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January 15, 2019

Milos Raonic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

M. RAONIC/N. Kyrgios

6-4, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Nick came in here and said he's never seen anyone serve quite like that before. Where does that rank for you?
MILOS RAONIC: I did the things well. I served well. I played him a bunch of times now to know a little bit more. It's obviously hard to know what's going to come from Nick. That sometimes can be the most unnerving part.

But I served well today. I was efficient. I kept a high first-serve percentage. There wasn't many situations where I was in trouble. But when it was a little bit close, I stepped up and did a good job.

Q. Can you explain why? You'd like to do that every single match, obviously. Why did you actually do it tonight?
MILOS RAONIC: You know, I've been serving well since the start of this year. I spent a little bit more time working on it in the off-season. I got to just hit more serves. I didn't do anything differently.

But there is no direct reason. I served well in my first three matches. I've been consistently serving well. Today I think it's a little bit quicker here. That helps me, as well, especially if you hit your spots.

Q. One of the unique aspects of tennis is you guys control your careers, hire your coaches, decide how much you play compared to team sports. What is the most difficult aspect of that for you?
MILOS RAONIC: You have an idea of what you should do, and over the years you try to adjust that to figure out what's best for you. I don't know if I've necessarily figured out the exact formula for me. But I think that's the part you're always trying to figure out.

I guess to some extent it would be much easier if someone told me where I have to play, where I have to be, if I didn't have to think about it too much. I'm constantly trying to figure out the way I can give myself the best chance to play healthy, play week in and week out.

Q. You meet Stan next, which can be another kind of tough early match. Have you ever had such a tough first two rounds at a Grand Slam before?
MILOS RAONIC: No. Obviously I think if there was a discussion, there was probably about four guys, especially now since there was a few guys that were hurt throughout the last year or a little bit longer, there was about four guys, maybe five, that I can think right off the top of my head, and I got to go up against two of them.

It is what it is. I got to play well. I got to worry about myself.

Q. Do you think that makes you a bit sharper at the start of the tournament?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it demands a little bit more of you. Takes off a little bit of pressure. You know how you're not sure how you're going to start in tournaments? I think it sort of just -- it's good to have those nerves. I think it just demands a sharper version of yourself.

Q. Do you have to be a straight man when you play Nick? Comedy teams, there's a straight guy and a funny guy. You have to stay calm, and he does all kinds of weird things?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I have to stay calm all the time. I don't think it matters if it's Nick. I'm not going to be the guy putting on the theatrics too much on the court. I'm going to be trying to do my things well, be efficient with them.

Obviously with him, you try to sort of put out everything else that's going on the other side of the net, focus on what you need to do.

Q. Specifically against Stan, what is your plan of attack, strategy against him?
MILOS RAONIC: Keep the points short. You know, he really likes to get into a rhythm of being aggressive. It takes him a few shots sometimes, especially in a match you got to keep the points short, keep him a bit off-balance.

Q. Aside from staying healthy, do you have anything specific that you would like to achieve this year, a number in mind, a tournament, anything at all?
MILOS RAONIC: I would like to be back playing the World Tour Finals.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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