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July 4, 2018

Milos Raonic

Wimbledon, London, England

M. RAONIC/J. Millman

7-6, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe this match? Three sets, but it was nothing easy?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it wasn't. Yeah, for the first set and a half I didn't really create much, especially on his serve. I was fortunate to get through that tiebreaker on two well-played points.

And then I thought I started playing well midway through the second set. You know, I got stuck on that service game serving for the set with the sun in my eyes, but other than that, I think I beat him quite a few games to 30, had some opportunities that I just didn't make the most of.

But overall happy to be through and happy to be moving on.

Q. Are you a little bit plugged up?

Q. Not too much of a doctor's report necessary, but what is it exactly?
MILOS RAONIC: Just a little bit of a reaction, like a little bit of a lung reaction, virus.

Q. Is it an allergy thing?
MILOS RAONIC: Not that I'm aware of.

Q. Physically how did you feel after the past few weeks and months?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I feel good. Body has behaved. Obviously we are very cautious with it, because it's tough to ask the body to stop and start all the time. We pay a lot more attention with the treatments after matches, after practices, we are spending a lot of time just to negate anything from coming up. I feel good, moving well on court, I feel like I'm doing the things well. And hopefully my body allows me to play plenty of tennis.

Q. Because grass for the knees is kind of the worst, no?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's actually the easiest. The surface is the softest, points are the shortest. I would say it's probably, out of everything, it's the easiest, you're not playing so much lateral. On clay you have to do a lot of torsion on the knees, hitting a lot of shots open stance. I would say it's probably easiest.

Q. You look pretty comfortable in the long rallies.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I feel like I'm doing a lot of things well. I just have to be a little bit disciplined with myself. I started a little bit slow with my feet. I think that sort of let him very early on sort of dictate more from the baseline. Then once I sort of got myself together, got myself in the right rhythm, that's when I sort of stepped up and I was able to take the first opportunities, get ahead in the points, and these kind of things.

Just took me a little bit longer today to get in that groove.

Q. With all the tall guys and big servers doing well recently, and that's without you and Kyrgios who could do something big soon, why do you think that is? And also as a big server, as well, I know you have different styles, but do you like it or do you not like it when there are other players like that around doing well?
MILOS RAONIC: It's good. I think the difference you see nowadays from the tennis I have seen previously from big guys -- and I consider a big guy 6'5" and above, I think I'm sort on the bottom edge of that, because a lot of the guys are taller than me, there are some that are considerably taller than me -- is that before everybody used to train the way a tennis player should train. People didn't used to sort of make individual training programs.

I think the big guys sort of realized, Hey, this is what we need to do to get the most out of ourselves. You see guys moving more efficiently. You have Nick, who's incredibly athletic. You have Del Potro who I would say is one of the better movers, especially laterally. I think I move okay.

You have guys that are getting better at these things because they are looking for programs and techniques that are going to suit them best.

Q. For serving, you have one of the best there is serve-wise. Do you think some day years down the line people are actually going to serve harder than you guys serve? I don't know that it's humanly possible.
MILOS RAONIC: I think it probably will be humanly possible. I think the way you're just going to have to see and look at it is physics-wise, you can only hit a ball from a certain angle so hard before it's not going to drop in time. To serve hard, it has to be flat.

So either you're going to have a guy that's extremely strong hitting from a higher point of contact, you're not going to be able to do it with much spin. But I think there will be some kind of progress and some kind of development in that.

But I think, you know, maybe before the margins, the steps were higher, but now I think the margin is just getting smaller because physics and gravity and all those kind of things can only allow for so much.

Q. Someone like Ivo, 6'10" inches or 11, I don't know how much --
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I don't think he necessarily is -- he has a strong arm but if you see -- he's not one of the guys that has the quickest hands. So I think he does a great thing about mixing up his serve. He gets that angle, creates angles better than anybody else because he's hitting from a higher vantage point.

But I think there are guys that have a better shoulder, let's say, than he does, just aren't serving from the same contact point.

Q. I think you managed to clip a BBG with one of your serves today. How did you feel when that happened?
MILOS RAONIC: When I hit a ball kid? Oh, you don't feel good. Normally by the first reaction of the kid, you can sort of tell how they are, if it hurts, this kind of thing. There was one that hit the boy. The boy I think was okay.

There was one I hit a girl a little lower in the abdomen. I think she probably took a little bit more of a grunt than he did on that sense. I hope she's doing okay.

Q. And yesterday Kyrgios hit one, as well. With the powerful big serves, do you think you run the risk of actually injuring a ball boy or ball girl?
MILOS RAONIC: You know, everybody is exposed. In that sense it could be a line judge. It could be anything. Because most of the time where the kids stand is if you hit it wide, it's not going to get to them.

It's more those kind of things if a player guesses the wrong way and it's a serve that's more into the body and the returner just lets it go by, where the kid or umpire or the line judge have their guard down. That's more where people tend to get hit. Not the serves that are sort of straight through that people are aware pretty early on are going to be aces.

Q. Is it more a case of keeping your guard up, is it?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think that's one of the things, and it's hard. I'm not sure what the rotation standards are for the kids, how many games or what time gap it is, but it's hard to really stay focused for those 30 minutes.

Q. Just wanted to ask about serving on different surfaces. How different is your serve on grass? What sort of different serves do you hit compared with if you're playing on hard or clay court?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't think it changes much from hard courts. I think a little bit from clay, because clay will -- you know, it slows down quite a bit, so you try to -- you have to work in kick serves on the first one to get the guy sort of off-balance because you may not get as many serves by him without being touched. You have to sort of have him guessing on his own timing. I think there you play it a little bit differently.

But on the other two surfaces for me, I don't really think about it so much.

Q. On grass and hard, the thing for you is pure speed, power?
MILOS RAONIC: No, it's about mixing it up. It's about keeping the guy off-balance. Not necessarily with as many kick serves. You sort of try to hit different spots with different -- stay more flat and slice serves you mix in. Just different way of mixing things up.

Q. This question is partly about Roger Federer, so I hope you don't mind. But I'm wondering, as you developed as a player and continue to develop, at any point have you made a conscious effort to look or study any aspect of Federer's game and found it instructive?
MILOS RAONIC: Every aspect. You know, it's not exclusive to him. I'm going to try to see what every single top guy, every guy that continues -- even guys ranked lower, if there is something they do particularly well, I'm going to try to break it down.

Obviously he has a lot more things you can look at that have worked for him, but different things. The way he mixes up his serve, the way he mixes up the return a bit more, you know, incorporates the chip return. There is a lot of different things he does, how quick he is to get around backhands to take the first forehand.

These kind of things that I have really tried to take time and tried to incorporate into my game and tried to make myself better through this sort of visual aid.

Q. Dennis Novak.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I don't think -- I know I haven't seen him play. I have seen him around. I know he's around Dominic Thiem quite a bit. I think they train together. I think same coach, same academy, same sort of placement off-season, these kind of things.

I have 48 hours to learn as much as I can, but luckily for me, my game is always about imposing myself on the other guy more so than adjusting to the other guy.

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