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June 20, 2017

Milos Raonic

London, England


7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you put your finger on, A, you were a finalist last year, and beaten like this this year, are the conditions hugely different?
MILOS RAONIC: No. Last year, you know, the first match here was quite similar. I had a few opportunities in the beginning of the match. Didn't convert them and then sort of found my way through. Today I just didn't find my way.

I had more opportunities than I felt I should have needed. I just wasn't efficient in those moments. I didn't come out and I wasn't the player I needed to be today.

Q. You mentioned those opportunities. Eight break points in the first set. Three set point chances in the second. What do you think went wrong in the biggest moments of the match? He played them better, bigger serving, or were you just not good enough in those moments?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it was a little bit of a mixture. A few of them he came up big, but the ones I even had, I was a bit too passive. Each just as the match went on, there were plenty of moments where I really didn't have any issues at all on my serve, and in those moments when he was serving, I felt I was just a little too passive. I was letting him dictate too much. I wasn't really trying to -- I should have been a lot more disciplined with myself even if I lose the points earlier to start hitting the ball a bit more aggressively.

Q. Being aggressive, a lot of that is based on the mentality. You were saying you were being passive and he was being aggressive. If you look at your mentality today throughout the match, are there points that stand out to you where maybe your messaging to yourself isn't what it should have been?
MILOS RAONIC: Maybe I should have caught on myself a little bit earlier. I started being a little more aggressive towards the end of that second set, but then, all of a sudden you're in the scenario very quickly where him, a player that can play really well that's been unfortunately hurt for a long period of time, has got a rhythm. And then you sort of are trying to not only find yours but you sort of have to get him out of his bubble.

I guess I wasn't sharp enough with myself early on enough to really make that idea change or last.

Q. It used to be the speed of grass meant the players could just attack 100% all the way through the match. Do you think that's possible these days?
MILOS RAONIC: I think the attack is well rewarded on grass. Maybe a little bit less than before. I don't think it's necessarily because of the grass. I think it's more because of the athleticism of the players and preparation of the players and ability. Also with technology for the players to defend better. But there's very few guys that will say they are happy playing mostly defense on grass.

Q. Does that change when it's hotter and drier?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, when it's a little bit hotter, the court gets a little bit harder, and it sort of bounces up a bit more like hard court, per se, and it's a little bit easier to move on, as well.

Q. One match in this tournament and one match on grass, do you think the level of confidence you have on grass will be different than last year because you don't have a deep run in Queen's going into Wimbledon?
MILOS RAONIC: Maybe in the first few matches I could see that being, but it's a very different scenario. Obviously the disappointment is high right now, but whatever the result was this week, I don't think that's really going to change my chances.

I believe I can play really well. Honestly, if this was three out of five today, it's a scenario I feel even more comfortable in, because I really do believe a lot of my game can give me more time to figure out the situation to deal with it a little bit better. But it's not. So I will go into Wimbledon with a lot of confidence, because I have prepared really well.

Q. Is this going to change your preparation for Wimbledon in any way? Are you going to play another event next week?
MILOS RAONIC: Maybe. I always had on my schedule to play one match next week in one of those events or throughout London.

Q. You're not going to ask for a wildcard into Eastbourne?
MILOS RAONIC: No, no. I did a tournament before the last Grand Slam. It's not the way I would like to go (smiling).

Q. How are you physically, in general? A lot of niggles this year, but are you feeling good now?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I am. I feel good. It's just taken me a little bit, you know, to get -- obviously finding my game on clay isn't necessarily the easiest. I have always played well on hard, went to clay, and went into that with a bit more confidence.

So I'm still just looking for that sharpness in match play, which I think that was sort of the factor today.

Q. What points will you take from today to feed into your preparation for Wimbledon?
MILOS RAONIC: Don't get caught too far behind the baseline, hit the damn ball, and move forward every chance you have.

Q. Kokkinakis, did it surprise you his level of performance today?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I thought -- I practiced with him I guess that's before Istanbul, so shortly after Monte-Carlo. And to be frank, I was actually surprised when I saw his results that he wasn't doing better, because he was hitting the ball well.

I knew he was still struggling a little bit playing consecutively with his arm, but he was hitting the ball extremely well at that point. I followed his draws over the last week, so no, I'm not surprised by his level by any means.

Q. How high do you think he can go?
MILOS RAONIC: I think he can continue to play well. He's going to have to step up and play well in these moments.

Q. Do you think he can be a top 10?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. The question of top 10 doesn't depend on one guy. It depends possibly on 10 guys ahead of you or more. Also depends on who else is there at that moment and what other players have to say. That's not only dependent on the individual himself.

Q. You talked in the buildup about who you thought are favorites for Wimbledon. What do you think of where Novak is at the moment? Do you expect him to bounce back quickly or do you think it will take him time to get back to where he wants to be?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's a question of one or two important matches. That's going to make the difference for him. All those can happen in one tournament or they can happen over a spread period of time, but I think that it's going to come down to one or two matches where you can say, like, people look back and say, you know, that was the moment when he turned it around.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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