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March 11, 2012

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/C. Berlocq
6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Andy Murray said he thought the Plexipave was playing slower this year than last year.テつ Do you have a memory last year to this year how it felt out there tonight?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think it was pretty similar from last year.テつ I remember last year I played most of my matches at night, so it's also a big part of it.テつ I think if you play during the day and it's hot the ball will go quicker, so I think this is a big factor.
I think last night played at night, so I think‑‑ I don't know.テつ I don't know.テつ I haven't played on these courts enough to have that insight, as well.

Q.テつ Have you heard yet if you'll play tomorrow night?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't think I play tomorrow.テつ I don't think I play‑‑

Q.テつ I mean Tuesday night.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Tuesday?テつ I don't know.テつ I'm not sure.

Q.テつ It was pretty sweet until the last game, but then you got out of it nicely.テつ How did it did the match pan out for you?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It was good.テつ I did quite a few things well, so I just took a moment there in the beginning to sort of find myself.テつ I had a bit of a letdown, which is something that obviously needs cleaning up, but I think when I was there I was playing well.
I was striking the ball well.テつ I was going for my shots and I was hitting them well, so it just came together nicely.

Q.テつ You get Federer next.テつ Are you looking forward to that?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah.テつ I have been looking forward to it for a long time, so that opportunity is definitely a big one.

Q.テつ For how long?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't know.テつ Maybe after he had 10 Grand Slams.

Q.テつ How do you think your game matches up against him?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's gonna be interesting.テつ I think we're both going to be trying to do the same thing to each other, which is pretty much dictate.テつ He's obviously probably the best guy to ever do that.
It's going to be a great match for myself and try to make the most of it.テつ I know priority number one is going to be try to take care of my serve and build from there.
Hopefully have a few opportunities, and hopefully make the most of those opportunities.

Q.テつ How do you prepare yourself for a match like when you come up against one of the big four?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Pretty much like every other match.テつ You try to treat it and you do treat it the exact same way.テつ I know if I go out there and I do the things right, I will have my opportunities.
You don't put‑‑ you respect him for everything he's done, but you don't really put anybody ahead of you.テつ You go out there trying to win, and that's your job for that day.テつ You try to make the most of it.
For me, it's gonna be what my priorities are within my game and just try to focus on myself more so than who's across the net.

Q.テつ What was the big second serve tonight for aces?テつ Is that just normal game or a little bit of extra something?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't know.テつ I guess they both came after‑‑ I don't know.テつ They just felt okay to hit them at that right time.テつ I was struggling with that T‑serve on both of those serves, so it was something I wanted to get right.テつ So the fact I was able to hit both well was pretty important.

Q.テつ You saw how fast they were?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I saw the second one.テつ I didn't pay attention on the first one.テつ The first one I was I was more so thinking about did I challenge it correctly.

Q.テつ How are you different from last year?テつ You beat Mardy Fish in a good match and you ran up against Harrison.テつ How were you different from last year?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think I'm a much better player.テつ I think I do a better job with my serve, a better player from the baseline, I think I return and volley much better, I think I move much better, and I think my instinct is much better.
I know what I need to do in certain moments of the match.テつ I have picked up a lot of experience through the year.テつ I have dealt with difficult things throughout the last year.テつ I think it made me a better person, a better tennis player, and a better competitor.
I think I've also found my own in this world on the road.テつ I know how to manage all of this, not just on the court but outside the court.
But as well as at the same time I think I know how to manage myself, my emotions, my temper on the court.

Q.テつ So last year you struggled a bit with that, what you're talking about?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, all of it.テつ I think I struggled a bit.テつ Definitely struggled with the return game.テつ I was always able to serve well, but it wasn't just‑‑ it's not just about serving well.
So that was a big part of it.テつ Then also emotions, a few matches I lost because of emotion.テつ I guess I tried to nullify that as much as I can.

Q.テつ How will you keep your emotions in check against Federer?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Oh, it's my job to do.テつ I just focus on the moment.テつ I focus what I need to do.テつ I don't think about any what's if, what could happen, what should happen, what can happen.
I just focus on what I need to do, where I need to serve or where he might serve, and play the point.

Q.テつ Speaking a little bit more emotional and social side of things, obviously you're Canadian, but as everybody knows, you were born in Montenegro, Yugoslavia.テつ Can you talk about the camaraderie on the tour from the players from former Yugoslavia, which clearly include not just the Djokovic and the other Serbs, Cilic, Ljubicic, the Croatians, but also fellow Canadians, Daniel Nestor, Frank Dancevic.テつ Do you feel as much a part of that ex‑Yugoslav community as you do the Canadian players on tour?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Well, there is a lot more‑‑ there is a lot more Serbian, Croatia players on the tour, so, yeah, I do get along with them.テつ They're good friends, good people.テつ We connect in a big way just from culture.
We have a lot of great things to talk about.テつ I have been to Serbia a few times; they have vacationed in Montenegro a few times.
I get along well with Daniel and with the Spaniards as well since I am training there.
I just‑‑ I think everybody pretty much on tour nowadays is a good person.テつ There is really no‑‑ everybody is really trying to make the most, not only on the tennis court, but as a person.
So everybody gets along quite well with other players.テつ Obviously there is a few probably not greatest relationships, but that's outside of it.
I think Novak, for example, he's a great player, but he was one of the few players that after my win in San Jose would still message me.テつ That meant a lot, especially from all the things ‑‑ I'm there winning a 250 and he's going around winning Australian Open, so it's nice to hear.
It's just fun to be on tour when you have that many people to relate to, to get along with.テつ It's a pretty lonely being on the road this much, but when you have that many guys there, it's a great relationship.テつ It makes it a lot more fun and easier to get through the year.

Q.テつ Do you get as many "ajdes" and "idemos" from the crowd as you do "come ons"?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't really hear what's being said in the crowd.テつ I try to blank out as much as I can.テつ I think it all depends on where you play, as well.

Q.テつ What do you remember from the big Harrison night match last year, and was there anything that you did that you would have done differently, any mistakes you felt you made in that match?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think I missed quite a few shorter balls that I wasn't missing.テつ I think I struggled a bit with not letting my emotions get the best of me.
That match I think I learned a lot from in the aspect of it just gave me I guess a bigger insight on how to deal with‑‑ because up until that match I felt I was underdogging pretty much every match, and that match I had a bit more pressure on me from myself.テつ Just taught me how to deal with that, as well.

Q.テつ Do you feel that will give you the kind of experience you'll need to face Federer on the big court Tuesday?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, I think a lot of matches throughout the year will‑‑ I have played Nadal twice.テつ I know I feel comfortable in these situations, and I want‑‑ it's what I look for to be in these kind of situations.
I want to be competing with these guys for these kind of big tournaments.テつ I understand that with especially how consistent and well they play, you're going to have to beat at least one or two of these guys if you want to win the big event.
That's what I look forward to, and I look forward to going out there, going toe to toe and just trying to fight my way through.

Q.テつ You just spoke so beautifully about your friendships.テつ Not to get too deep, but what does it say that Croatians, Montenegrans, Serbians, all seem to get along so well in our sport?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ There was a big war that went on.テつ There was a lot of turmoil, but sport brought us together.テつ Sport can bring a lot of people together, tennis especially being such an international sport where I don't know how many different nations you have playing here.
But, as athletes, we put that behind us and we don't have any preconceptions about anybody.テつ We're very open to other people.テつ We have learned to be very international, all of us.
We try to really make the most of it.テつ It definitely helps.テつ Easier to get‑‑ a lot easier to get along with the guys when they're great people.

Q.テつ Is that something that you're proud of and happy that you're in the sport because of that?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, it's a great thing.テつ I think not only do we get together and do great things together worldwide, but I think we get a lot of people out to come and watch tennis, to come be part of a great atmosphere, to be part of great events, and to be able to share these moments with us, whether it's national pride or whether it's because you love some player or you look up to some player.
And there's a lot that you can learn from it.テつ I think everybody pretty much on the tour is a great role model.テつ There's very few people in the business world, very few students that do have the discipline, the type that you need to be an athlete of this caliber, and I think everybody can learn from that.

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