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August 16, 2018

Milos Raonic

Cincinnati, Ohio

M. RAONIC/D. Shapovalov

7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You saved a set point in the first and immediately broke him to start the second. Do you feel he may have still been thinking about that or do you just push it to the limit there with his first service game to get the break?
MILOS RAONIC: I think a bit of both. I had a bunch of break chances at the beginning of the match that I didn't make the most of.

So I was getting more into his games than he was into mine. I played a bad game to give him that set point, for him to have a chance to serve it out in that first set. I think I put in a lot of returns. I took care of my serve pretty handily other than one really bad game, but otherwise, it was a pretty good match from my end.

Q. Last week after your loss to Frances, you said you weren't too happy with how you served. You said you had the one bad game today, but other than that one game, you haven't faced a break point in the tournament and in other game. Are you serving better this week than you were last week?
MILOS RAONIC: I am. I'm doing things, definitely serving more aggressive, not being passive like I was last week and just sort of, you know, doing -- firsts and seconds, I'm just being and demanding a lot from myself, not just putting in serves where I thought last week maybe I did that a few too many times.

Q. So apart from your serve, what do you think was the biggest difference for you in the match? Those sets were so close. In the first set there was only one point that could have completely changed the match.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think I got myself into more points on his serve than he did on mine. I think that was an important thing. It was the thing I struggled with most last time we played, so I definitely made sure to focus on that and sort of try to change that a little bit.

Q. In Queen's about a year ago I think you said something about "to improve, I just need to hit the damn ball." I'm wondering, in terms of that mentality, where do you think you are now?
MILOS RAONIC: I have improved in a lot of senses. I just haven't had the luxury of playing consistently. I'm battling my body at times, and then when that's okay, I'm sort of battling getting back into a rhythm.

So hopefully I can have a good bout of health and give myself a chance to work myself into playing matches consistently week after week, and I can give my mind some ease; whereas now every single tournament, pretty much, because I'm not getting a lot of matches, it's a little bit more stressful and a little bit more just easier to get to a point of panic because I haven't been in a lot of situations.

Everything's sort of -- as many matches as I have played, it's easy to sort of get out of the rhythm, and I just require consistent matches in a match schedule.

Q. Are you happy that at the US Open all courts will have Hawk-Eye? Today you played on a court where there is no Hawk-Eye. Does it put you in a better mental state?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think Hawk-Eye is the biggest thing in tennis by far over the last period of time. It's been around since I got on tour, and it is stressful when you don't have it, because there are mistakes that are made, and Hawk-Eye -- in tennis, there is no ties in tennis, there is no draws. You have a winner; you have a loser.

Hawk-Eye sort of makes it black or white. The ball is either in or out. You have a chance to question it. It really leaves little up for discussion or controversy in that sense, and I think a lot of people respect and admire it for that.

Q. When your ranking drops a bit, you come to tournaments like this having to play six rounds rather than five. How does that change your approach to playing the tournament?
MILOS RAONIC: It doesn't, really, in that sense. I think for me at this point with how little I have been fortunate to play, it's better to get more matches. It would be a little bit tougher to, you know, have a bye and be playing somebody that's already had an opportunity to play this week, get used to the conditions, go through some challenges in a match.

I have never necessarily been a fan of having byes. I think once you play consecutive weeks, that's when it makes a difference, but if that's really the week you're showing up and it's one of your first or your second week, I don't think it makes that much of a difference.

I think it's more if you have played 40 matches already at this point of the year where it will make a difference. If you're playing three weeks in a row, I think it will make a difference there. But I don't think it really does if it's one of your first weeks.

Q. You have worked with a lot of coaches. Can you elaborate on some of the things specifically that Goran has helped you with?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, he's tried to really -- especially because I was coming from a place where I didn't really finish the year last year. I struggled and started quite poorly at the beginning of this year. He worked on really simplifying things and keeping things pretty straightforward. Just trying to get me to not sort of question or hesitate when I'm making decisions on court, to go out there, hit the ball with conviction, do the things. Sometimes I might be wrong or right. We can always analyze that after, but just, in that moment, to trust my instincts and not to be questioning myself.

And then the more matches I play, the more confidence I get, you'll start more consistently just making the right decisions more naturally.

I think we have spent a lot of time having those discussions, and it was one reason why I played well in Indian Wells and Miami. It was another reason why I played well on the grass after missing the later chunk of the clay season. So it's helped me out on numerous occasions this year.

Q. You mentioned panic a few minutes ago. Kevin Anderson was talking about his own work on breathing, breath work on court, as a way to just kind of take the edge off. Is that something that you work with at all or thought about?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I do do it. Everybody, I guess, has their own way. I think the most important thing is just to have a routine, a routine that requires some kind of thought that's not too easy and too natural to do, because if it's too easy and too natural and you can sort of do it unconsciously, it doesn't take your mind away from maybe negative thoughts and these kind of things. You need to have sort of a routine that requires a little bit of attention, not where it's creating any kind of mental fatigue or requiring too much emotionally, and just have that routine that sort of is, okay, I'm going to do this, whether it be breathing, some players count, some players look to the towel. Everybody has their own way, and that just sort of resets you and you try to get yourself back on the right track.

Q. The Davis Cup reform was passed this morning. Last little while you haven't had much of a chance to play Davis Cup. What are your thoughts on the change? Do you think it will make it more likely for you to play?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it's a positive thing. I think Davis Cup has had its issues over the last little while. It needed some kind of a change. I hope this kind of change is well-received by the players.

I think there is going to be obviously some kind of battle between the World Team Cup and this to see who is going to put forth a better event. The one thing that the World Team Cup will have on its side is scheduling at the time of year it will be. But other than that, it's something and it's a fresh start, and I think players will appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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