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Avatar's Blog from SAP!

Milos Raonic Blog

SAN JOSE, CA, USA - Although his semifinal opponent, Gael Monfils, was forced to withdraw from the tournament on Friday night, Milos Raonic did get some court time on Saturday in an exhibition against Ivo Karlovic. He blogged for us as he got ready for his first ATP World Tour final...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hey everyone,

I did an exhibition today, playing against Ivo Karlovic and then a serve speed competition. The match was like a practice session, but in a fun atmosphere with a lot of people watching. I used it as much as I could to better my chances for tomorrow and to work on a few things. The serving competition was something different - you don't really focus on that in matches, because the more pressure you put on yourself to hit faster serves, there's less relaxation in your arm and then you don't get that speed. It's fun to make a game out of it though and you could tell the crowd was enjoying it.

This has been a good week for me and a new experience in making the finals of a tournament. Whoever I play, I've seen them play many times, countless hours. I know a lot about them. I am going to try to prepare for my best level of play for tomorrow.

At the end of the day, what it comes down to is preparing your best and when the match starts, doing what you need to do to win that match. It all comes down to myself. Am I ready to fight for every point and win the match? It's nice to get all of the attention I'm getting and it's nice to be in the finals, but I can enjoy all of that when I look back. My goals are doing well in my matches and in the top level tournaments.

This is something I've been working towards, putting in a lot of hours. It hasn't happened miraculously or overnight. I want to keep it going and I want it to last the whole year. After that I'll have more time to train for the next year.

Thanks again for reading and I'll talk to you all again tomorrow...

Milos
 
SAN JOSE, CA, USA - Canada's Milos Raonic powered into his first ATP World Tour semifinal on Friday, beating fellow 20-year-old Richard Berankis in straight sets. Here's his latest blog entry from after the match...
 
Friday, January 11, 2011
 
Hey everyone,
 
I did the things I wanted to do today and now I'm through to my first ATP World Tour semifinal. I'm happy I took care of my serve today. I think I played a bit defensively on a few points when I had my opportunities to be aggressive, but other than that I can't really critique too much.
 
It feels good to be in my first semifinal, but there's another match tomorrow. I have to prepare for it like I did for all my matches this week, and at the end of the week I'll look back and reflect on it all.
 
There are some really good players left in this tournament. I've mostly been focusing on my matches and what I have to do, but I've watched a few points here and there. It's nice to see Hewitt, del Potro and all these guys play. I've practiced with Verdasco in the last few months so I know all of these guys. But of course, I'm first and foremost focused on my own matches. If I have time, like if I'm around waiting for something, I'll watch a bit.
 
The draw for Memphis came out today and I was told who I play in the first round, but I'm just focusing on this week. That's sort of the priority right now - one day at a time! But I am looking forward to it.
 
I've mentioned my family this week in my blog but I haven't really told you much about them. My brother is 28 and my sister is 31 with two kids. We moved here in '94... my sister went back to Montenegro for school but has come back now, and my brother was in Toronto until he moved back there in 2008. My sister is in economics, my brother works in technology. My brother played recreational basketball but I'm the first pro athlete in my family, for at least a few generations. My family has always been strong on education, but me being a pro athlete was something we always talked about.
 
I finished high school when I was 16 and a half. I did day school plus courses at night. I wanted to finish early so I could give tennis a try before going to university. I was good at school, and when it came to the decision of not going to university, my dad made a deal with me that as long as I'm not in the Top 100, I have to take university courses too. I actually took them until a few weeks ago. I think I'll still do some though, but it's nice to know it's my choice now! I want to have a degree, for sure...
 
I play against Gael Monfils tomorrow. It's going to be a good match. I know Gael very well. I've watched him many times and I've practiced with him a few times, too. I haven't played against him... if I keep doing what I'm doing, I believe I can have chances against anybody. I think I can win.
 
I'll talk to you all afterwards... have a good night!
 
Milos


SAN JOSE, CA, USA - Milos Raonic served up his second ATP World Tour quarterfinal spot on Wednesday, reaching the final eight at the SAP Open with a 62 76(4) win over James Blake. He wrote the latest instalment of his blog shortly afterwards...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hi again everyone,

I was more excited than usual after my win over James today. I served for the match at 62, 54 and he broke me back, then I won it in the tie-break. But to overcome what happened in that game, that good game he played, was really satisfying. He has a lot of experience and I'm happy I was able to keep my composure and keep my game together.

I'm playing well, I'm playing confidently. Everything's coming together. I believe a lot in myself, my team, the work I've done... I don't feel there's much that can get in the way of this, and as far as injuries and anything else that can, I'll work hard to prevent it.

My next opponent is Richard Berankis. I think I played him in Under 14s. I know I played him once, I'm not sure if it was Under 14s or Under 12s. We're the exact same age and we grew up together. I've seen a lot of him, he's seen a lot of me and we get along. We've hit a few times the last few weeks. I look forward to that match.

On another subject, there have been a lot of nicknames going around for me. Everything so far has to do with war, like missile. I think Maple Leaf Missile is nice, but let's just stick with Milos until I make up my mind! Actually there has been one I've picked up, Avatar, because of the long legs. That one I don't mind either!

When you're on the road for so long, keeping in touch with everyone back home is important. Skype is a big thing or me, as is BlackBerry Messenger. My sister is in Toronto and I'm Skyping her every day, seeing my niece and nephew, who were just born last April. That's something I don't want to miss out on. I'm seeing them, my mom, my friends, everybody. I'm trying to keep in touch as much as I can.

I'll be practicing tomorrow and I'll talk to you all again.

Milos

SAN JOSE, CA, USA - Canadian rising star Milos Raonic fired 20 aces to win his first round match against No.4 seed Xavier Malisse on Tuesday, 63 64. Shortly after, he made his second instalment in his SAP Open blog...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hello again everyone,

I just came from my match. It was a good win today. Xavier has been playing well this year, but I have been, too. I had to stay on top of my serve and when I got opportunities on his serve, I utilized them. That really helped. The court suits me well - I grew up indoors, so it's nothing new to me.

I had some 146 mph serves today, just nine short! Actually 10 short... I need to get 156 for the record...

I got to meet Pete Sampras yesterday. It was really amazing. It's two different things, growing up watching so much of one guy, then meeting the person behind the game. He was really nice. He gave me some well-thought out tips. For me, it was an unbelievable experience, especially when you're coming up and getting to the point where you meet your idols. It means a lot.

Speaking of players you grow up watching, my next match is against James Blake. It's nice playing these guys you used to watch. I think I'll have an advantage - I'll know him more than he'll know me! So I'll use that as much as I can. I know he'll go for his shots. I'll just take care of my serve and hopefully I'll get a few chances on the return. I look forward to it.

I had steak last night at Morton's - really good steak. I highly recommend it!

Talk to you all again tomorrow,

Milos

SAN JOSE, CA, USA - Milos Raonic announced himself to the tennis world Down Under this year, becoming the first Canadian to reach the second week of a Grand Slam since Daniel Nestor did it at Wimbledon 12 years ago. Now he is building more momentum on the ATP World Tour, beginning with the SAP Open. Follow along with the Canadian trailblazer in his blog from San Jose... 
 
Monday, February 7, 2011
 
Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog.
 
Originally I wasn't planning to come to San Jose this week, but I'm happy I did. With my new ranking I was offered a wildcard to play here, and it's a big opportunity for me to play this week and in Memphis next week. I've been travelling a lot but haven't been feeling it in my body or mentally. It's the same as before, there are a few good days and a few bad days, but I'm playing well in my matches. I'm looking forward to my upcoming matches.
 
Being a Canadian, it's nice to play in a hockey arena this week. I'm not the most passionate hockey fan, but I do love the Maple Leafs and I'm also a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens, since I lived there for three years. It's a nice feeling to play in this ambiance and to see what it's like behind the scenes here. The weather in San Jose is also really nice - I heard it's actually warmer than it normally is here. The people are welcoming too. I heard the steak is really good here... I haven't had a chance to have one yet, but that's my favorite meal, so I look forward to that!
 
I've heard my results have made news in Canada, but I haven't gone home yet, so I haven't gotten to experience it. I look forward to going home and seeing the impact I hope my tennis is making on Canadian tennis.
 
One good thing about all of this is the tournaments I'm playing are nicer. It's not Challengers anymore. It's nice to be playing more ATPs and nice to be recognized more. It's a big change. I'm still expecting the same stuff from myself but at the same time not putting too much pressure on myself. I think I've earned myself a bit more respect from other players too, which is a big thing when you're practicing and playing matches.
 
My first round opponent here is Xavier Malisse. I played him at a Challenger a few years ago in Moncton, in Canada... far, far away! I lost 6 and 6 there, but I was actually shocked, because back then it wasn't the level I was normally playing at. I was having a really good day. Now, I feel I can compete and play at a good level with anyone. I'll have to play well to win, but now my confidence and my level are high. I have to focus on my serve, and I think I can do damage on his serve. I'll take care of what I can.
 
I hope to see as many of you out there!
 
Thanks for reading and I'll talk to you all again tomorrow.

MIlos

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