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September 1, 2012

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/J. Blake
6‑3, 6‑0, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ How do you rate your serving today?テつ Couldn't be too shabby.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's getting better.テつ Getting better by the match.テつ Today I served quite well.
Got a little bit tight in the third set with it.テつ But serve turned around for the tiebreak, which was good.

Q.テつ How do you get out of it when you're tight?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Go for the serves, you know.テつ My way is to just try to serve a little harder.テつ I was trying to arm it a little bit too much.テつ I just tried to serve it a little harder.

Q.テつ Going into the fourth round with a big energy advantage over Murray.テつ Do you feel, given the conditions, that you're going to be the fitter guy?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't know.テつ We'll see in two days.テつ Two days is a lot of time.テつ My job is just to take care of myself.テつ Just playing‑wise, don't worry about the fitness, do what I need to do to win, try to take the match away from him.

Q.テつ How much do you take out of the win you had over him earlier in the year?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Quite a bit.テつ Serve gave me a lot of insight into what he likes to do.テつ Before that, you sort of have an understanding, but especially the top four guys, you give them big respect.
This sort of, to my eyes, humanizes them quite a bit.テつ If I do the things right, I know the opportunities will be there.

Q.テつ That's a pretty small court.テつ Did you feel it?テつ What did it feel like to play on it?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think it's a little bit quicker as well from what I noticed.テつ It's a nice court.テつ It's not smaller, for example, than let's say Court 11.テつ It is smaller than Court 17, I think.
But I don't think it ever became an issue.テつ I don't think either of us were ever getting too close to the walls, that that was an issue.

Q.テつ You've set some high standards for yourself.テつ I wonder if there's any sense of frustration that you haven't made more of a breakthrough at one of the bigger tournaments?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.テつ Sometimes in the moment when I lean back, when I'm not frustrated or angry after a match, I really sit down and think about it.テつ No.テつ This is, what, my eighth Grand Slam.テつ I'm pretty new to this.テつ It's my second time here.テつ First time, big difference going through quallies.
It's something I really want to achieve, so I do get frustrated with myself over that.テつ At the same time I got to take the previous seven and these three matches so far, learn as much as I can.テつ Pretty much every experience is a new one.テつ Just try to deal with it the best I can in the moment.

Q.テつ You don't feel like you don't belong where you are, even if these are new experiences?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't think not belonging is the question.テつ I think it's more so a question of I haven't been there before, haven't earned my way there before.
Doesn't mean I don't belong.テつ I think it's just more I haven't made the most of my opportunities before.
I think it's two very different ways of putting it.

Q.テつ Will this be the biggest match of your life, playing against Andy on Ashe?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think it will be up there.テつ The fact that it's a Grand Slam adds a little bit more to it.テつ At the same time it's sort of a situation I feel very comfortable in.テつ So it puts everything aside.
I know I can create my opportunities.テつ I know what I'm capable of.テつ I know what I can do.テつ I just have to really step up and do it.

Q.テつ Quite strange the two of you also have a walk‑over, two matches which haven't taken place.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It was unfortunate.テつ I sprained my ankle the day before practicing in Miami.テつ He had a bad knee.テつ I don't know if he hurt it in his first round in Toronto or during the Olympics.テつ But we've played before.テつ It's nothing new.

Q.テつ Do you feel like you're ready to post a win over a top player on a stage like this?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah.テつ I wouldn't feel comfortable being here if I wasn't.テつ I've done my work.

Q.テつ Do you feel when you're clicking, when your serve is going, that you pretty much control your destiny against any player?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah.テつ In the end of it, my job is to go out there and make my opponents adjust to me.テつ I feel like I have the ability to be more dangerous than most players when I have the ball on my racquet, especially out of my hand on a serve.テつ That just puts a lot of pressure on my opponents if I'm serving well.
So it's one thing I try to take advantage of as much as I can, is that a lot of matches can depend on me.テつ I'm the one to blame.テつ I just try to make the most of those moments.テつ And when I don't make the most of the moments‑ I missed a few against Roger earlier this year ‑ try to learn as much as I can from them and try to avoid making the same mistakes.

Q.テつ What have you learned about your second trip to this tournament?テつ Anything?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's a little bit different.テつ First time around playing quallies, playing first round Court 16, it's quite a different experience.テつ From belief in myself to the kind of respect I also get from other players, I've put myself in a good position, in a very different position from where I was two years ago.

Q.テつ How difficult is it playing against Andy, one of the best returners in the game, despite your big serve?テつ How do you have to change your game against Andy?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ If I serve well, if I hit the lines, it's tough to get my serve back.
It's really him adjusting more to me than myself to him.テつ If I'm serving well, I'm hitting my spots, it's about making him feel as uncomfortable as possible.テつ If I serve well, that's sort of what sort of happens.テつ It's a ripple effect.

Q.テつ How do you feel about the progression through your three matches here?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Very good.テつ First round almost being out of the event.テつ Just squeezing by that one.テつ Just really forgetting the way I was playing, just trying to find a way to win.
Second round, did a few things better.テつ But I wasn't too happy about it.テつ Still was struggling quite a bit today.
Playing really well, doing things well, playing confidently.テつ Gives me another opportunity in two days to play even better.テつ That's what I look forward to.

Q.テつ You're talking about your serve, but the rest of your game was pretty good.テつ Did that come out because you felt so confident on the serve?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, I can do stuff from the baseline.テつ I can do stuff from the net.テつ I can do quite a few different things.
I think if it was an issue of me just being able to serve, a lot of opponents would feel no pressure just sort of blocking the return back in the court.テつ I'm able to create more after the serve.テつ Instead of them just feeling the freedom to block the ball in, they feel they have to do a bit more.
I'm improving all the time.テつ I'm working on it.テつ It's a big part of the game I focus on, as well as the serve.テつ I know for me to keep improving up the rankings, as a player, as a competitor, I'm going to have to keep improving there as well as my serve.

Q.テつ Who are your heroes in the sport?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Pete Sampras.テつ Two reasons:テつ the matches most of the time depended on him.テつ If he's playing well, there's not too much you can do.テつ Also the serve was a big part of it.
But secondly was his demeanor, the way he dealt with the situations.テつ It works well for me, bodes well.テつ Try to keep a flat line throughout the matches instead of going up and down too much.

Q.テつ Were you ever a racquet smasher?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think I did once or twice.テつ But it was more me shooting my mouth.テつ That not only got me in trouble with coaches, parents, everything, but it just didn't help my tennis.

Q.テつ When did you make the concerted effort to stop that?テつ How long ago?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ When you fail too many times doing it, you don't keep banging your head against the wall, you try to find a way around it.テつ I figured out that's when you have to be done or I wouldn't be in the position I am today.

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