Fresh off his loss to Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open Milos Raonic made two things clear. Though an injury to his left foot nearly kept him from taking the court for the match, he wasn’t going to use his sore foot as an excuse for the loss, and he was adamant that it only required a few days rest and wouldn’t keep him from performing at the upcoming Davis Cup world group tie against Spain.
“I don’t think [my foot played] a large part in the result last night, I really think it was Roger playing well and me not being there as much as I needed to be,” Raonic said on a conference call Monday evening. “I made a lot of errors that in no way were connected to my foot and I just didn’t execute as well as I needed to and that’s just what it came down to more than anything else.”
Raonic fell to Federer in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-2 early Monday morning (eastern time) and it’s the fourth time in his career that he’s lost to the world no. 2 ranked player. While he’s disappointed with the loss Roanic says that he isn't dwelling on it.
“What can happen sometimes is that you can just have a bad day,” he said. “Every athlete has great days, every athlete has terrible days and a lot of OK days. There’s a lot of things out of your control and all you can ask [yourself] is to go out there, compete as best you can, try to win and that’s what I did.”
Raonic has made an impressive jump in the ATP rankings over the last couple of years. In January of 2011 he was ranked 152 in the world and in less than two years he cracked the top-15 but he acknowledges that the next step of breaking into the top-10 or even the top five is going to require a lot more consistency in his game.
“It’s about bringing a high-level [of play] week in and week out through every week of the year and I had a lot of good results last year, a lot of mediocre results and a lot of poor results,” he said. “I think it’s about getting out there and [playing at] a high level pretty much every match and every week and I think if you do that then eventually when you do get lets say a better draw or opportunity you sort of just get through that and you pick up more points and I think that’s the biggest thing I need to incorporate.”
Now his focus has to quickly shift from competing for individual success to playing for his country as the Canadian Davis Cup team – made up of Raonic, Frank Dancevic, Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil – is set to take on Spain in less than two weeks (Feb 1-3). Raonic will take another day or two in Melbourne to try and heal his foot – the pain he was feeling prior to and during the match with Federer is simply from overuse – and then he’ll meet up with his teammates in Vancouver and begin preparing for the Davis Cup.
"I’m going to be there to play the matches I’m needed for and the matches I’m called upon for… I know I’ll be ready to play my best tennis,” he said.