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April 10, 2011

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/M. Llodra
6-3, 0-6, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After the score was 3-All in the first set, you won 6-Love, you lost 6-Love, and you won 6-Love. It's crazy. It looks like women's tennis.
MILOS RAONIC: I think there's probably been some better women's matches than that match today.
No, but it's my first match. Never even played a challenger match on a clay court. Just sort of took a little bit of figuring out what to do. I'm still sort of trying to find my game, what the right way to play on clay is for me.
I was fortunate enough to get through that one and sort of give myself another chance to pick up more experience in a real-match situation. In the next round, sort of look to get better.

Q. Had you not played a challenger match or anything on clay through choice or...
MILOS RAONIC: No. The thing is, I don't think I've even played that many challengers. I sort of came up quickly. I played futures, not last year, the year before, probably five weeks on clay. I've played a few times in the States on green clay, but it's a completely different type of style of tennis.
So I played Davis Cup on clay, but both times last year and this year were on altitude, so that's even a different situation. Today it was overcast the whole day. The situations were quite heavy. The court was quite damp. I think it rained last night.
It's the sort of conditions I never dealt with before, so I'm happy I was able to manage it as much as possible.

Q. The week in Barcelona, clay training, did you pick up a lot from that?
MILOS RAONIC: Oh, yeah, for sure. I keep picking up a lot every practice. I practice twice a day. Each one makes a big difference. I'm going to be spending a lot of time on the courts making sure I'm working to get better on it, making sure I'm trying to do the right things. Not just get on the clay courts, but I think if I can play better here, it will make a difference, and I'll improve on the hard courts and other surfaces.

Q. What is the biggest challenge for you for your game physically to adjust to clay?
MILOS RAONIC: Firstly, it's going to be that I hit shots that I expect to be finishing the point on, and there's always one ball more coming back. Sometimes it ends up being 10 balls in one point more coming back. That's the biggest thing.
I think another big thing is sort of changing the mental adaptation to it, being ready for these kind of situations, these kind of long points where everything does come back.
It's a learning process. But I'm ready to use it to progress as much as possible.

Q. Do you think you can have fun on it?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, yeah. I think things can get a lot better than today. I'll be smiling more those days than I did today.

Q. Is movement perhaps one of the most crucial elements in the transition from hard courts to clay, getting your feet in the right spot?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, the thing is, a big sort of thing I'm not used to is a lot of time when the ball goes far away from me, I'm grabbing onto a slice position just trying to get the ball back, whereas here I would have a lot of time. I'm just putting a ball back in, when I should be getting behind it.
It's just that mental, knowing the ball is far away from me, I have to get used to knowing I have a lot more time, and also knowing they're going to hit more balls back. Just all these kind of things.
Movement's definitely a big thing. But I found I was playing in dry conditions in Barcelona. It was really hot last week. It was a bit more easier to slide. I have been struggling here because the courts in general here have been a bit more damp. I haven't played on a lot of different clay courts, so for me it's week by week getting used to the different conditions.

Q. Did the fact you played him and beat him in Australia, when you got to one set all, did you think you could beat him even though it was different circumstances to today?
MILOS RAONIC: It definitely makes a big difference in the mindset. I always know there's sort of that confidence. If I can just put things together, I can sort of turn it my way 'cause of the previous results and how I played against him.
It was just a matter of finding sort of what I needed to do to pull it through.

Q. Who were you training with in Barcelona?
MILOS RAONIC: A lot of the time I spend with my coach, Galo Blanco. He still plays at a top level. Sort of this way I can focus on things I always need to work on. I trained with Almagro, with Marcel Granollers. There's a lot of different players. Tommy Robredo. It's one of the probably better atmospheres and most competitive atmospheres, good when preparing for tournaments, preparing to be on the tour for a long time, a good environment to be in.

Q. In the end, do you like to play on clay?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I'm liking it more and more by the day. I look quite frustrated because I always want to win. But it's fun. It's a lot more fun than I might show it (smiling).
As long as it keeps getting better day to day, week by week, I'll be smiling more and more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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