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An Interview With: Milos Raonic

Monday, August 31, 2015

Q. How do you feel about your game and what have you been working on in the past month or so that would pay off at this US Open?

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, well, it's been a tough, let's say, summer. It's been more about managing injuries and getting healthy. I'm as close to that right now as I can be. That was really the main focus. Unfortunately I wasn't able to spend a lot of time on court or in the gym as I would normally like. It is what it is, and I'm just trying to make the most out of it. Trying to play better and better every match.

Q. Given your lack of match fitness, how difficult was today?

MILOS RAONIC: It was okay. The body held up pretty good. I think it's more just lack of matches and sort of that first round, let's say, jitters at a slam. A combination of those things. Other than that, everything was okay.

Q. We have an interesting split in terms of ages in the draw. Players over 30 and teenagers. You're on the younger end of the scale. During your formative years, did you have to look at the game you were playing and change things wholesale or...

MILOS RAONIC: I think my game plan has always been pretty clear. It's about trying to manage the center of the court. I think the ways I've gone about preparing, the ways I've gone about training, I think those have changed as I learned more about myself, what I need to do, what kind of level I need to provide if I want to achieve specific goals. But have I changed completely my game? I don't think so. I think it's more been just adapting and trying to find a way to improve and progress.

Q. How about your success second serving and volleying?

MILOS RAONIC: I don't know what the numbers were, but I think it was pretty good. He was standing pretty far back, so it gave me quite a bit of time to get close to the net.

Q. Do you almost feel better serve and volleying with the kicker sort of?

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it gives me time to get closer. Especially when the guy stands far back.

Q. What was some of the frustration about? 4- Love in the third set there was frustration. Was it a combination of the things you mentioned earlier on, first-round jitters, et cetera?

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think sometimes I wasn't stepping up and being aggressive enough. Sometimes I was making mental lapses. I think it was that kind of stuff, those situations. I was sort of letting that stuff creep in; I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be. It was more about knowing and being aware and not rushing. Sometimes I felt like I would just sort of go through things too quick throughout many parts of the match. I wasn't always as disciplined with myself as I should have been.

Q. Between you and Eugenie last year, when you came into last year's US Open, it was the high point of Canadian tennis. It's been a down year for you because of injuries; she's had problems. Can you contrast last year to this year?

MILOS RAONIC: I think last year it's sort of like, to put it to words, a pleasant surprise. I think this year it's been maybe people expecting things to go up, up, up as quick as it was last year. It never is that way. There's many road bumps, and it's about the way you deal with things. Obviously I've had my own. Trying to figure out a way to stay healthy as much as I can. It sort of gives me specific goals for specific parts of your year. Maybe your objectives change a little bit and you see it a different way, what you need to work on.

Q. Has it felt like more or less pressure arriving at this US Open?

MILOS RAONIC: Probably more for myself. Probably less from outside. I guess it's just 'cause I've missed the feeling of just being able to play tennis without thinking twice. You know, just go out there, spend as much time as you want on court, and be as productive as you can. Focus on this is my objective, this is what I want to improve today. It hasn't always been that way for the last few months. It's been more, Can I do this? Can I do that? It's sort of that second-guessing, which can be a bit tiring but also frustrating when things aren't going as smooth as you hope.

Q. How do you feel about playing Verdasco?

MILOS RAONIC: It will be a tough match. Every single time we've played it's been that way. I'm going to need to play better. But I have it within myself to find those answers and hopefully make the most of the opportunity. 

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