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August 31, 2016

Milos Raonic

New York, NY, USA


6-7, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I guess it's safe to say injuries are the reason why you lost.
MILOS RAONIC: No. Cramping.

Q. When did it first start?
MILOS RAONIC: Halfway through the second set.

Q. Any particular reason? Nerves?
MILOS RAONIC: A little bit of stress. I don't think hydration was an issue. I think I always take that precaution. Probably just nerves and stress, a mental sort of overexuberance rather than -- probably more than it should.

Q. Coming in as a Wimbledon finalist, expectations of your own, other people, how did that factor in?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't think that really factored in other than the fact it's sort of happened to me before. I didn't serve well to start this tournament. That's normally my go-to. That can keep me out of situations.

I think that sort of added a little bit more than I normally have to deal with.

I think that just sort of caught up to me throughout that match.

Q. Was it just your left thigh or was it other things?
MILOS RAONIC: Numerous things, yes.

Q. Was it the wrist also?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, the left arm; right forearm there towards the end of the third; both quads; a little bit hip flexor on the left.

It was just catching me all over.

Q. Did you max out on what you could try to do?
MILOS RAONIC: Sort of the really painful cramps started to pass at some point in the third set, but then I started getting small ones where I couldn't hold the racquet.

I couldn't switch grips from one point to the next. There were a few points where I would hold the racquet with my left and trying to stretch out my right hand in between shots, and that's not going to work.

Q. John McEnroe announced he wasn't going to be with you during this tournament. Did that have anything mentally to do with it?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I don't think so. I think today I put a little bit too much on me. I think I was able to put that aside pretty efficiently.

Q. I know the match ended roughly an hour ago or so. Could you go out and play now?
MILOS RAONIC: No. I still can't carry my bags on my shoulder. Even after the match I stayed there for maybe 30 minutes. I started -- just from carrying the bag started cramping a little bit on my back.

Q. (Question regarding history of cramping.)
MILOS RAONIC: I can't remember a single time where I've lost a match because of cramping.

Q. You came up with him more or less. A lot was made of him as maybe the next big thing in American tennis. You punched through almost with no fanfare whatsoever. He's really struggled. Have you followed his career? Do you have a history with him?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I followed it from afar. The year I broke through in 2011 he did pretty well. In 2012 he got up to top 40 for a brief period of time. Since then he hasn't really been around the big tournaments; he struggled.

But this summer I got to see him. He played well in Toronto. He played well in Washington. He's been having sort of a resurgence of a summer. Hopefully he can make it count further on through this tournament. I don't know who he plays next, but it's up to him to make it count.

Q. Do you feel for a guy like that when you see how much your stock can rise and a guy like that struggles so much?
MILOS RAONIC: Do I feel for a guy? I think what you put in you get out. I can't say there's any kind of sort of bad feeling for it. It just didn't seem to work out for him on a constant basis.

I have my own way I go about things to try to get the most out of myself. I think I put in every single hour of each day the best I can to get the most out of myself.

Q. You said it was just cramping. You're used to high expectations; cope pretty well with pressure. Any reason why today it came back to you like this?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I didn't start off well in the match. I started off feeling a little bit heavy, which has happened to me before. You sort of get through the first set. You pull that one out and you sort of start to relax a little bit. I didn't do that today. I just sort of compounded the stress. I kept trying to force the shots. I was hesitating mentally on the shots. I just felt a little bit a step slow.

The sort of expectation of pressure on myself to get out of that situation like I normally would in a situation like that, like happened to me in the beginning of Wimbledon, I didn't do that.

Then all that kind of forceful play caught up to me there in the end.

Q. In hindsight, if you could go back 12 hours, what would you do differently?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't know actually, to be honest with you. Maybe try to be a bit more active at the beginning of the match.

But every single thing I do, I do with a very careful sort of, as much of possible, calculation. I count how many glasses of water I drink. I pay specific attention to what I eat, what I consume, what's going to be the best for me. How much before I consume it. All these kind of things. I try to be on top of it as much as I can.

Q. You wrote about John McEnroe's conversation in the locker room, you wrote in the Tribune. Do you think that could have helped?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I don't believe so. I was my own worst enemy today. I tried the best I could to find my way out of it. My body didn't let me.

Q. When you went off the court at the end of the set, was there anything there you did? Hydrating?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I was hydrating well before. I just tried to sort of take deeper breaths, take more oxygen in, if that was the lack of the issue. Maybe I was having short breaths because of the stress I was putting on myself.

I just tried to incorporate all those little things I know how to do in that kind of scenario.

Q. Aside from your struggles, how do you feel he played?
MILOS RAONIC: He's been playing well. He played well. He did a lot of things well. I think he stepped up and he played a solid match. There was a few breakpoints. I can't remember if it was in the second or third. Hit three aces down the T; won three out of four of them.

At the beginning of the second, a breakpoint. I hit a good forehand cross. He went for it down the line and made it. A reaction volley, made it as well. He stepped up and got through those important moments.

I didn't create this pressure for myself or this kind of stress on myself. He did that.

Q. Seems like your focus for this summer was to try to win this tournament, even at the expense of the Olympics. You're capable of winning it. Do you think maybe you put too much on yourself to try to do that? That's a different level of pressure for you.
MILOS RAONIC: No, because I think I put it on myself the same way in London. I think I put it on myself the same way the beginning of the year in Australia. I believe a lot in myself. I try to get the most out of every single time, out of all the important tournaments.

Now I have a bunch of tournaments left to play with specific goals in mind of what I would like to do for the rest of the year. I'm going to try to get every inch out of maximizing that as well.

Q. In Australia you hadn't made a slam final yet.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. Maybe that sort of adds to the aspect of it.

But, I mean, I don't think of a significant kind of magnitude. I think it adds 1%, but I don't think that 1% is the reason for today's mental stresses.

Q. You had a lot of unforced errors today. Was that mental or physical?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, depends at which point and which unforced errors.

I think I hesitated at the beginning. I forced a little bit. I wasn't moving that well. Then later on, a bunch of those were sort of out of my hand. There were points there that I could barely hold the racquet.

I was just sort of trying to get through, either hope it subsides after a certain amount of time or gets better. It just didn't happen.

Q. Will Davis Cup be next for you?

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