Q. The service return to go back up to the mini break in the first set was a gutsy shot and obviously worked out.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. I had the exact same return the shot before. I went for it. The intention I had today that was a bit different is go for it. He doesn't like to play rhythm. Don't overthink, like too many unforced errors or whatnot. Go for it and just don't give him rhythm.
It was working well. I was hitting well from the start. I was moving quite well. There was some doubts at some points, but I just kept going for it.
Q. You have to consider that a big win for you.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's a good thing. A lot of good things sort of coming together. I'm just getting better and better. Struggling with a few things. But day in, day out, but at the end of the day it's better.
Q. How much of it today was mental and how much was physical/technical to pull through?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, today I think was a hundred percent mental. I had a tough night last night. I just sort of put that aside.
Today to come out, perform the way I did, I don't think anybody that's close to me would have expected that, and I'm proud about that.
Q. So you're sick?
MILOS RAONIC: I was yesterday. I was much better. I just struggled with a fever the last two nights. Sort of I managed to sweat it out last night. But that was waking up often, having to change and so forth.
Q. So did you feel weak coming on the court tonight?
MILOS RAONIC: No. I felt like my body was aching. I didn't really feel like I was struggling with energy. I just felt like every type of ache I had was magnified. I felt that I struggled a little bit at the beginning, especially 'cause there was that overcast on the court from the trees. I just struggled seeing and sort of registering quickly at the beginning.
But other than that, I felt like it wasn't an issue at all. I'm just happy how I put it aside and how I played.
Q. Where do you feel you sort of got him being negative and you got on top of him? When did you realize it really happened?
MILOS RAONIC: I think after he made that challenge on that ball that got me to deuce, I think I came back from 15 40 in that second game, my first return game in the second set. Just from the fact that him, you know, normally he will go back. He likes to have the time. He won't try to half volley that. You could feel like he was not getting a lot of rhythm. He wasn't seeing it right. I felt like after that, then he made that miss on the breakpoint, after I felt like that sort of threw him off.
Q. The net cord, you're unbeaten there, pretty comfortable there?
MILOS RAONIC: It's a good court for me. Record wise I don't think I can say after the first match I played my best tennis there, but I've played pretty well on that court.
Q. Were there times last night when you were getting up thinking, No way I'm going to get on court and beat this guy?
MILOS RAONIC: There were times where there were doubts in my mind of what I'd be able to come up with today. To be honest, there were times that there were doubts even up close to the match, even though I was feeling much better. You don't know how things are going to react. You don't know if you're going to be any slower or not.
I think the fact, it actually probably helped me, because it forced me to go 110% right away from the start because I didn't know what to expect. I just put it all out there from the first point. I think I started off that first game pretty well. I got myself a break chance. It just set the right tone after.
In a way, it was a good thing because I've been struggling a little bit with the intensity. I struggled for a set against Rosol, I struggled against Hajek, I struggled with all the matches leading up to this event. I think this just demanded it from me right away from the start.
Q. If you'd been hot, I mean, you've played late in the afternoon it was cooler, do you think that was an advantage?
MILOS RAONIC: I think today was pretty cool all day. Even when I hit around 12:00, it was a pretty comfortable feeling.
The issue, I don't think I was more worried about it might be too cold to the point where you get chills, because that's what I struggled with yesterday more so than struggling with heat. I struggled with sort of getting chills the whole time.
The worst part about it was I would have the chills and then I'd sort of feel like I'm tightening up my body. My back would sort of feel like it's getting more and more sore from that factor.
Q. Did you get a chance to watch any of what's going on out there now?
MILOS RAONIC: I watched the tiebreaker.
Q. Pretty impressive?
MILOS RAONIC: It's Roger.
MILOS RAONIC: He's playing well. He's a good friend. I spoke with him before the match. I spoke with him last night. He's a good friend. Whatever people might see, he's a good kid.
Q. Your intensity level two nights from now is going to have to be super high to get in there against Federer.
MILOS RAONIC: I've had my three shots against him, and I look forward to my fourth.
Q. You're feeling good after getting through that?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah.
Q. It could be an afternoon match. How do you feel about that?
MILOS RAONIC: I think that's better for me. It just quickens up the situations. The three times I played him have been either not great weather in Halle, which is pretty cool all the time, or both of the other times were night matches.
So a day opportunity I think would be good for me.
Q. What do you think you might bring to this match you weren't able to bring to the other ones?
MILOS RAONIC: Experience. I think I played well in the other ones. I think I got pretty damn close the one time in Madrid. I got pretty close in Halle. I just know how to deal with it. I think I have a higher tolerance within myself and a higher belief within myself stepping up against Roger.
Q. Can you describe the transformation? Obviously wasn't too good in Brisbane, Kooyong a bit goofy, but this transformation from when you got here to the way you are playing now?
MILOS RAONIC: Step by step, match by match, you try to get better. I exchanged emails with my fitness trainer or with my parents over the phone, I feel like many bad words. There was moments I was not feeling great.
It's just about sort of plugging away and turning it around. Fortunate to get by the first day. Made a big, I think, step forward the second day. Even though the second day I remember cooling down after the match, I really felt like I played really bad out there. Galo, Juan, everybody sort of around me was telling me, No, no, no, it wasn't that way. It really wasn't that way. So just even hearing that gave me another light for today.
So I felt like it was getting quite a bit better. Then going out today just sort of pushed myself and I could see myself that I'm getting better.
Q. Watching some of Bernie's match, winning the big points against Federer seems to be important.
MILOS RAONIC: He's made a career off winning big points.
No, yeah, it's what matters. And I think the progress Bernie's shown is great. I think he really I don't know. I didn't see too much of this third set. But I think he had break chances. Even the games he got broken, he had chances to hold.
But I think against Roger, one thing that has sort of worked well for me, I try as much as I can not to play on Roger's terms, to play on my own terms.
Q. Your game is so much different than the guys he's played so far. You have to think that's an advantage. He hasn't played a guy that serves as well as you. The pressure of returning and stuff.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, he's dealt with it enough times in his career. I don't think not playing anybody in this tournament that way is going to make too much of a difference for him.
The thing is, it's a different style. I have to go out there and do my job. Take care of my serve is number one. Really dictate or try to dictate as much as I can and go for it, not get in too much rhythm. Sort of similar to today. I think he deals much better with that. But not give him too much rhythm. Sort of sink my teeth into the match as much as I can. Not just go for it out there, give it my all, stay aggressive as much as I can, try to get ahead in as many points as I can.
Q. The Rod Laver experience from last year. Better a second time?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it will. I don't think the atmosphere will change. I don't think there's too many people that don't like Roger. So I think it will be pretty much the same if it was playing Lleyton. Maybe not as many 'Aussie' cheers, but there will be quite a few 'Roger' cheers.
I've had a chance to practice on it quite a bit. I feel much better, much more prepared. This is my third time in a Grand Slam dealing with the center court. This is my first time getting an opportunity on center court. I look forward to that.
Q. I can't figure out whether you had a haircut since Kooyong.
MILOS RAONIC: I had a hair trim (smiling).