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August 12, 2013

Milos Raonic


THE MODERATOR:テつ We have Milos here, who broke into the top ten of Emirates ATP rankings for the first time today, first Canadian to do so.テつ Obviously, reached the final in Montreal, his first ATP Masters 1000.
Questions, please?

Q.テつ I was wondering if you could elaborate how you came to the decision to work with Ivan Ljubicic, and what he's brought to your game.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's a decision that took a lot of thought and a lot of discussion process, because it was about making sure that we see eye to eye on what I need to do and to compete with the best guys and what I need to do to get better and to be able to achieve my goals.
We did see eye to eye in the aspect of being able to‑‑ in trying to find a way to be more aggressive playing, find more opportunities to go forward, and focus a lot on development and knowing that this was the most important thing for me to achieve what I want to achieve in tennis.
I felt like him, knowing the way he played and knowing how particularly smart he was on court at solving solutions and how he saw the game really well, this gave me a lot of confidence that he would be able to translate and sort of pass on his advice to me.

Q.テつ Milos, obviously it's a big week for you in Canada.テつ Before that, it was a huge disappointment in Europe, I guess, and getting into Washington.テつ Did something just click that week?テつ Was it being back home?テつ What was it that made last week so different for you?
MILOS RAONIC: テつI think, when I've been speaking with Ivan and when I've been speaking with, not just him, but other people on the team, the message has always been, Keep doing the work and it's going to pay off.
The thing in tennis, and I think in every sport, you just don't know when that payoff is going to be.テつ So I was making sure to keep doing every day and every week the right kind of effort and the right kind of focus and the right kind of determination, the work.
Even in Washington I felt like I was practicing really well.テつ Just when it came to playing the matches I don't think I put it together.テつ I sort of let a few things pull me back and I didn't stay to what‑‑ stick to the plan I needed to stick with.
I think last week the work was done, and I think also with that whole situation of in that crowd, I think it helps you in those tougher moments just sort of getting through them.
So I think that sort of got the whole process moving in the right way, and then I think just pieces started coming together more and more.テつ I think that's sort of helped with the outcome of the week.

Q.テつ Canada, the first week in the top 10, also the first time ever there's been no American in the top 20.テつ How do you feel about your sort of dominance on this continent now?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I haven't really thought about it too much that way.テつ I've really focused on myself, and just to do what I'm doing for myself is a big thing.テつ I really don't know what to say about the other aspect.テつ I don't think I've been around tennis long enough to know really what it takes for other people to make it and so forth.テつ I know what I need to do.
I think the people that can really answer those questions are the guys that have been around much longer than me.テつ With my two and a half years on tour, I don't think I have anywhere near enough answers for that.

Q.テつ With your big serve and the talk of being more aggressive, does that mean turning you into some sort of true serve and volleyer?テつ Is that even possible anymore in the modern game?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't think that's the solution for me.テつ I don't know if it's possible.テつ I think it's definitely difficult with how well the top guys, Novak, Rafa, Andy, Roger, Ferrer, how well everybody returns nowadays.テつ I think that's very difficult.
But it is incorporating that more, keeping that element of doubt in my opponents on what I might do after the serve.テつ So it's not just about getting the serve back.テつ It's about when the opportunities come even throughout points when I'm returning, on the first opportunity to go forward, the first opportunity to be aggressive, sort of being able to recognize and go forward and not hesitating and sort of letting opponents get back into the points.
So making sure I have the right vision on sort of when to press and to make sure I'm not passing up on those opportunities, to keep a constant pressure on my opponents.

Q.テつ For a young guy like you, have you, during your career, seen many true serve and volleyers?テつ Do they even exist out there anymore in your generation?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think Llodra is one of them.テつ I played him four or five times now.テつ I think he's really the‑‑ I'm trying to think if there's anybody else that really does it every single point like he would do it.テつ But he's one of them playing‑wise.
And then I grew up watching Pete Sampras and idolizing him and seeing how he did it.テつ And then also having played him in an exhibition, you see sort of what the big difference is.
It doesn't matter his age.テつ I remember one of the most impressive things about the way he serve and volleyed was how quickly he was with the first two steps after a serve.テつ Every single volley was always hit in front of the service line, and I think if you are getting stuck hitting volleys behind the service line, it's just too difficult.
I think that's a key thing.

Q.テつ Because it seems to be disappearing as a way that people play.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think it's very tough to find, and it's very‑‑ but I think also, at the same time, it's very tough to do it throughout all the surfaces.
I think on clay would be a hard task really to be a true, true serve and volleyer.

Q.テつ Milos, during your match against DelPotro, you had the net touching incident.テつ Here in the States.テつ Lindsay Davenport was on the Tennis Channel fairly harsh saying there should be more of an honor code among tennis players, and they should admit to things when the officials don't see them.テつ I was wondering what your thoughts were on that.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I feel like I made a mistake in the spur of the moment, something, I guess, because I hadn't been faced with it before.テつ I just sort of‑‑ I'm disappointed with myself how I dealt with it, and it's something I learned a lot from.
I really didn't have the opportunity until really the last two days to think about it that much.テつ It's something that I feel sorry about and something I want to apologize to Juan when I see him here.
I don't think I dealt with that the right way, and I think it's something that I probably should have in that situation, and probably in the future, call on myself.

Q.テつ The women get a lot of blowback on tour about grunting and noise.テつ I'm just wondering if you feel like the guys get a bit of a pass on that, or if you think it's a potential problem on the men's tour as well?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't think there's an example of a guy that does it excessively.

Q.テつ Some people have complained.テつ Murray complained about Berlocq, David Ferrer.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't think it's excessive on the guys' tour.テつ I don't know why maybe it gets surpassed, but I don't think I've had a discomfort playing both David, and I think I've played Berlocq twice.テつ I don't think I've had the issue of feeling‑‑ I don't know what the right term would be.テつ Maybe disturbed or annoyed by it during a match.
I haven't had that sort of feeling playing either of them.

Q.テつ Are you not disturbed by the women's noises, or are you?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't wish to comment on that.

Q.テつ Milos, it was a tough match yesterday with Rafa and then you have to hop on a plane.テつ How easy or difficult is it for you to take a loss like that, hop on a plane, get ready for your next event, and does it make it easier when someone's playing as well as Rafa was playing yesterday?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's definitely something I was very frustrated with myself, how I performed in that final.テつ I wish I could have done better in that situation and something I've taken time to think about and make sure I can take as much as I can from it.
I think there's sort of two ends to it.テつ Obviously, you feel like all that sort of pressure you put on yourself to do well that week, it's a little bit of a relief.テつ That week's done, and it's great that it goes well.
But then at the same time, you're playing well and you're excited for the opportunity of this week.
So there's really a lot of mixed.テつ So I don't think it really is a plus or a minus within it, but I think it's sort of everything sort of balances itself out and puts you back to zero, and then I think it's about making the most out of this week.
I think the confidence you gain from a week like that can do a lot for you.

Q.テつ Milos, one of the matches that has been very hard for you was against Gulbis, and it was a tough match but you played very strong at the end.テつ There were a few points here and there.テつ It seemed like you raised your level when it counted.テつ Is that something that's important for you with your game, to have that shot, the big serve, the forehand, set it up, and finish the point?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It definitely helped sort of in that situation, especially the pressure situations, having something to be able to always go to.テつ Obviously in those situations I focus deeply within myself to make sure I do those two things well, to stick to that pattern, to not try to come up with any new solution that I haven't done before.
So I think that definitely helps having something to go to, but those are the moments against top guys you have to be very sound in and you have to play well and you have to make them beat you for those moments, because they're going to create those opportunities against you.
Rafa did, and I wasn't solid in those moments.テつ I think that's something also to work on.テつ It's hard to put yourself in that situation without experience.テつ It doesn't matter how many practices you go to, and you say, Okay, I'll start every game 30‑40.テつ It's not the same as being down 30‑40 at 4‑All in the third set in a Master's Series.
You've got to sort of go through those to learn and how to deal with it.

Q.テつ You spoke about confidence.テつ Is the confidence you gained from last week different than, say, the confidence you got from winning your third SAP Open?テつ When you did that, that was pretty spectacular.テつ You seemed like you were really riding high.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, I think it's very different.テつ I think with SAP Open, winning there for the third time, it's sort of like‑‑ it's a big belief and it's a big fixture for me in the schedule.
For me this time aroundcoming ‑‑ first of all, I didn't play Montreal two years ago because I had hip surgery, so it was a completely different atmosphere that I wanted to do well in.
And even this time around, how I had played previously, it helps a lot more.テつ I think it sort of feels a little bit more significant just because of how maybe harsh I was on myself after Wimbledon, how disappointed I was, because I was playing for a certain period of time there.
Because it just sort of helps you get that step forward and get everything going in the right way.テつ I think it just sort of stands out a little bit more.
But I think the confidence is the same.テつ It's just in San Jose I had been able to do it three times, so it felt like a really good feeling happening over and over again.
Whereas in Montreal and home for me in Canada, it was something new.テつ I hadn't put myself in that situation before, and it was after a difficult period of time.
So I think it was a little bit different, but I think it's the same end result, the type of confidence you get.

Q.テつ Most of the guys who have gone deep in the Canadian Masters get a first round bye this week in Cincinnati.テつ Obviously, you're not there yet with respect to your ranking.テつ I was wondering, you had a great week, you were on a roll.テつ How is this going to change your practice getting here with the quick turnaround getting used to conditions?テつ What's your game plan for that?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Right after this, I go straight to practice.テつ The quicker the press conference goes, the more time I have for practice.テつ So you're part of that schedule.テつ You're a part of that planning.テつ Thank you very much.

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