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May 29, 2017

Milos Raonic

Paris, France

M. RAONIC/S. Darcis

6-3, 6-4, 6-2


Q. (Question off mic.)
MILOS RAONIC: It's always good to start and to be as efficient as possible. I was able to break relatively early in all three sets and just sort of go about my business throughout the whole match. So I'm happy with that, and it gives me a little more freedom to spend more time working on my game tomorrow and playing hopefully even better on Wednesday.

Q. Any surprise that you played so well? You were very sharp, everything, serve and ground strokes, right from the get-go.
MILOS RAONIC: No, not really. It's good to start off well, but he's sort of the guy that gives me some kind of looks. I can always get my racquet on his serve. I took care of my serve. And I think it was just in general a good matchup for me, and I'm happy with how well I played to add on to that.

Q. Do you think you're an overlooked contender on the clay just because it is the clay, even though big servers certainly have good advantages on this surface?
MILOS RAONIC: I haven't really given it too much thought. I just try to go about what I need to do. If I can find a way to win a lot of matches, if I can get myself to those important stages in this tournament, I'll always be able to give myself chances. Other people's perspective in those scenarios I don't pay too much attention to.

Q. Do you consider yourself a contender?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. Every single match I step out on court, I know I will be able to have the opportunity to create chances to win. Will I do that? Will I get to that stage, and will I make the most of them? That's another thing. But I believe a lot in my tennis.

Q. What is the basic difference on clay? And after all these years, you've been here a long time, playing on clay for you and playing on, say, hard courts or grass?
MILOS RAONIC: I think one of the main things, really, is just -- clay courts also tend to vary quite a bit throughout the whole clay court season. Here, obviously, it's a little bit quicker.

Most of the tournaments on clay so far I was returning quite far back. It just gives me a bigger swipe at the ball; whereas, here it's a little bit quicker to it's a little bit more similar to hard courts standing in closer.

But other than that, it's really about where you position yourself and sort of you can't let yourself get caught up in corners. You sort of have to -- it's just a feel of instinct. It's not too much really changes. If you hit a big shot, it's just as effective on clay. Maybe you have to hit one more after, but it's important to keep moving forward to take time away from the guy just because not only is it a thing about having more time, but guys also believe they can get to more. So that goes a long ways as well.

Q. You have had your share of injuries for a young player. I'm just wondering, when you see other players that, you know, maybe skip majors or take longer breaks, I'm just wondering, when you look at the longer arc of your career, is it something that you're sort of factoring into your own thinking about how to maintain your longevity?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I don't really have that choice. I have -- at this point in my career, I get penalized if I missed any Masters or Grand Slams. Other players have it differently depending on the qualifications, on age, years of service, or how many matches they've played.

So other than probably five tournaments I play or -- I play pretty close to minimum, anyways, of tournaments. I don't have too much freedom of choice at this point.

Would I do things differently if I could? Definitely. So yeah.

Q. (Question off microphone.)
MILOS RAONIC: Fewer events and just scheduling. I guess how I would schedule the breaks. Now it's a lot of times you play two weeks. You have one week or two weeks and then you go back at it.

I've always enjoyed actual training blocks. So I would have where I would play a more consistent period of time, take a bit more time off, work on my body and taking care of those things, and then get back at it and do more blocks rather than sort of two weeks here, one week here, sort of -- it sort of feels like it never stops in that way then.

Q. ATP will test shorter sets, shot clock at the end of the season. Do you think it's a good idea for tennis to go in this direction and would you like to see that in the regular ATP tour maybe in the future?
MILOS RAONIC: Should tennis be more TV friendly? Yes. Do I believe those are the solutions? No.

Q. Similarly, if there were one thing in tennis that you could change, one rule or tradition, what would that be?
MILOS RAONIC: I think from the players' side of tennis it's in a quite good way at this moment. Maybe -- I think one thing that could benefit viewership, I think also fans' experience and also for the players -- there's no player that wants to be fourth match here and then get stuck, be here all day, and only maybe go on court at 7:00 at night -- I think finding a way to make tennis matches be played at a set time. I think that is always going to be sort of the Achilles heel for tennis.

Q. Dutra Silva or Youzhny for the next round. How do you feel about that for the next round?
A. That would be two quite different matches. I haven't seen Dutra Silva play too much. Obviously, I know Mikhail quite well.

I've got to take care of my serve. I've got to stay aggressive on the return, and I've got to do the less running than the other guy. And if I can get on those terms, I should be able to find a way.

Q. You're one of the more physically imposing guys on tour. I'm just wondering if you think that we might ever come to a point where we need to rethink the dimensions of the court or the height of net or things like that as far as evolution is concerned?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't think so. There's a lot tall guys in basketball. Would you make the net higher? I guess I don't know. You still have -- the greatest players in tennis aren't amongst the tallest of all time.

So, yes, the taller guys are getting better, a lot of -- a big spectrum of things from movement and all these kind of things. And I think there's more big guys close to the top of tennis, let's say. I would consider big anybody above 6'5. But still, to this day, the greatest of all times, if you look at the list, you're talking about guys between 6 feet to 6'3.

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