home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 12, 2011

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/E. Gulbis
6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What did you think when you lost three match points, five points in a row? Were you a little bit worried?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I don't think I've ever done that before. Knowing here it's tough to get the free points with the serve... I think I just played a sloppy first one, then after that just nerves got a bit in the way.
But I was happy with how I sort of put it all together right after. I was able to reel off a few points in a row. I just tried as best as I could to keep it under control. I'm happy with the outcome.

Q. Are you a little bit surprised you've won these two matches so comfortably?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I'm happy with it. Surprised? The only thing that I'm sort of surprised is how I was practicing and stuff. I felt I practiced really well in Barcelona. I got here and I wasn't feeling that great on these practice courts. They are a bit more humid. It hasn't been really that hot here. It's been quite a bit slower.
I'm surprised how I've been adjusting to it and sort of dealing with it day to day. I'm just happy with how I'm dealing with everything, the way things are coming. I'm taking my opportunities. The best thing for me is I feel I'm getting better on the clay.

Q. The time you spent in Barcelona last year, is this paying dividends now?
MILOS RAONIC: It was all on hard last year. It's a common misconception. They train, they prepare on the surface they're going to play on.
The only days really that were spent on clay during this time were for fitness. We did a first 10 days, probably spent three days when it rained a bit on the clay courts, which were in better condition than the hard courts. This is really the only time really spent on it.

Q. You seem to move better and better on the clay. You were moving better than the first round. Are you surprised you're getting more comfortable on this surface?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I hope so with how much I'm spending on it. I hope I'm getting better rather than worse.
I'm happy with how I'm dealing with things. I felt I was able to adapt, not just physically well, but mentally I was ready for the longer points. I was being more patient today than I was the first day. I wasn't really rushing.
I felt I could have been a bit more aggressive, when I sat down with my coach just now in the locker room. I thought I was starting off the points really well, making sure he couldn't attack me, playing deep, high, sort of taking away his chances to be aggressive. But when I was getting mine, I was hesitating a bit too much.
Thankfully I have tomorrow, get out tomorrow, work on these kind of things, try to get better. I'll definitely need it for whoever I play next. It will be a fun challenge.

Q. Is it tough to the focus, to play against a player like Ernests?
MILOS RAONIC: It's tough to play everybody at this level. No one type of player is easier to play than the next. Everybody, to be at this level, they can do pretty amazing things. Either they're going to be the most steady guy there that's going to be there for five hours, or they're going to be some guy that can have great talent, can really come up with a lot of good shots.
For me, I can't really control what he does. So my job is to focus on what I'm doing, what I'm able to control, how I'm hitting the ball, not rushing. If I start to think about him too much, I get ahead of myself and I'm not focusing on the right things.

Q. In the next round, it's going to be one guy or another that's there for five hours. Can you break down either López or Ferrer?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, the thing is, both of them, they have a lot more experience than I do on the clay. They're both quite veterans, especially on the tour, not just on the clay.
With either of them, I think my job going through these matches, hopefully to keep winning, to keep getting better, I just have to focus on myself, focus on what I need to do.
Obviously, they play two different styles. I'll have to approach both players differently. I need to take care of myself first. After this, I think I can give myself a chance to win.

Q. You have a coach with some inside knowledge.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, for sure. He'll help me. We'll get out on the courts tomorrow. Obviously, I don't know who I play. What I think we'll work on tomorrow is more myself and try not to think about them too much.
I feel if I'm able to control the court and dictate, I always have a good chance.

Q. Do you think there is a big gap between the way you play on hard court and clay?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I think the gap is getting smaller and smaller by the day, probably by the hour, that I spend on court. But I think just because I'm getting better here, I think it's also going to help me improve on hard courts. I think it's going to be a good transition I can use for hard courts. I think even though I'm developing here, I think it will also make a direct effect on my hard court results and my hard court level.
I think this is something to take away from all of this. It's not just I'm trying to get better on clay; I'm trying to get better as a tennis player, and this is a necessary part of it.

Q. How much have you played on grass?
MILOS RAONIC: Probably you can count it within minutes, hours.

Q. Are you looking forward to trying?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, for sure. I think it's going to be an amazing challenge. The thing is, every week this year, I've never played any other tournaments before. So every week is sort of like a new challenge, something new to sort of absorb, something new to get used to, figure out which courts have the bad bounces, which courts are better, which lockers are your lucky locker, all these kind of things.
I don't think about this stuff too much, but every week is something new. I think I'm just not getting ahead of myself. I'm trying to control what I can and stay within myself and take care of what I need to do.
I think the more I keep improving, because of the difficulty of movement on grass, it's a bit slippery at times, you have to stay low. I think getting better on clay, as far as moving goes, is going to help me there.
I'll make sure after the French I have time to prepare and obviously give myself the best chance I can to win.

Q. What is the major problem on clay for you now? Is it sliding, the footwork?
MILOS RAONIC: No. I think it's more the mentality behind it. I'm used to knowing if I hit a good forehand, the point could be over. Here it's not just one good forehand, it comes down to a few good forehands in a row. I think switching the chip on this, always expecting the ball to come back, just being prepared to have to play a lot of long points, a lot of good shots. Also yourself, having the opportunity to get back into more points, I think this is just something I'm trying to get used to as much as possible. I think this is getting better by the day.

Q. Did you watch the Masters, the final day of the golf? There was a young player, McIlroy, who kind of fell apart in the closing stages. How important is it for you, at your age, to develop the mental aspects of the game?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, right now the only thing that's getting me through it. I don't have, like these other players, experience of dealing with 40-Love, losing these three match points, especially with the comfort I have on my serve. So it's the only thing that can get me through the matches. I can't go back and be like, This has happened to me a thousand times, I know how to deal with this. No, I just try to stay within myself and try to think about the next point, not try to think about which cliff is the highest to jump off of if I was to throw that opportunity away (smiling).
But I think it's the most important part because I don't have really too much else to rely on. When it gets to those situations where my forehand is not going the way it wants, that's normal. Nobody's going to deal with pressure like it's nothing. It's definitely an effect. You just try to deal with it the best way you can.

Q. Most people, when they come to their first time in Monte-Carlo, are stunned by something, a car, a person, sights. Is there anything that particular you've gone, My goodness, what was that? I might buy one of those one day.
MILOS RAONIC: Yesterday I remember sitting at dinner trying to come up with this actor's name. We saw Hugh Grant at dinner. This was probably the thing that sticks out to me more than any other car. You don't even have to see the cars, you can hear them driving at night. You're like, Oh, which one is that? Half a million?
No, but it's really a spectacular place. The first thing my coach told me when we got here, we came after an hour to the club, first thing he told me, Go up there, climb up behind center court and take a look over center court and absorb the view. I think I tweeted it right away. This was probably the most spectacular thing, just like knowing where I am, absorbing, understanding I'm actually here playing, I'm not at some future in somebody's backyard playing a clay court tournament.

Q. Maybe Hugh Grant tweeted about seeing you in the restaurant.
MILOS RAONIC: I doubt that. I was actually too shy to ask for a picture, but I think that would have been pretty awesome.

Q. Was he with a beautiful woman?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't know. I was thinking about who he was. I was trying to remember the name. Hugh Jackson kept coming up to my mind. I'm like, No, that's the big buff Aussie guy. My coach reminded me of who it was.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297