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June 1, 2014

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/M. Granollers
6‑3, 6‑3, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English, please.

Q.テつ Can we safely say you're keeping your level?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, I'm playing good tennis, and I'm happy with that.

Q.テつ What were you most happy with today?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Just execution.テつ I think I played important moments well.
There was a few moments where I'd be up quite handily on my serve, and I'd sort of drift away for a little bit, and then ‑‑but when I came down to the wire I was playing those moments well.

Q.テつ The fact you're playing so well from the baseline, rallying so well, but you're also pulling off scoop forehands and passing shots and drop volleys and all that.テつ Does that come from being confident with your ground game, as well?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I'm just ‑‑well, the scoops, I don't know what those are.テつ I have been working a lot at my net game.テつ I come in quite a bit, so things are bound to get better if I put myself in that situation.

Q.テつ Are you surprised to be doing so well on clay?テつ I mean, in your game, what do you do differently when you play on clay compared to hard court, for instance?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Am I surprised?テつ No, I wouldn't say so.テつ I feel like I could do well on clay, and so does my team.テつ I think the biggest difference I have made this year is not really making too much of a difference when I have come to the clay.
Just more of an approach, knowing more balls will come back, but trying to stay close, not going too far back, and all these kind of things.テつ I have tried to sort of keep that, I was doing it on hard courts, and it's been working out well for me.

Q.テつ Two years back we interviewed in Chennai, you go on to win the Chennai Open that year, and you said your goals were to win for a Grand Slam.テつ Two years later, where do you feel you have reached?テつ Do you feel like you're ready to win the Grand Slams, like French Open right now?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, the belief is there that I can do it.テつ I think I can put that level of tennis together.テつ I have to believe I have that within myself.

Q.テつ Your next opponent is very likely to be Novak Djokovic.テつ Is that the kind of challenge you're looking forward to?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah.テつ Especially after two weeks ago, to be putting myself in that situation to get to play him again.
I'm very eager and I'm looking forward to that.

Q.テつ Your first quarterfinal in a Grand Slam, what does that mean?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's a good thing.テつ If you asked me would I have ever thought that it would probably be, the first one would come at the French Open, I probably would not have answered that way, but I'm happy about it.テつ There is a lot of good things sort of that come from it, and a lot of good things I have been doing.
Unfortunate things I have faced this year, and I have been able to overcome a lot of things.テつ I'm very happy with the level I'm playing, and I think it's just showing in the results.テつ I think that's just a consequence of all the work I have been putting in.

Q.テつ If it is Djokovic, what's the biggest difference you will have to deal with with him playing best of three and best of five?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think it's more so just a mental aspect of keeping up a certain level for that long, and not allowing yourself to drift away.
But he also makes that demanding of you in two out of three sets.テつ It's just about doing it a little bit longer and bringing your best tennis.テつ Obviously that's important.

Q.テつ Do you think the slow conditions help you with your game?テつ I mean, I know you hit a lot of winners.テつ Does the fact it's slow help you to have more time to set up your shots?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I still prefer when it's warm, sunny, and moving quickly obviously.テつ But I have learned how to deal with the slower conditions a lot better.テつ I have learned how to sort of take the approach, what I need to do, and where the adjustments I need to make.
Whereas before I would definitely struggle depending on the weather.テつ And I feel like it's something I have just learned how to handle much better through experience.

Q.テつ When you're really pounding big and hitting well and totally sort of overpowering your opponent, do you get a sense that you're sort of breaking him down, that maybe he's feeling shell shocked and that you've kind of got him at a certain point or generally you're trying to create that sort of impression?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, I can sort of feel in moments of the match where I can sort of get ahead, maybe surpass or get on top of my opponents.
I understand what I need to do to get there, but there is that moment where I sort of feel like I have sort of surpassed it and maybe he might start feeling a little bit of desperation in a few situations.
That's sort of the situations I want to put my opponents in.

Q.テつ Regarding Djokovic, what was the first time you met like ever ever met with him?テつ Was it like end of juniors or beginning of the pros?テつ What relationship do you have?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ When I actually met him for the first time, it would have to be in Toronto Masters many years ago.テつ I remember watching him play, as I think he was a 16‑year‑old then, against ‑‑I can't remember who he lost, maybe Marcos Baghdatis in Orange Bowl Under‑18.テつ I was under 14 then or so, and we were just there for a day watching.
We have a good relationship.テつ Very friendly.テつ Same type of cultural upbringing and background, so we understand each other a lot, especially because of the language, as well.
So we get along well.

Q.テつ In a big tournament like this, what do you fill your off day with?テつ What's your routine on an off‑day as you prepare for the match ahead?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Practice, good food.テつ A lot of movies.テつ Just sort of keeping myself busy.
But the day ends up ‑‑stuff always piles on, so it's not like really you have an empty day.
You sort of end up being busy somehow with sort of not exciting things, but the day passes by pretty quick, and you're at that sort of stage where you're thinking about what you need to do to be best prepared for the next day.

Q.テつ Can you elaborate on what Ljubicic and Piatti have brought to your game lately?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah.テつ A lot of direction, and they have sat down with me and we have talked many, many times, whether it be after practices, after matches, during practice or over dinners, and just a lot of understanding of what I need to do to be more successful and how I need to go about things.
We have worked on a few things technically, but the biggest thing I think is a lot of direction on what I need to do in specific situations and how I need to approach and play throughout the match.

Q.テつ You were playing at the same time, but any reaction to Roger losing to Gulbis?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I don't know.テつ I get along with Ernests, so I'm happy for him.
I haven't really given it too much thought.テつ I thought maybe it could happen, but it is what it is.テつ It's sport.テつ Everything can happen.

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