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March 13, 2012

Milos Raonic


R. FEDERER/M. Raonic
6‑7, 6‑2, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ You must have been pretty happy with the first set.テつ Then what happened?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, I think I did a few things well in the first set, and I think after that he just picked it up on the return.テつ I don't think I served as well after, either.
It was just a bit of a mix on that.テつ I think he picked it up, especially beginning of the second set, and then just put pressure on me.テつ And then it was unfortunate to lose that break in the third set.テつ I felt I was starting to serve a bit better, getting a bit of a rhythm.
He hit that return which just stayed really low, and it was tough to do much more than I did with it.テつ He obviously came up with a good shot.

Q.テつ What did you find about playing him?テつ It's Roger Federer, your first big match against him.テつ How did you look at the whole thing?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's good in general.テつ I felt at the beginning maybe I just went for a little too much, didn't play within myself.テつ I think I caught on to that pretty early and calmed down and did the right things.
I think it just came down to a few poorly executed plays as well as a few‑‑ I think I hit the ball well.テつ I just was picking the wrong shot, and this is what makes the difference.テつ But with experience hopefully I catch on to that.

Q.テつ Were nerves a factor?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, maybe just the first game, but outside of that, no.

Q.テつ Did you enjoy that?テつ I mean, was that fun playing Roger Federer?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, it was.テつ I think it will be more fun when I sort of look back at it all and sort of measure up the things and learn from them as much as I can, see what I need to do better to give myself the opportunity to win against somebody of his caliber, another top three or four guys, and just sort of make my way do my work and hopefully get better.

Q.テつ At this point, do you come away from this match with more positives?テつ The score was close.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, for sure.テつ I think there was a few things I could have done better, and I was there competing with what people would say is the greatest player of all time.
So that's definitely a positive, and it's something to build off of.テつ And hopefully next time it's better.

Q.テつ What was it like being in the rallies with him compared to other guys you've played once the rallies start?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's good.テつ The thing you just find is there's a lot of shots.テつ He hits the ball like the other guys, and it just‑‑ his ability to switch it and really just take you out of the court and put you on your back foot, he can do it a lot quicker and he can do it off a lot of tougher shots than other guys.
That's the biggest difference.

Q.テつ While you're obviously focused on your own game tonight, did you learn anything in particular from Federer on the other end?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, you see‑‑ I think the best way to describe it is he has that efficiency‑ I'm not talking about with energy and everything, just with the way he hits the ball‑ he doesn't only hit the ball hard, but he hits it with an amount of spin that makes the ball go away from you even more.
There's a lot of that's that hit the ball hard, but as long as you get behind the ball‑‑ or it's easy to get behind the ball because the ball is not breaking away.
Especially with the forehand, when he hits it crosscourt or when he hits it from the backhand side down the line, he hits it with enough spin and he hits it the right way that you even though you think you might get behind it, after the bounce it goes a little bit further away and it's harder to get behind the ball more and you end up getting a lot more shorter balls or a lot more balls that you're reaching for.

Q.テつ After you won the tiebreak ‑ and you played a very, very good tiebreak ‑ did you think, I think I've got a really good chance to win this, or were you thinking, Just one game at a time?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I was thinking one game at a time, but I thought before the match I had a chance to win this.

Q.テつ You played Nadal twice; you played now Federer.テつ For you, who is the tougher opponent?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think it's two different things.テつ I think against Nadal, I feel like I just was able to sort of get more into the match.テつ I feel like if Federer plays well he can just blow you out quicker.
I think Nadal might be tougher to close out just because of how adamant he is and how much he perseveres through things.テつ Against Rafa, I feel like I had it in my hands.テつ I had a few more opportunities in my hands that I didn't execute.
Against Federer, I feel like if you did the things right he could take it away from you pretty quickly.

Q.テつ When you go out to play Federer, I'm sure you say to yourself, This is just another match, another day at the office, but there is probably a part of you that also says, Hey, I'm playing Roger, the best of all time.テつ Just talk about that process and if it's a little different mentally going out.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, it is.テつ You want to stack up well, that's for sure.テつ You want to give yourself those opportunities, especially for me it being the first time playing him, it's trying to earn that respect.
I thought for me just the first game would be very critical, and then from there I think I would sort of sink into it a bit and sort of find my own.
It was.テつ It played out that way.テつ I really didn't think too much about it obviously.テつ I think I'm aware more of how to play him than I am against most players because I have watched him more times.
I didn't think too much about it.テつ I just sort of tried to stay within myself and do what I know how to do.

Q.テつ Your first serve percentage wasn't great, I think in the 50s.テつ Were you struggling with something out there or did you feel a lot of pressure to...
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, I was struggling with the serve today.テつ I felt like I could have served better.

Q.テつ How do you rate your composure during the match, start to finish?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think I did a good job.テつ I don't think there were really any problems.
I sort of‑‑ I never got ahead of myself.テつ I never dwelled on any past mistakes throughout the match.テつ I just stayed in the moment, so I was just trying to break it down and figure it out as much as I could.

Q.テつ You just mentioned in a previous answer about trying to earn respect.テつ Can you clarify that, from Federer?テつ From other players?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Everybody.テつ Respect is a big thing.テつ There is a lot of people going out against a player like Federer that are tight or just have a big respect for him and sort of get caught up in that.
And if you have this kind of respect when matches start, throughout the middle of the matches, through big points, closing out matches, it's tougher for the other guy having the thought in their mind that, especially with my aggressive game style, it's important from the fact that people knowing that if I do get ahead a break or if I do get my chances, I'm able to serve out matches from quite early.
So it helps.テつ It just puts a little bit more pressure.

Q.テつ When it was 3‑3 when he broke you in the fourth game or that seventh game in the final set, is there anything you'd do differently on that serve?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, I think‑‑ I think I hit the right serve.テつ Maybe tried to get it a little wider, but he hit a return that barely made it over the net and just stayed really low.テつ I couldn't do anything more than what I did.
Maybe I could have tried hitting the baseline, maybe I could have hit a dropshot, but I think I played the percentage play.テつ He was there and he executed well down the line.

Q.テつ So many Canadians have winter homes here.テつ Did you feel extra crowd support here?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It was a lot of fun.テつ I felt pretty much throughout the whole match, a player of his of caliber that gets love from pretty much everywhere he plays, I thought I was getting a lot of support.テつ That makes it more enjoyable and more fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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