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March 8, 2014

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/E. Roger‑Vasselin
7‑6, 4‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Did you serve your brains out today?
MILOS RAONIC:  No, I don't think so.  But I did serve well, and that's what kept me in the match.

Q.  I mean, were you a little surprised not playing a while that it would be so good?
MILOS RAONIC:  No, because it was one of the things I have been able to work on ‑ one of the only things, actually.

Q.  So how did the ankle hold up?
MILOS RAONIC:  Ankle is fine.  No issues.  Thankfully.  I think everything else just a little bit tough.

Q.  You were able to pull off some pretty big shots when you needed to.
MILOS RAONIC:  Yeah.  It's just tough only starting really to play points three days ago, doing any movement on court.  So to get a rhythm was difficult.
So definitely all the stuff I was doing from a stagnant position was good.  That's the only stuff I have really been able to train the last 10 days.

Q.  How much were you hitting before you actually started to play points?  For about how long were you actually hitting tennis balls?
MILOS RAONIC:  For about a week before I came here I was hitting just two hours a day, but very stationary.

Q.  Were you being careful or were you actually still having...
MILOS RAONIC:  I was still having pain.  Then I got cleared, and sort of the pain has gone away.  It's also just from not being able to use it I get a little bit of soreness, but it's not nearly the same kind of pain that kept me out of play for however many weeks.

Q.  When you went through that really erratic spell at the beginning of the third set, [] were you able to get it back together except for the serve?
MILOS RAONIC:  Yeah, I just knew that I got to keep taking care of my serve.  I was getting really nowhere.  On the return games I get ahead a little bit, and then I'd make errors, I'd be sporadic.  So I knew to get my serve together, push it as far as I can, and give myself a chance.

Q.  What did it feel like when you saw that passing shot go by on the first point of the tiebreak?
MILOS RAONIC:  I'm trying to remember.

Q.  He came in, hit a forehand down the line just to get the mini break, and then you were sort of on your way.
MILOS RAONIC:  It felt good.  It sort of got me back into it.  I was hoping I'd put in a first serve after that, and I didn't manage to.  But it helped me get ahead and stay ahead.  It was a good to start off the tiebreak that way.

Q.  Have you ever won a tiebreak without putting a first serve in so convincingly?
MILOS RAONIC:  Probably.  I don't know exactly those stats.  I've lost tiebreaks because I didn't win a single point on my serve.  That's probably worse.

Q.  How are you feeling mentally right now?  Where would you rate your confidence?
MILOS RAONIC:  I don't think it's really confidence that's an issue.  I think it's more just rhythm of play.  I have pretty much yet to play a match healthy this year, so this was pretty much a first one.
Unfortunately wasn't able to ‑‑ I was not out for however many weeks being able to train, so I was very limited.  To get through this is very important.  I feel like I'm hitting the ball well.  I just sort of have to figure out my rhythm of playing the points, how to play in certain situations, and so forth.

Q.  At what point did you make the decision you were going to come and play here, and did you ever consider that it might be too soon and that you might not be ready?  Did you ever consider skipping it?
MILOS RAONIC:  Yeah.  Until probably last weekend it was really up in the air.  I got it checked out again that I would get the green light to play, and I was told that it should be okay, but if there is any issues might have to go back to rehabbing it.
Really haven't had any issues from that moment, and have just been very diligent on the whole process that I'm ‑‑ the time I'm taking preparing to get on court for practices and also after I leave the courts.

Q.  What have you been doing?  I know high ankle sprains are probably worse than lower down.  More difficult to treat and take longer to heal.  What have you done for it?
MILOS RAONIC:  The issue we had was it wasn't a sprain in the muscle.  It was a slight tear in the tendon.  So that was the most concerning part.
So everything from laser treatment to massaging to pretty much everything we could have done we have done, and it has healed up well.

Q.  How does it feel now after playing today?
MILOS RAONIC:  It's fine.  It's just heavily ‑‑I tape it up pretty good, just not out of necessity, but out of just to take away the fear from my mind.  That's pretty much it.

Q.  Falla?
MILOS RAONIC:  Yeah, I think he's going to play similar to the guy today.  Does things well, definitely take better care of attacking on his serve, and obviously my serve is going to be important for me.

Q.  What do you do in that time frame when you can't train, you can't hit balls?  What do you do in an effort to maintain some sort of physical standard and fitness, and mentally, physically, all that sort of stuff?
MILOS RAONIC:  Well, the thing was always I would feel good for a few days.  I'd be able to hit two days very stationary, and then just from the most basic step I would have sharp pains.
It wouldn't be like I would take a step and roll it a little.  I'd start to have sharp pains.  So I was trying ‑‑I'd try to hit two days and then I'd be out five days.  Then I'd trying to hit again thinking it was getting better.
Spending a lot of time on the pool, a lot of time on the bike, a lot of time focusing on core strength, leg strength that wasn't involving my ankle.  I could not do any mobility stuff.
So that was the toughest part.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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