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March 11, 2019

Milos Raonic

Indian Wells, California

M. RAONIC/M. Giron

4-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You were pretty effusive in your praise of this young man on the court. Did he surprise you?
MILOS RAONIC: No, not necessarily. I saw the things that he did in his previous matches. I knew he could play really well. I think I created a lot of chances and a few maybe I didn't take the way I would have liked. But he also stepped up well on his chances. Both games he broke me, I think he came up with two great forehand passing shots out of twice in each game.

So he came up with the goods and definitely pushed me sort of to the brink there where I was getting a little bit frustrated. I just kept trying to plug away. There was two games that I had break chances to get back into the third, and I didn't make it count. Luckily I made the last two count.

Q. I saw in your first game or something you hit a 141-mile-an hour serve. He not only got it back but he got the point. I thought this is going to be something. Did you notice that?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I knew he was swinging freely. I knew he was going to do a lot of different things. I had to sort of figure out -- you know, I got to see him play three matches, I think.

It was hard to judge his match with Chardy because it was on that extremely windy Thursday, but I got to see him play three matches, but all three matches against smaller guys that don't really play the way I do. Kecmanovic, who I think is 6', De Minaur who is 6', just around there, Fabbiano who is under 6'.

So I didn't necessarily know how he was going to do against a guy that served bigger, and I thought he handled a lot of the times it well, and he just get plugging away.

Q. You said after the match you tried to kind of feed off the fact that you had been in that situation before. What's that look like in a match? What are like examples of how you do that?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's really about just sticking through. I just kept missing opportunities. I could have sort of drifted off a few times mentally.

I just kept plugging away and giving myself chances. I don't know how many I missed. I think I missed three or four chances in the first two games combined. I think I had Love-40 in one of them.

There were just things that I wish I had done better, but I just kept with the understanding of he hasn't been in this scenario before and just tried to make him play in a few more of the situations. And also the understanding that I felt like I could step up my level, and that's what I was trying to do.

Q. First match of the day. Very cold sort of conditions. How did that play into how you played?
MILOS RAONIC: You know, he has a little bit of an Eastern grip on that forehand. I tried to get it high on his forehand a few times.

I think the ball didn't come up as much as I would have liked. In the beginning I was trying to stand a little bit closer, but it was helping his serves die down a little bit more, his second serves.

So I just had to adjust a little bit from the last few days, especially even if it's cold, with the sun out, the court heats up a little bit, but obviously that wasn't the case today.

Q. Zverev might be in the next round.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. Played a couple of weeks ago. Now I'm going to have to serve well. I'm going to have to mix it up and do some of the things better and be more aggressive with my forehand.

Q. I don't know if you've been asked this, but it's been quite a week for the Canadians. You are sort of the elder statesman. Can you talk about that?
MILOS RAONIC: It's incredible. Bianca had that very convincing win yesterday. Felix beating a top 10 guy, his first match I believe playing a top 10 guy. Denis played really well from the moments that I saw yesterday against Johnson.

It's been a very good week and I think, you know, it's new and it's sort of fresh, but I don't think that will be the case for long. I think it's just going to get better in that sense.

Q. You said after you felt worried. Do you actually feel kind of like I got to get this going, almost a little anxious almost?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. I mean, didn't want to come out in the third and first service game lose my serve.

You know, create a few opportunities, especially Love-40, to have three consecutive break points, to not make that count, there is some of sort of that frustration that creeps in because you're looking at these chances go right by in front of you, and you're not making the most of it.

So it's good to be a little bit worried and a little bit anxious. It sort of gets you to step things up and fix the scenario a little bit quicker.

Q. You were the first one to break through in this generation, even ahead of Bouchard. Have you a sense that you have inspired the people who have come behind?
MILOS RAONIC: I think so. I think it's more of the sense of I think they're not that much younger than me, so I think they had different idols. Like when they were first watching tennis, I wasn't on tour in that sense.

But I think with my breakthrough I sort of gave them the sense of belief that, Hey, as a Canadian, you can do this, that the work that you put in can pay off and it can pay off in a good way and it isn't unchartered territory.

And I think that takes you a long ways, especially when you have some hurdles to get over or things aren't going as you'd like or training isn't paying off as quickly as you would like. It sort of keeps your nose down to the floor and just grinding away.

Q. Do you feel like you have a little bit of a monkey on your back being from Canada, and like Murray did trying to come through and win a major?
MILOS RAONIC: Not by any chance to the extent that Murray did; that's for sure. I think I put a monkey on my back with my own self-expectations but not for anybody else. I think this is all new things.

And I don't know, if you look back before 2011 or '10, if anybody said, Hey, we might have a chance to compete for Grand Slams in singles, anybody would have taken you seriously in any aspect of the tennis world. So I don't think that's the case.

Q. Do you feel like you're a good example for young players? What are some of the things about yourself that are good to copy?
MILOS RAONIC: I try everything I can to be better each day. I think I'm obsessive about that in every facet on court, off court. I try everything I can to be a better tennis player each and every day.

And I think I might have done it a little bit differently than other players that are around. I stayed in school all the way through and all these kind of things. I had parents that weren't athletes, that were engineers.

I think if you have the desire and the will to put in the effort each and every day, it can really pay off for you if this is where you want to be.

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