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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN


August 14, 2012


Milos Raonic


CINCINNATI, OHIO

M. RAONIC/R. Gasquet
7‑6, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ That was a nice win for you over a guy playing as well as he did playing the Toronto finals.テつ You beat him in straight sets.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I was hoping to play a little bit better last week.テつ Coming here I'm playing better.テつ I still have a long ways to go, but I feel like I'm on the right track.テつ I just need to do a few things better, and I think I will be setting myself on the right course.

Q.テつ What are the things you feel like you need to work on?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I need to serve better.テつ I held all through the match.テつ I was able to create a lot of opportunities on his serve.テつ A few times break points in the first set, a lot of 30‑All games, maybe even getting ahead to 15‑30 and just wasn't converting.
But I need to maybe just exercise on creating a little bit with my serve.テつ I was able to get ahead, but I wasn't picking up enough free points.テつ I wasn't hitting the spots exactly.テつ He was still in a defensive position after the return, but I wasn't hitting my go spots.

Q.テつ I know you played an XO with Pete late last year in Toronto and he was one of your idols growing up.テつ Can you share a little bit about what Pete Sampras has meant to you with respect to your game?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ What he said directly or what I learned from watching him?

Q.テつ Both.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Directly, he told me the best players, champions, win when they're not playing their best.テつ They find a way to win. It's something I have been working on a lot, and I was able to get by today.
But I felt like today I played well.テつ I'm trying to incorporate more and more into other matches.テつ From Wimbledon on until probably here ‑ and outside of maybe the match against Tsonga at Olympics ‑ I don't feel like I was playing my best.テつ I was just trying to get by.
I still need to get better at that.テつ But from watching him, you see how pivotal just the serve can be, how much pressure I can put on the other guy.テつ And demeanor is another big factor.

Q.テつ You were just talking about your serve and doing more to it.テつ Are you talking about speed or are you talking about placement or just total mix‑up?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, it pretty much comes down to placement.
And then if I'm not placing it too well, you sort of narrow in on one idea of what you need to do to start hitting a little bit close to the lines, a little bit away from him.
It's not just hitting it there, but also not just pushing it there.テつ Keeping the pace I was going and getting a little bit further away from him.
So this is the thing I need to do better to maybe make my life easier and give myself more opportunities.

Q.テつ On an indoor court you're able to generate a bit more pace because it's a bit more of a controlled environment.テつ Do you get frustrated that you're not able to kind of repeatedly get down those 145, 150 miles per hour serves?
MILOS RAONIC:テつテつ It's different guns everywhere.テつ I think I hit 275 last week, and that's ridiculous because the gun wasn't accurate.テつ It's different guns anywhere.テつ I don't look at this.テつ I look at is the serve effective, doing the job.
Today it's not the pace that was the problem.テつ I was able to handcuff him a few times.テつ The problem was I was hitting within his reach.テつ I wasn't getting the ball out of his reach and making him take a few steps.
I wasn't making him guess so much because I wasn't getting it that far enough away from him.

Q.テつ Do you think the top three guys with a stranglehold on the top, and you see Andy winning gold and Del Potro taking the bronze and you and some other guys pushing them, do you feel like there is more of a window now to break through that?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ There is, I think, let's say, always a window.テつ It's just a matter of exercising it.テつ When you get there not really.テつ I have had the issue that I have seen sort of openings in let's say the window, but I have sort of just been like sliding it open slowly.
I just need to sort of kick through and go for it and just try to make the most of it.テつ I think there will be opportunities.テつ You never know.テつ Obviously lately it's been pretty predictable within the top 3 and top 4 pretty much.テつ It's tennis; it's sport; you never know.

Q.テつ When you talk about kicking through the window, I don't know if you saw the Rosol‑Nadal match at Wimbledon, that sort of a blueprint for how other guys can maybe crack the top 3?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, you have to go for it.テつ Maybe not that much.テつ You have to stay within yourself, but you have to go for it.

Q.テつ Do you feel pressure when people often bring your name up as one of the next potential Grand Slam winners?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, because it's something I want to do, number one; and number two is I will always expect more from myself than I think anybody else.テつ I'm going to push myself till I achieve the things I want to achieve.

Q.テつ How do you feel about the court being named after you in Toronto?テつ What does it mean to you?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think there are two ways you sort of have to look at it.テつ The whole story behind it is there is a sponsor within Tennis Canada that is‑‑ that gives the main fund for that court.テつ He has it named by the player that was named player of the year in Canadian tennis the year before.
I was named that honor.テつ You have two choices, pretty much:テつ Grandstand and Tribute to Milos Raonic, or Milos Raonic Grandstand Court.テつ The second one made me sort of feel like I passed way.テつ (Laughter.) I went with the other name.

Q.テつ Can you elaborate a little bit about what you mean to the country of Canada?テつ It's been a long time since they have had a player of your stature.テつ You know, how you're looked at in Canada.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ What I mean is probably not best to ask me, but what I hope I represent to them is sort of hard work pays off.テつ I think Canadians can be successful in tennis.
Really it's not just a hockey country.テつ I think we have a lot of great talent, great athletes.
I think giving the younger generation or the kids that might consider picking up the racquet, not just kids but also the parents, giving them the understanding that as a Canadian you can succeed in tennis.
Then there are many other things I'd want to do after and really make a difference, and not just in tennis.テつ But right now my job is to play tennis.テつ I think without too much work outside of trying to win as many matches as possible, I think it makes a difference.

Q.テつ How did you get away from playing hockey, or did you?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I never got on ice.テつ (Laughter.)
I played roller hockey.テつ I got cut up pretty bad.テつ I'm from Montenegro.テつ I don't think you've ever heard of a hockey player from Montenegro, so my parents said try tennis.

Q.テつ After the Olympics there was a lot of talk ‑ especially after your long match ‑ about maybe not having best‑of‑five sets necessarily at the Grand Slams, but best‑of‑three would be enough for men as well.テつ How would you feel about that?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Best‑of‑five.

Q.テつ Best‑of‑five?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Best‑of‑five.テつ It should stay.テつ Best‑of‑five takes a little bit more than one player having a good day and one player having a bad day.
Best‑of‑five takes a lot more out of a person and tests the tennis player much more extremely.

Q.テつ Would you be surprised if anyone besides Roger, Novak, or Rafa won the US Open?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.

Q.テつ Why?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Players can do it.テつ There's many players.テつ Del Po was up on Federer two sets to love in Paris.テつ I think Tsonga had match points or he was really close on match points against Novak.
I think the one that's probably the toughest to break through is on the clay against Nadal.
But it's sport.テつ There wouldn't be ‑‑ in no way do I endorse it ‑‑ but there wouldn't be any betting websites and all these kind of businesses around tennis, around all these other sports, if there was no possibilities in it.

Q.テつ A lot of guys think that the speed of the courts here is some of the fastest hard courts out there.テつ Would you agree with that?テつ Do you like these courts?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, I like these courts.テつ For myself personally, the courts seem pretty gritty.テつ I think it's more the conditions.テつ It's been pretty dry.テつ It gets warm.テつ The ball flies through the court.
Obviously the balls that are used are lighter balls than the grass court and clay court balls we have been using the last few months.
I think that's as much of a factor as the courts.テつ I don't think the courts were too much slower in, let's say, Toronto, but the conditions air‑wise and the placement and everything in the heat is a little bit different.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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