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January 24, 2011

Milos Raonic


D. FERRER/M. Raonic
4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you take something from that today?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, there's a lot to learn from today and from the whole two-week experience. Biggest thing is I'm not that far away from this level on a week-to-week basis. So this is a great motivational thing for the work I've done, paying off and everything.
The next step is just what needs to be done, what it is that I need to do to be there with these guys on a week-to-week basis.
I'm going to play a few weeks now consecutively. I'm going to try to maintain this level. These next upcoming tournaments I feel like I can go in and do a lot of damage and keep improving my ranking a lot. So I'm going to go out there and be prepared and prepare myself for each week accordingly and do as much as I can to win.

Q. What was different about playing him compared to Llodra and Youzhny, or was it something to do with you?
MILOS RAONIC: I think even the first set I won, I think he made something like only one unforced error. He wasn't really missing at all. He was always getting behind the ball.
Today it really came down to me, how much I could dictate play. I felt a little bit of a drop in the second set. Then the third set I just ended up getting a bit unlucky. I had a few opportunities, but just got a bit unlucky.
There's really not too much negative from it, if you weigh out everything from these two weeks and from today's match, the scales are going to dip a lot more on the positive side. It's really something good and something nice to look forward to.

Q. You were down two sets to one. Did it enter your mind that you might have to play a fifth set? Would have been the first time in your career.
MILOS RAONIC: No, I played five in Davis Cup. But it's obviously a different level compared to a guy 270. No, I felt like I was ready to. I thought I needed a few things to go my way. He did a very good job. I wasn't serving my best today. He did a very good job on picking up on that, picking up on as many serves, making me play a lot more. Also keeping the pressure on my serve. This took off a lot of pressure on his service games.
I felt just a few points go here and there in that third set or even that fourth set and I'm ready to play a fifth set. At that point my legs are not a hundred percent, but they're there enough, and the adrenaline takes over, and you don't think about it twice.

Q. Did you feel it in the legs towards the end?
MILOS RAONIC: He was getting around me. This started earlier in the second set. My mind was ready to fight for every point, but the legs weren't following as much, and neither was the arm.

Q. You didn't seem to be uncomfortable playing in a big stadium like that.
MILOS RAONIC: No, I actually enjoy it. It's what I look forward to. It's not something that's gonna be any kind of fear for me. It's something I look forward to, to be at this level and be on many of these big stages, these big atmosphere. It's a lot of fun. It means I'm doing something right. So it's like a perk, a bonus.

Q. How do you rate this tournament? Were you surprised a little by yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: If you asked me two weeks ago before qualifying, Milos, where do you see yourself, and I told you, I'm happy to get through quallies, because all these matches are tough.
But really it's something to be very happy about. Now that I look back at it, if you take it match by match, it's not really too much of a surprise. But if you take it from after qualifying, you don't really know who you're going to draw. You could draw No. 4 right away.
But match after match, I believed I could win all my matches. It sort of showed through my game. I spoke detailed with my coach what needs to be done in each of the matches. He has a lot of Grand Slam experience. So he was telling me sort of what to take care of and how to take care of it and that was helping me out a lot.

Q. What did you learn from this?
MILOS RAONIC: The biggest thing is my level's there. It's not that far away. The little things I need to work on to really make that next step.
But it's not really making a next step; it's making this level a week in and week out thing. I could say this would probably be - other than losing some really close matches - this is probably number one in learning for me, especially with the way I've been conducting myself, handling my attitude and everything, from sort of being able to use my game to dictate. I would even more than some big losses, this was the number one learning aspect in my career to date.

Q. I don't know if you've been asked, did you have an idol growing up?
MILOS RAONIC: Yes, Sampras.

Q. What are the little things you need to improve, do you think?
MILOS RAONIC: It's going to come down to, first of all, one thing is just picking up experience, to deal with these kind of situations, to know how to deal when things just don't go the right way. I felt I did a very good job at doing this these two weeks, especially the last three or four matches.
But a few other things are going to be getting a bit stronger. I feel like my legs are always underneath me and they're doing quite well, but I feel like I have to bulk up a bit and get more lean in the upper body. It's also working on the things I'm working on from the baseline.
Today I did well, even though he was making near to none mistakes unforced from the baseline, I was imposing my game. I'm going to have to keep on working on that, making sure that every single match I go into I do the same thing and I keep imposing my game and I don't really let the other play around with me.

Q. When you said you started feeling it in the legs, do you think it was the accumulation of all the pressure matches you played or a little bit of nerves or both? What is your schedule?
MILOS RAONIC: The legs, I think it's tough to go through this many matches. It's not even just that it's just matches. You don't go out there, as much as you want to say you swing freely on everything, you tighten up a little bit. It adds on, the pressure situations, during the two weeks.
I don't feel my legs are really an issue when it's going to come to this. There was a little dip, but it was a lot better than where I've been physically before in my career.
And the next schedule is going to be Johannesburg. I'm going to fly out over the next few days. I got quallies there. That will be good to pick up some matches with altitude and everything. It will be good to get used to those conditions. Then I'll go over to San Jose. Memphis most likely I will play. Depends how many matches I'm playing in a row. I don't want to tire myself out or risk getting hurt. I'll do Acapulco to prepare for Davis Cup.

Q. That's a lot of traveling.
MILOS RAONIC: It's going to be a lot. But I feel like I'm prepared and playing a good enough level to do well at these tournaments.

Q. How did you pick up tennis?
MILOS RAONIC: Uhm, it sort of came up through a camp, summer camp. Right after this, two or three weeks after this, I stopped. A coach said to me, Please don't give up the sport. I moved to a new area, probably about an hour and a half away from Mississauga to Thornhill, so an hour away.
Later my father found sort of like a place to go play with a coach and everything. I picked it up. At first it was a recreational start, and it led to something a lot bigger. That's why I'm here today.

Q. How old were you?
MILOS RAONIC: Eight, almost nine.

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