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January 19, 2019

Milos Raonic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

M. RAONIC/P. Herbert

6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What can you say about today?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I'm happy. To pull up two days after the tough match I had and play a pretty quite good actually level of tennis, efficient, I think that was all very positive for me.

Q. What were you expecting from him? We all contrast with Wawrinka.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I knew he was going to go for things. I knew he would connect on a few returns. He plays a lot of doubles so he's used to guys serving hard, and him having to swing quite hard at it. He can't just put in his returns, he's got to go for his returns.

The two that helped him even out the tiebreaker were pretty incredible, nothing I could do there. But I also knew I'd have a few opportunities. I had a few and made the most of them. Overall happy with it.

Q. How do you feel balancing in terms of wear and tear from the first week versus the fact that you played three very tough guys, should be pretty battle-tested?
MILOS RAONIC: I think there's positive things in it. I have been pushed. I have been having stressful moments in matches that I've handled quite well. I think that gives me some ease going into sort of the challenges further along.

Obviously there's some kind of things you don't really know how you're going to pull out when you have those kind of guys up in the first few rounds. But I'm happy with the way I did.

I haven't had the chance to play that many matches over a long period of time now, so to have that kind of test, to prove well in it, I think it's pretty good.

Q. You've been through enough things in your career by now that maybe nothing surprises you. The two opponents you had in the first round, I don't remember anybody having that much. When you come up to a third round guy who on paper should be an easier opponent, is it easy to let down and say, I've gotten through the worst?
MILOS RAONIC: It could be, especially considering how physical the last match was, how many important and tight moments. It was something that I was well aware of that I didn't want to let happen.

He's played well this week. He beat Querrey first round, who is a player that plays similar to I. He managed to fend that off. He played Chung the second round, who was defending a semis here. I knew that he was doing things well.

He won the first few matches also in the first tournament of the year, I believe. I knew he's been playing well over the last little while. It could have happened, but it wasn't an issue today.

Q. You get a chance to catch any of Denis? If you did, any impression?
MILOS RAONIC: I only caught that sort of comeback that he made in the fourth set -- third set, sorry, that comeback from 4-1 down. Novak looked like he was going to go up 5-2, as well. He fought back and did some things extremely well. I went to do ice bath. It went by quickly.

He's playing well. I didn't watch so much of today because I had my own things to do. I saw his other two matches this week. He's playing well. I think he's added a few things to his game. He's stepped up, improved a few things. Now he's got to keep putting himself in that situation. I think things will come for him. He's very capable.

Q. Possibly Zverev next. You played at Wimbledon before, I believe.
MILOS RAONIC: Yes, Wimbledon, Rome.

Q. You have a lot more success than he has in majors. Is that something you can tangibly draw on a match like this? Is it not something you think about?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's irrelevant because you don't know how those things are going to sort of play out. That's sort of on his end of things. I've been here quite a few times now, the start of the second week. I got to just focus on the things I know I need to do.

If any of this sort of Grand Slam talk I guess has any effect on him, it can sort of creep in, but there's nothing I can impose that kind of pressure on him. I got to use my game to put pressure on him. I don't know if the situation will get to him or not.

Q. You had a day off yesterday, right?

Q. If you do the same tomorrow, can we get together for a coffee?
MILOS RAONIC: Just for that reason, I will not take a day off tomorrow. I will be on the court for five hours (laughter).

Q. What did you do yesterday when you had nothing to do? What do you plan to do tomorrow?
MILOS RAONIC: I tried to sleep in. I saw a movie. Went to the gym for an hour and a half. Did a few things. I didn't feel I needed to be on court. Also coming here, it's not like people think: you come here and go on court for an hour. That's not the scenario. You have to come an hour and a half early, warm up, cool down. It ends up being a three-hour hoorah that you stay out here. I stayed away from that, tried to give myself a chance to get in as much fluid, eat well, to recover and be fresh for today.

Q. What movie did you see?

Q. Did you like it?
MILOS RAONIC: Extremely good. Very good movie.

Q. Coming from the cool climate of Canada overnight to Australia, how do you condition yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: I spent a few days in Canada, but the rest I trained in a tropical climate. I spent the time in the off-season in The Bahamas. I trained there in I think it was maybe not as hot as the first few days, but much warmer and more humid than today. I've been in this kind of condition, I'd say, since early December.

Q. A stats question. You had 51 winners today, 12 unforced errors, which is very good. 23 of those 51 are aces. Should aces be counted in with the winners?
MILOS RAONIC: I think aces should. I think aces should, yeah. If it's a shot that you hit that somebody is not able to put their racquet on, a winner is a winner.

Q. Are you biased about that by any chance?
MILOS RAONIC: I'm always trying to pad my stats (smiling).

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