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June 19, 2017

Milos Raonic

London, England

Q. (Question about fitness.)
MILOS RAONIC: It's been good. I have played a lot of weeks on the clay leading into Paris and through Paris. Came here. Obviously this surface makes it easier for me.

Q. Last summer, it was fantastic what you did here and at Wimbledon. How would you describe the 12 months since then?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, a little up and down. When I have been healthy or when I have been able to play, I have played well. But those opportunities have been sparse.

I'm happy that now I have sort of changed the regimen significantly over the last few months. I have been fortunate enough to actually not be dealing with anything really for the first time in 11 months.

Q. Changed the regimen how?
MILOS RAONIC: Just the process. Do more of my fitness on the court rather than off the court and in the gym. Really focus. I try to, even when I'm training and practicing and matches, be able to be fresh every time I go out, to try not to build any bad habits or compensations.

Q. Do you think you've overtrained in a way?
MILOS RAONIC: Maybe in some way, or just sometimes I didn't listen to myself well enough. I thought, you know, more is better. It didn't seem to pan out in a great way. The results were good, but just the ability to be able to go out there day after day wasn't what I wanted.

Q. What did you learn from last year's experience, both here and Wimbledon, about what it would take about stepping up to win a Grand Slam?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I think the experience of it was where I lacked the most. I just wished I would have been a bit more exertive energy-wise. I felt like especially -- obviously here was not a new situation for me, but at Wimbledon it was. And I felt like it was sort of the same mistake I made two years earlier against Roger in my first semi where I let the nervous energy sort of build up on me. I never got it out of my body. I never got it out. I never expressed it. I never expressed sort of the energy.

I felt that sort of just caused a tension in me where I never really sort of let go and started playing more freely.

Q. How do you do that?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's about being more expressive. So just showing it rather than sort of trying to bottle it up and be, like, it's going to change, it's going to change. Sort of to put it out there and...

Q. Being more emotional?
MILOS RAONIC: Being more emotional and be a bit more, let's say, abrasive about it and really just go after it, not really try to hold anything back.

Q. Does that come naturally to you?
MILOS RAONIC: No, it's definitely something I have worked on, something that -- John was very keen on being on top of me for that over the period of time we were working together. Even now when we still keep in touch he makes sure I'm aware that's what I need to do.

Q. But you can never see yourself being quite as emotional on court as he was?
MILOS RAONIC: Not expressively, that's for sure.

Q. What's his role going to be this summer? A phone call here and there?
MILOS RAONIC: He's just a friend at this -- that's pretty much what it's been. I see him at tournaments and I see him when I'm home.

Q. What about Mark's role? Has that become a long-term...
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, that's what it's looking to be. I brought him on. I think highly of his tennis knowledge. Even though he's been a bit away from the tour, he's been watching a lot of matches and commentating, and he understands a lot of the guys. He hasn't been off tour that long, and to be frank, most of the top guys are guys in the older category that were around when he was playing.

So he understands these guys. He can give me some good insight. I think he can also give me good insight on my own game.

Q. What's his approach been like in comparison to Richard's?
MILOS RAONIC: It's hard to tell, because it's quite new. We haven't really played any matches together. So I think that's sort of where you see the different approaches is when you're practicing, when there's no pressure. In that situation, it's a little bit easier.

So it will be interesting to see how that plays out come crunch time.

Q. What was your thinking of parting with Richard before the grass season?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I think it was -- does it work or doesn't it? My whole goal was not just grass. My whole goal was be a better player each and every day and was it clicking?

It wasn't results or anything. It was just the communication. You know, you have to have a feel about something when you impart on a relationship, and it just never clicked in that sense.

Q. Looking long term, do you think that grass could potentially be your best surface? Do you think Wimbledon is the Grand Slam where you have the best chances?
MILOS RAONIC: I believe so. I think it's the one I have had the best chance at so far, and I think it will probably continue to be the one that if I'm able to succeed at it can pay me the biggest endeavors.

Q. (Question about a bit of an opening this summer.)
MILOS RAONIC: I believe so, but, you know, you could have said there was an opening at the beginning of the year. Roger shut that door.

There was an opening on clay when Roger wasn't there. Rafa shut that door. So somebody's going to shut the door. Hopefully it can be myself.

Q. If you took yourself out of the equation, who would you see as favorites at Wimbledon, for example?
MILOS RAONIC: I think Roger, Andy are two names that really stand out.

Q. Of those two, which do you see as the favorite?
MILOS RAONIC: It's really hard to say. It's hard to really know what that first match of Roger's on grass really meant. He also wasn't playing his best at Hopman start of this year and then played incredible following that.

Obviously Andy had a good turnaround in Paris for the way things were going for him. So he's obviously been feeling it, and he's played at home over the last 12 months some great tennis.

Q. (Question about Dimitrov.)
MILOS RAONIC: He definitely has the shots. He stepped up. He played really well at the beginning of the year in Australia, both tournaments, and then home in Sofia he also played extremely well. Obviously he hasn't necessarily been playing his best as of late, but the thing is he knows how to play tennis really well, so it's about him putting it together.

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