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January 28, 2020

Milos Raonic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-4, 6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had a great tournament before tonight. Never lost serve before. How does it feel to play with Djokovic, for the 10th time to lose to him?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's tough. But overall a lot of positive things for me this week. I think that's where my focus is at.

Today was a tough match. I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I was going to have to do things well.

The conditions were tough. It was one of the first times I think really that I've played here, definitely this tournament, when it's this cold in the evening. So it made it a little bit slower. I knew that was going to be a challenge.

But I just tried to make the best of it. He was just too good.

Q. What needed to happen tonight that didn't happen against him?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I came in with sort of the wrong game plan. I think I needed to mix up speeds a little bit more. I think I was trying to play through him a little bit too much at the beginning.

Him, all the other top guys as well, once they sort of can get into a groove, get their balance behind them, things get more difficult. He was in a lot of my service games. I was sort of holding on. But eventually at one point he found an opening.

I think I needed to execute a little bit better, maybe go in with a different approach.

Q. They showed a graphic at one point showing he was about a meter and a half in closer to return your serve than any of your opponents so far this week. Do you feel that?
MILOS RAONIC: You feel it not because it comes back necessarily quicker, but the fact is that he gets his racquet on a lot of returns. That's the part. He just makes you play more and more.

Obviously on the second-serve return, he does have a much better return than most of the rest of the tour. But on the first serve, you feel it because he just gets his hand on it.

Even if it's a crappy ball in the middle of the court, you still have to hit another one. You know he can defend really well. That weighs on you over time.

Q. What is the plan? You're finishing healthy. That's good news. Are you going to mix up the schedule to have more rest time or...
MILOS RAONIC: Well, right now the plan is to go to New York, play there, to play Delray Beach. That's what is sort of the schedule for now. See where I'm at. Have to figure out what I'm going to do that week following that, if Acapulco is a possibility or not. Indian Wells, Miami.

Then I have to see where I am and I'll see what I'm going to do in terms of clay.

Q. Having had your injury, coming back, being kind to yourself during that process, being realistic.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I mean, you try to do different things. You try to find solutions. You try to find a way to stay healthy, to be able to consistently play. Sometimes things work. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they work a little bit longer than others.

You can't really know until you go through it. I've been training a different way. Hopefully that gives me the freedom to play and I can be playing week after week, finishing tournaments healthy, then not think about much more than getting to the next one and preparing as best as I can for it.

Q. Did you see the match of Federer today? What were you thinking? Many would have retired. Sometimes it happened to you, too, you don't want to retire?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it happens. I think everybody has a different approach on it. I think one important thing is that you know it's something that you can't make much worse.

I don't think anybody's naïve enough that they're going to play through something, and instead of missing, if they are hurt, two weeks or three weeks that they're going to risk missing eight months. I think you have to have a little bit of an understanding.

I've played here when I was in the semis against Andy. I got hurt. I knew Roger had a chance today, he created a chance for himself. I knew at that moment I didn't have a chance. I finished the match. It's happened to me at Wimbledon and other events, especially the bigger ones where you don't want to step away. You take the inevitable outcome.

But it was impressive for Roger to be able to turn it around the way he did, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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