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August 5, 2019

Milos Raonic

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

M. RAONIC/L. Pouille

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Solid serving in your match today, as well as being aggressive off the return as the match went on. How important is it for you to keep these matches short earlier on in the tournament to preserve your body and health?
MILOS RAONIC: I think the first thing that's the most important is to try to find a way to win. I think then obviously if I can play well, it's always a bonus.

Overall today I have to be happy with the way I did things. I thought I came out, I executed on the things I wanted to do. I knew it was going to be a difficult match. I found a way to sort of get ahold of it and play on my terms.

Q. How do you feel about having to play a Canadian at the Rogers Cup in the second round? Would you prefer you don't have to play against fellow Canadians or is that something you relish?
MILOS RAONIC: I think when I started out on tour, it was something obviously more rare. Me and Vasek played here in the semis. Now with six of us on tour, now especially this week, six of us being in the main draw, it was bound to happen to some extent. I'm sure the odds are much higher than they have been in the past.

It is what it is. Obviously I wish as players, for everybody, everybody could be more evenly spread out. They play first round, then I await the winner of that match. That's just how it plays out sometimes. It's unfortunate it played out that way at home.

Q. Kei Nishikori talked yesterday about being the face of tennis in Japan, how hard that was for him originally. How do you feel about having the young guys coming and helping you being the face of Canadian tennis? Is it helping you or does it make any difference to you?
MILOS RAONIC: It's nice to have more and more people engaged throughout the whole calendar year I think in that perspective. I don't think it makes a difference on me personally when I step out on court.

I think generally for the growth of tennis in Canada, all these kind of things, especially the last year, I played quite a light schedule, for fans to really have somebody to cheer on for many different weeks because now with different broadcasters picking up the tennis, to have that kind of consistency of a Canadian contingency on TV week in, week out, I think that's all very healthy, very positive.

To have two young guys with very high prospects, as well, it's nothing but positive for Canadian tennis.

Q. How do you sort of assess your season up to now?
MILOS RAONIC: It been tough, a tough season in that perspective. I think there's been some hit and misses here and there. I don't think it's anything necessarily to write home about.

I'm still trying to find, like, the first tournament I can get through healthy this year. That alone is pretty tough to swallow.

But it is what it is. I just try to go out each week as best prepared as I can be, try to give it everything I can, try to have my level progress from one week to the next, as well, if possible.

Q. When you walk on the court and they're reading your résumé off, the crowd roars, playing in front of the home crowd whenever you win a big point, does that ever get old to you?
MILOS RAONIC: No, it's exciting. It's one of the most exciting parts about this whole journey. Obviously being here, it's definitely magnified in that perspective. But I think there's a lot of Canadians and a lot of support throughout other parts of the world. That has changed significantly from 2011, when I broke through, to how it is now, how many Canadians come out all over the world to watch and support tennis.

I think once tennis is done for me, that's probably the thing I'll miss the most.

Q. This is your first win in Montreal since 2013. Was that something on your mind? Is it a weight off your shoulders a bit?
MILOS RAONIC: It wasn't something on my mind by any means. I'm aware of it. I remember my matches quite well. So it's not something that I just miraculously forgot (smiling).

It was good. It was a positive thing for me. It was a tough first round against Lucas, who beat me in the quarters this year in Australia. To come out, to play well, to sort of get the wheels going in a positive way, I have to be happy with that.

Q. You mentioned the sort of struggle to stay healthy throughout the tournament. How are you feeling right now after this first match? Are you confident that you can stay healthy this week?
MILOS RAONIC: I hope so. I've tried not to expect too much. I think especially with sort of the history I've had this year, it's led to a lot of disappointment. I've just sort of taken things match by match.

I'm happy with the way I felt on court today. I'm happy with how I feel right now after the match. Hopefully I can continue with those good kind of feelings.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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