August 25, 2020
New York, New York, USA
M. RAONIC/A. Murray
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What's the game planning like when an opponent has had such a great run of success against you, even if there is not a lot of recent data as far as that goes?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think for me, especially after being away for so long for myself but then for him, as well -- I watched a little bit of the matches, the previous two, just out of curiosity how things were going for him.
So it gave me a little bit of an insight, but I just really tried to do the things that I'm good at well, and that was really my intention. A lot of those things I did well today.
Q. You did that, and did you have any awareness of the other side of the court in feeling a difference with him, perhaps with his retrieval skills or general speed from what you remember in your memory?
MILOS RAONIC: It's hard to say, because last time I think we played 2016, end-of-the-year Finals, you know. He was 1 in the world. Then I got to 3. So I think obviously conditions for both are different.
You know, he still has those hands where he can retrieve things. I don't know necessarily if he's changing directions as quickly, but I think that's going to come. I think a lot of that can also just be match, you know, repetitions and that kind of thing where your body just loosens up a bit more.
I have been through that thing where -- not to the extent that he has, because his bad fortune with injuries over the last few years has been very unfortunate, but when you're sort of questioning yourself, I know that feeling, like when you're not sure how everything's going to feel each day, how you're going to wake up.
I just focused on doing my things well and focused secondary on what's across the court.
Q. Have you been surprised by the speed of the courts there? Certainly Isner, until five minutes ago, big servers, Opelka, yourself, have really taken advantage so far.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, they are a bit quicker than I remember it. I have hit a few times on the main courts. They are slower, the main two.
But I think the US Open has always been a little bit quick, and obviously those two with not getting sunlight most of the days after they get redone tend to be a bit slower. So I think it's hard to make an identical court indoors and outdoors pretty much.
Q. This is also a brand new surface. It's not the DecoTurf anymore, so it's completely different.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, but obviously the same thing has presented itself. Practicing on Ashe and Louis has been slower than on the courts we have been playing on.
Q. You mentioned Andy's physical problems, and you also had your fair share of injuries. What do you make of the fact that he's able to still beat a top-10 player and compete and play a slam and everything like that, considering everything he's been through?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it's incredible. The fact that he's able to beat a top-10 player doesn't surprise me. I think Andy holds himself to a high standard. If he didn't feel like he could come out and compete with the best, I think maybe he'd have second thoughts about it.
But you know what? There is a piece of the metal in his hip, and there is not many guys coming back from that. So congratulations to him, and, you know, every single time he does step out there, it's going to be impressive each time.
I think he gives a lot of people an understanding of what it really takes and how much heart he really has.
Q. Where do you feel your game is at? You looked really good out there. I'm wondering, where do you feel your game is at compared to your peak?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I'm a better player, but I think, you know, I need to be able to play matches consecutively. I need to be able to play weeks consecutively, tournaments consecutively, to be able to be a better player when it comes to questions of stepping up in the right moments in big matches.
Q. Andy Murray was using the sneak attack yesterday on second serve. Today we know that it was difficult to do it, but you know what he did yesterday to the main idea to, well...
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I saw what he was doing. You know, Sascha is a great player, but he has had, over the last couple of weeks, some issues with the second serve and putting in some more -- his doubles have gone up high in some matches where he hasn't necessarily been playing his best. I think it was, No. 1, a strategy but also a psychological thing.
And I think you saw it pay off for Andy towards the end of that match. I didn't see the last two games but I heard about, I think there were two doubles to start at 5-6 or something. When Sascha was serving for it at deuce, there were two doubles in a row, as well, or something, something along those lines.
But that's sort of how I remember it towards the end of the match. I think it was something he was trying to let the other opponent know. Andy is very good at that. Andy's tactic in adjusting to the other players is probably one of the best probably ever. You have some guys who go out there and try to impose themselves, and then you have Andy who goes out there, does his thing, but also makes it very difficult for his opponent to do their own thing.
Q. Has this tournament met or exceeded your expectations the way that you played, that you're into the quarterfinals?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I'm happy with the performances, and I sort of expected -- I know the work I did -- you know, I didn't wait till six or eight weeks before tournaments started to start up with my training.
As soon as we got called off, and as soon as it was announced that Wimbledon wasn't happening, I took the ten days off after the announcement initially. I think it was on a Sunday for Indian Wells, and then on the Wednesday, the 11th I believe was declared a pandemic by WHO. And even those days in between I trained. I took ten days off and I started training.
So I have done the work. I have put in the effort, and I'm just happy that this quickly the pieces are coming together.
Q. Have you set any goals for yourself, what you'd like to be able to accomplish with the remainder of the season?
MILOS RAONIC: No. It's hard to really know. It's hard to put numbers on it just because to have a sense how this new ranking system is going to go. I think it's harder for people to move up and down necessarily, especially amongst the top guys, since guys are holding on to points since March of last year.
But for me it's been to give myself the best chance and stay healthy to win each match out there. Something as simple as that just really gives me the freedom to play with the right intention and the right mindset.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports