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BNP PARIBAS OPEN


March 13, 2019


Milos Raonic


Indian Wells, California

MILOS RAONIC/J. Struff

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is it hard to play second fiddle to Bianca today?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, she's done an incredible thing throughout this week, and I didn't see that match today, but beat GarbiƱe in that manner, you know. Chapeau.

Q. Shapo? Chapeau?
MILOS RAONIC: Don't complicate it, Tom.

Q. What were you happy with about your game today?
MILOS RAONIC: I didn't serve well by any means. I did manage to sort of mitigate that issue and I gave myself a lot of opportunities. I started off slow. But once I got more and more into the match, I think I had opportunities on numerous occasions.

Q. First week working with Santoro, what's it been like?
MILOS RAONIC: It's been good. Just a lot of discussion and just using a little bit better the things I already do. We obviously haven't had a chance or opportunity to incorporate anything completely new, but it's just sort of been about organizing my game and shuffling a few things around that I'm trying to do and just to find a way to be more efficient. It's been positive.

Q. Obviously you have very different games but you both seem detail-oriented people. What have you liked about the way he coaches?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's sort of approach. He's very meticulous. Throughout practice he knows exactly pretty much what he wants to achieve with each minute.

I can sort of -- if that's not the scenario, I can sometimes tune out of a practice. I feel like I always need to be challenged throughout a practice. With the approach of other players, we both take the time, sit down together, we watch matches. We watch a few things that we pick up, and we have that discussion before I go out on court against them to sort of see what I want to do.

Q. Are you going to be hitting any forehand slices?
MILOS RAONIC: If I do start hitting forehand slices it won't be because I'm in a good place. It's because I'm in trouble.

Q. Kecmanovic. You beat him a little while ago.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, played him in Brisbane. He plays fast and flat off both sides. He tries to take time away from me. I remember a few times I was a little bit too passive, but there is a few things I feel I could do better. And obviously he had a really good week there, qualifying and winning his first match in Brisbane.

And then here, getting a nice lucky loser spot with a bye, and winning three good matches so far and winning one match in quallies, as well.

It's going to be important that I can sort of try to take away his rhythm and give him a few different looks.

Q. This has now become not by far but definitely your best Masters 1000 tournament in terms of record. Is there an explanation about that?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, for good reasons and sometimes not for the best reasons. It's always worked out that I have had a little bit of a training period before this event. I have tried to incorporate things in that time. I have sort of sharpened up things on and off the court. I have never really come here in a rush from any other events, a few times because of injury, this year because I didn't do so well in the previous event.

So I have always had time, and I have been able to approach here. The conditions are good. There is a very good amount of Canadian support here. I think it's one that I feel the most comfortable at.

Q. Were you extra pumped because of what happened against Struff last time a couple weeks ago?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think there were things I really disliked about the way I went about in that match that I wanted to change. I don't think I was extra pumped, per se, but I definitely was a lot more diligent about the way I went about things than I did the last time.

Q. Which means what?
MILOS RAONIC: Just my attitude wasn't good last time I played him. There was a few things, a few moments and lapses in concentration. He was the one that was dictating most of the time. I didn't get the opportunity to sort of incorporate my game.

There was a few things where I looked back at that match sort of upset and errors that I was making that I felt about things that were in my control.

Q. Do you see yourself as a mentor or role model for the young Canadian players? The young guns?
MILOS RAONIC: I've gotten to know them over the last few years. We have spent one Davis Cup together. We haven't had the chance to really spend time when everybody has not been on their own schedule, but it's nice to see them doing well other than Denis. Bianca and Felix, they came up -- Bianca has been there recently through the national program system for a couple of years. Felix for a very long time. I was there a few years. Bianca has been there, I'm not sure how long, but I know she's working in that group now.

I think it's been a really positive time for Canadian tennis, and it's been a real inspiration and joy for me to see the progress and how things are going.

Q. When you were first coming up, you did talk a little bit about that, that you wanted to be kind of a standard bearer for Canadian tennis. Do you feel like that's happening now? You have had the impact that you wanted to?
MILOS RAONIC: I'd like to think so, but, you know, tennis is one of those sports where it's very individual. Everybody takes their own path in different ways. You can see it amongst -- you know, I never had my parents coaching me. I know Denis has had quite a lot of help from his mom. Felix I remember when I was at the National Tennis Center, his father was his coach for many years. I'm not sure at which point he switched.

I'm think we have all taken different paths, but as a Canadian when you put in the time and effort, it can really pay off, and as a Canadian you can succeed in tennis in singles.

Q. Denis was talking this week, he and Felix as kids going and watching you play Davis Cup and feeling inspired. What's it feel like to hear that kind of thing?
MILOS RAONIC: Incredible honor, especially with the massive potential that the two of them have. I think a big part of the success that Canada is having is before there wasn't really guys that you really competed with.

Canada being a big country, everybody would be from a different province and play in their own provincial ranks and meet up just for nationals.

For my group, it was me and Vasek. We were the same age. For Denis and Felix, they had each other. I think that kind of constant national competition made them strive and try to make the most of things.

And I think that's a big part of the reason the success has been on such a big incline over the last few years.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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