Friday, 7 July 2017 10:24 AM BST
Milos Raonic: Second round


Milos Raonic talks to the media after the 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 win against Mikhail Youzhny

Q. I'm having a hard time finding words to describe your performance today. Wondering if you could help me out?
MILOS RAONIC: Let's do a multiple choice question. Give me some options.

Q. Fantastic. No?
MILOS RAONIC: I need more options.

Q. Fantastic, just average, and poor.

Q. A and B?

Q. How about the performance in the first set?
MILOS RAONIC: Oh, yeah, it was tough. I started -- I think I won two points in the first two or three games. That was a bad start. Then I tried to turn it around. I had those break chances. Didn't make the most of them. Was fortunate that I didn't get down two sets to Love. He had those two set points, I believe, and maybe even another one after in that tiebreaker. He was up 6-4 in that tiebreaker.

I got very lucky in those scenarios and then I sort of kept plugging away and made it count after that.

Q. How much better did you feel the rest of the way?
MILOS RAONIC: I felt like I was starting to do the things better. I wasn't necessarily feeling great. But, you know, I was taking care of -- I was doing my things well, serving well and sort of staying ahead in the points well and sort of working away and trying to create the windows. And thankfully I made it count there towards the end of the fourth.

Q. Unfortunately you have the experience of getting injured here a few years ago. I don't know if you saw what happened to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Some players are saying the courts this year are different, more slippery, and starting to complain a bit. Have you noticed anything?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't think they are more slippery or anything. I just think they are worn out a little bit quicker because of the extreme weather.

I think I played the fourth round last year on Court 2, and I played the second round now. It was about the same. I think it's just drier. Normally when it's drier, it's not slipperier. Actually gives you more place to grip on to.

Maybe when you go outside of that it's a different story. I thought on the baseline it's pretty sticky.

Q. Do you like it better after the changes or would you not rather have all those changes, the changes to the court?
MILOS RAONIC: But what kind of changes are you referring to?

Q. How things are adjusting, you know, going from green to basically brown and whatnot.
MILOS RAONIC: It's nature. You're playing on grass. I don't think you can ask it to stay a certain way when you have people running around it for -- it's wear and tear.

Q. No, no, no, I know you can't stop it. But when it happens, how does it change things? Do you mind...
MILOS RAONIC: I'm personally more nervous the first day I step out on Court 1 in terms of moving, because nobody has been on it compared to stepping out today on Court 2, because people have played on it. All the other courts, I don't know which -- unfortunately, I didn't see what happened and I think it's better not to watch. I heard it was a little bit disturbing. Hopefully she can recover quickly.

But all the other courts have been used since I believe it's last Wednesday that players have limited access to, but some access to the courts.

Q. As part of today's quiz, Tom asked you the multiple choice questions on the test, but there is a true or false section, too. I'd like to ask you some true or false questions, please. Milos Raonic's athleticism is underrated; true or false?
MILOS RAONIC: I will let you be the judge. I've got a good shoulder.

Q. Milos Raonic is Canada's best athlete; true or false?

Q. Milos Raonic is the most cerebral player in the ATP.

Q. Milos Raonic will reach the 2017 Wimbledon final?
MILOS RAONIC: All of these if I ever say 'true' to any of them it insinuates I have a big ego. So false.

Q. Milos Raonic knows more about 20th Century art than any other player on the circuit?
MILOS RAONIC: I'm not sure where the other players are spending their time.

Q. Milos Raonic is a real failure at true/false questions.
MILOS RAONIC: That's the only question I can answer with certainty. That's true.

Q. What adjustments do you think you have to make, if you think you have to make any at all, going deeper into this tournament with the experience you have had so far?
MILOS RAONIC: I've just got to keep getting better. I think I'm getting better and better with each match. Well, that's easy to say with two matches. I think today I was better than the first round. But I think I'm also even in those matches. I'm making good steps forward.

The one thing that was very important for me was not to rush through things, to sort of try to have a say in the situation as much as possible, which isn't always the case. I have been doing that, and I think that's why I have been getting better and better throughout the matches.

Today I ended better than I ended two days ago, and if that continues to be the case, and hopefully the momentum can speed up bit by bit, I feel like I'll be giving myself a possibility to achieve what I'd like.

Q. Do you think you just caught a little bit flatfooted in the first set? What was he doing right that...
MILOS RAONIC: Well, he guessed three of the returns right. I missed one easy shot. And, yeah, normally he's a guy that chips, returns. He went for three forehands, which normally isn't even his better side when it comes to returning.

Yeah, I got caught flatfooted, but he also took it to me right away from the beginning of the match.

Q. You saved the set point in the second set I guess pretty lucky, the mishit. After that you took control of the point. How would you describe that point?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't even remember what happened.

Q. Mishit return at 6-4 down and went high up and landed in the court and you had a rally and you hit a big shot and he couldn't get it back. You don't remember mishitting the return?
MILOS RAONIC: I remember a mishit on another point but I thought that was early in the game when it went right down the middle and I hit another forehand winner after that. But I don't that was in the tiebreak.

Anyways, yeah, I was fortunate to get through that point, because obviously the task becomes a lot stiffer if I don't get those two points. Obviously one of them was on my serve.

But, yeah, I just needed, from the beginning, I just needed to step up and take a little bit more initiative and a little bit more control, and it took me just a moment to find that kind of rhythm and confidence to go for my shots.

Q. Remember last year there was a lot of emphasis on serve and volleying, being in the right position, you talked about volleying with your legs, to get into a right position to hit a good volley. This year, do you feel as committed to that type of mentality as you did last year? Is there anything different?
MILOS RAONIC: I think committed-wise, I think I'm doing it better. I think I'm not necessarily, I didn't play as many matches on grass, so I'm just not as far along, let's say, with the comfort of the way I'm moving around on the grass and how confident I am on the grass. But I think I'm doing that better than I did last year.

And when I have been coming forward, I have been successful, and I think volley-wise I'm volleying better than I did last year.

Q. Last year when you lost here you said you were going to leave no stone unturned until you finally get the win here. Do you feel in those 12 months you have been able to do that?
MILOS RAONIC: Am I as far along as I would have liked? Probably not. I would not have liked to worry about health the last 12 months, that's been sort of my biggest battle.

But with every situation that I faced, as unique as it was, I dealt with it the best way I could and made what I thought were the best positions, best decisions with all the information I had at each moment.

Q. People are obviously quite familiar with your game if they follow tennis, but there seems to be an aura, an enigmatic aura about you. I don't know how much of yourself you really expose. We're very familiar with the personalities of other tennis players. You have been around a long time, and there is still sort of a mystifying aspect to you. Is that deliberate on your part, or are we just not asking the right questions?
MILOS RAONIC: I come here. I step out on court. I try to do everything each and every day to give myself the best possibility to win.

All the other things that I do, I do in my own time, at my own leisure, at my own speed, for my own pleasure. And I guess I don't try to get caught up in the whole discussion of it.

I'm very introverted in that sense that even a lot of the things I'm thinking my closest family and friends won't know. I do a lot of things at my own speed. I close a door and I do my thing.

I have never wished to really discuss it. Maybe it is asking the right questions, but I have never felt the need to reciprocate it. I just feel like there are things I want to achieve, things I want to do, and when the time is right, when I have that time, I'm going to pursue those things.

Q. Can I ask you what does give you pleasure outside of tennis?
MILOS RAONIC: Education.

Q. Educating yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I like to read on a lot of things, to learn, and I like to be aware of what's going on. I'd like to be aware of what I'd like to do one day. To be honest with you, if you ask me today, once I'm the one that stops playing tennis hopefully on my terms as much as possible, I don't know if I'd be ready to be back on the road traveling.

So I'm going to have to get back into school and find something else I want to achieve.

Q. You're such a thoughtful person who's interested in ideas. In a world where there is a big focus on athleticism, winning and so forth, do you feel a little different from the others? Do you think you're sort of cut from a slightly different cloth than many of the other players?
MILOS RAONIC: I think there is two type of athletes that succeed. One's that hate losing and ones that enjoy winning. I think I fall into a category within -- I don't think one is better or worse than the other, but I think I fall into the category of athletes that hate losing. The winning does its thing for me, but it's not nearly to the magnitude of how much I despise losing.

The other things that I do, I guess sometimes -- and it's not necessarily a great attribute -- but sometimes I do think too far ahead. Sometimes I do get caught up in what may be, how things may go and this kind of thing, and trying to control those things that are not always in my sleight of hand.

But I think I personally, for myself, I think I'd being be naive or oblivious or arrogant to not think they do need some attention or some thought.

Just because I want to do those things, I don't know if that makes me different. I don't know what other guys are up to or how they go about their things, but I know that for me right now the No. 1 thing is trying to achieve what I want to achieve in tennis. The No. 1 thing later in life is going to be something completely different.

Q. Do you think in some ways you might be a little too hard on yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: Yes, but because I'm hard on myself, I'm where I am today. If I wasn't, I don't know what I'd be being ranked a No. 30 junior in the world and these kind of things. I think this kind of demand for myself on a daily basis is what has, to a lot of ways, it's been tiring at some points, but it's also been one of my best attributes.

Q. Looks like it's Ramos-Vinolas. I know you played him at the French last year. How would you feel about playing him here on grass?
MILOS RAONIC: That's a completely different scenario. You know, he's had a pretty good year so far. I don't know. I haven't seen him play too much. I have seen his bigger results throughout this year. This is not necessarily his most natural surface. It's going to be about trying to take the racquet and the decision-making abilities out of his hand and try to sort of dictate and play on all my terms as much as possible.