming together as a whole and you go out and execute it?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think I was always working quite a bit on my volley game, but I wasn't giving myself a chance always necessarily as much to come forward throughout matches. I would hesitate to move forward and so forth.

Whereas if you watch me practice now, I'm probably hit as many volleys in practice as I do baseline shots. I will come in more times in practice than I do stay back.

So I've done everything to try to incorporate it more and more so that when I do come forward it's not necessarily just a thought process, it's instinctual as well.

I've spent a lot of time with John talking about various different things he think I need to improve when I come forward, angles to cover, what other guys can and cannot do. I think I've made good progress there.

Q. Dominic arrived at your match after a walkover while you played your previous match to three sets, a very long, long match. Do you feel like you were able to take that momentum into the quarterfinal? Did that give you an edge while he was maybe not playing and you were?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's different ways to look at it. I believe yesterday did help me because I wasn't as sharp yesterday against Sugita, which I needed to be much more sharp today. So I think yesterday was in a way a warning call to put more attention on that today.

So I believe in that way it helped me. Obviously we've both played quite a few matches this year, so those days where maybe you don't have to play can be beneficial in a way as well.

Q. First time you've played Dominic and you were going big down the T with a lot of success today on first serves. Did you get the sense he was having difficulty reading your first serve?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I practiced with him and normally he likes to return from far back. I feel like I'm sort of taking that option away from guys at this moment because I have been serve and volleying well.

So if a guy goes far back and I take something off the serve, I can be in very close to pretty much in ideal position hitting a volley, giving them very little space to work with.

He did try to return from close. I wasn't able to serve and volley as much as I would've liked or come forward because he was taking time away from me, but I mixed up my serve well. Even when he did guess right and get his racquet on it I was hitting it always different speeds or different rotations, so it was difficult to block back officially.

Q. You mixed up your coaching combination this year with Moya and McEnroe. Are you taking an approach of choosing a surface expert as a guide, or are you just thinking tactical?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I'm just thinking general improvement. The people I have, every single person, coach, medical staff, and so forth, are there to help me improve generally. I feel there are many aspects of my game that I can continue to improve. I think I've taken those steps forward trying to explore those aspects.

I think my serve can still get better. I think there are many aspects of my game that can still improve, which is the most motivating factor for me.

So I do have various people that I do believe can help me in many different ways.

Q. Let's just say Andy gets through, past Bernie. Are you going to have any thoughts about what happened a month ago?
MILOS RAONIC: Not necessarily. What happened a month ago is I could have had thoughts about what happened three weeks before that. Those kind of things are very short-lived in tennis. The tennis world moves on very quickly.

The week after a slam there is Davis Cup, smaller tournaments. Things go on and you forget about those things. Obviously going to be some things I am going to want to do better than I did about a month ago, but there are going to be some things I'm going to take away and try to execute a little bit better and use that I did well.

I think there are a lot of discussions that we've had with my team about situations in that final that I could have dealt with better. I'm definitely going to try to enforce those things, because these are the moments that I can really work on those things, incorporate those things, and hopefully overcome those things.

Q. You talked about what is working to move forward. Has there been a specific match last year or couple years where you moved forward, had success at the net and thought, I can do that now; I can win points at the net?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't think there was one match. I think the issue I would've had before with it is it would happen for one match whereas it wasn't a constant implementation. So if I volleyed well on that day I would feel good about it, but there wasn't that constant implementation where it could become more instinctual, where I had a better feel at the net.

It could have been depending maybe some guys pass better than others. Whereas now I do it on a day-to-day basis, I put myself up there, so regardless of how well the other guy passes, I'm sort of going up there feeling if I can get my racquet on the ball I'll do well. Also feeling that I can make the guy think, take time away, take rhythm away from that guy, and sort of challenge him to pass me.

Q. I understand you're spending a lot of the time in New York City. I think you live there and have been practicing there a lot as well. You have a lot of fans here and in New York. Do you feel like you're becoming a home favorite here in the United States?
MILOS RAONIC: I wouldn't necessarily put it that way. If you watched that match of me against John this week it wasn't necessarily that way. I'm sure there were many more people rooting for John. I think Canadians are coming out more and more, and I believe I'm getting that kind of support here as well.

Being close by, I think there is that kind of friendliness amongst the fans. They have been very supportive of me and it's been a fun time.

Personally, these tournaments in North America are some of the tournaments I enjoy to play the most, because growing up around North American sport can get a little bit rowdy. I think a little bit of heckling is good in tennis, and that makes it a little bit more fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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