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Milos Raonic third round

Saturday 28 June 2014

Milos Raonic speaks to the media after his 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 6-2 win over Lukasz Kubot

Q. Did you get to him today? Double fault at a couple key times and seemed like you kept the pressure up.

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it paid off sort of. I don't think there is really a match that I would say to this point, especially in a Grand Slam, that I was able to be as dominant as I was on my serve. Only lost nine points on my serve, I think.
That definitely makes my life a lot easier and puts pressure on him. Also, at the same time, I didn't really have my opportunities.
Played a few good points in tiebreaks and he was able to sort of hold on. Serving the way he serves, he was going 115 out wide on most second serves. I was sort of just hoping it would come together at one point.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the difficulty with a rain delay and how you manage that.

MILOS RAONIC: Well, the only difficulty really is making sure that you start out 100% and managing when you're going to go out. They kept delaying by no more than a half hour each time today. One time maybe 45 minutes.
So by the time you get taped up and everything, takes about 45 minutes to do that alone to get ready for a match, so always you have to be on the edge of your feet.
There was one point where I sort of the said today I don't think there is going to be any play today and I was able to take a nap in the massage room and sort of just stay calm and wait it out.

Q. Did you mean any play today or for three or four hours or something?

MILOS RAONIC: No, for a period of time. Around 3:00, from what I was hearing, the rain wouldn't really stop until 6:00.
I got coaches in the locker room anyway, but I sort of took, let's say, a safe gamble and took a nap.

Q. Him coming in that much, you just feel like you're going to power the ball and get it past him or he's going to miss a volley, it's just the law of average averages?

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, especially coming into the tiebreaks I was sort of feeling stable, because even -- he was make some great volleys, especially when I was off the deuce side trying to go down the line with my forehand.
He was always able to get his racquet on it and go too quickly to the other side for me to even get there.
But you got to say to yourself, Okay, I'll make him do this again on an important moment and we'll see if he can step up.

Q. There are three seeded players in the tournament that haven't a lot a set. Murray, Federer, and you. What do you make of this?

MILOS RAONIC: It's a good thing, a very good thing, but also doesn't mean anything. You got to win matches. (Smiling.)

Q. How would you say your comfort level is on grass now compared to when you first played here? Do you think you still have some way to go before you're as comfortable as you might become on this surface?

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think each time around I'm getting better on it. But I feel much more comfortable than the first time. When I first played here I was playing well because everything was quite new to me. There was no pressure. I was able to play much more freely. No pressure from myself.
I was sort of learning on the go and I was just feeling good from the start of that year. Really starting in Australia. Every result I was making was helping my ranking go up. There wasn't really much that could sort of bring me down. Everything was helping me go forward.
Then I got hurt here. Because of that, I sort of lost the next year on this surface. Last year I just struggled finding my tennis. Just not only on grass, but on the tournaments before.
So this time around I think I'm starting from very low comfort and feeling pretty comfortable. So I feel like this year I've made pretty significant progress on this surface.

Q. Has something clicked on grass, or is it just familiarity with the surface?
MILOS RAONIC: Familiarity is the biggest thing I would say, but also just an understanding I found. I can't say click because it wasn't me going into it sort blindsided, not knowing what I have to do and figured it out by hitting one shot.
It was through every practice we were sort of working away on an objective and then it came together. I think I've played better and better each match.

Q. Have you keeping on eye on Nishikori's match?
MILOS RAONIC: Yes, I was watching that match when I was cooling down.


Q. Any thoughts on either of them?
MILOS RAONIC: They actually play similar. One guy plays closer in; other guy plays a little bit further back.
I struggled with Kei in the past. Also the one time I played Bolelli I struggled use well, but I was able to get a win. Both will be very difficult matches.
I got to take care of my serve first and foremost, and then sort of try to figure out solutions in the other aspects.

Q. What rituals or superstitions do you have before and during a match?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I go about sort of the same routine, but I think it's just because I'm a person of routine. I always prepare the same way, go out at the same time. I like to have two hours before. There is not really specific things I eat. I sort of follow up with my nutritionist on what to eat depending on what time in the day I play.
I used to have more of that, but I stepped away from it quite a bit. Just understanding that you got to go out on court, be ready to put it all out there, and if need be, suffer. Those other things are not going to guarantee you a win. So I just go about doing things that I need to best prepare as possible.

Q. People point to Nadal for having a whole litany of things he does between points. What do you do, if anything?
MILOS RAONIC: I take more time. Take a few deep breaths, especially in important moments. Always bounce the ball when I'm serving an even number of times. Probably not as noticeable as Rafa's things, but I have my routine. Rather than superstition, it's to have a way to focus on the right thing. It sort of gets in your mind and you focus on your routine so you don't always get caught up in the moment.
At the end of the day, you know how to play tennis. You have to free your mind sometimes from getting too busy and letting the situation take over your tennis.

Q. Why an even number of times?
MILOS RAONIC: Is that's just a routine/superstition that I have.

Q. First time in the second week at this tournament. Do you sort of feel like you're experienced in these situations now or it's going to be something quite new?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I feel much more comfortable in these situations. Understanding of how I need in prepare, what I need to do over the next 48 hours or however long it may be, 36 hours.
But the tournament doesn't start until Monday really. There is a lot of good tennis that's been played, but now you got to sort of step up your level. It's not about just getting through.
At this point in the tournament you have to be playing good tennis and you got to compete like crazy.

Q. Any danger of not getting through today? I don't know if everybody is going to finish tonight.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's a relief knowing that you won't have to play possibly Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday if you're able to play good tennis.
So it's a relief in that sense, that you go on on a general schedule, which in some terms is not, let's say, fair or equal for everybody since there is a roof and top guys sort of get guaranteed more comfortable schedules in that sense.
But it is how it is, and you just got to deal with it.

Q. How come Genie is in room one and you're in room two?
MILOS RAONIC: Don't ask me.


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