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Milos Raonic: The Biofile

Raonic© Ron AngleRaonic declares his San Jose title defence this year as his greatest sports moment.

Canadian Milos Raonic, who notched his first Top 4 win over Andy Murray in Barcelona Friday, talks with Scoop Malinowski for this Biofile...

First Tennis Memory: "A lot of time with the ball machine. I think that's how I started out, mostly. That's where I started to get my level up. And my dad (Dusan) was there picking up the balls and I'd be just standing and hitting tennis balls non-stop ."
 
Tennis Inspirations: "Pete Sampras, by far the biggest one. Spent many hours watching his matches. Not just once - twice, three, four times. And sort of he was the inspiration who taught me to work so hard on the serve."
 
First Famous Tennis Player You Met: "Tommy Haas, I think. I probably embarrassed myself [smiles]. I think I had a photo with him and Nick Bollettieri, and I saying, 'Tommy, we've met before, we've met before. Will you please sign my picture?' I remember that. Probably not Tommy [smiles]."
 
Greatest Sports Moment: "Winning San Jose and then defending it. First title and then able to back it up is amazing."
 
Most Painful Moment: "The pain you feel when you make that slip and when you realise how long you're going to be out for during Wimbledon."
 
Funny Tennis Memory: "There's a lot of things that happen but I can't point out one thing. But being in the locker room with...there's some really special characters on the Tour. And guys that make this Tour and being on it for so many, it's fun. (Which players come to mind on that?) Djokovic is a funny guy, got a great personality. There's many guys like him that sort of bring up the energy in the locker room [smiles]."
 
Strangest Match: "One time I think I was playing a Challenger against a guy in the top 200. The guy was obviously better than me but I was sort of sticking with him and I had 40-love serving. And a guy off the court fainted on the side. Paramedics had to come. Took almost 15 minutes. We stopped. And I don't think I won a game after that. I think it was 4-all and I lost 6-4 6-0. (Where?) Granby. I got a wildcard into main draw."
 
Closest Tennis Friends: "Coach and Almagro."
 
Favourite Players To Watch: "I'll watch probably the finals of most tournaments. Probably Djokovic. I enjoy watching Federer, Nadal, Soderling, probably all the guys in the top 10."
 
Embarrassing Tennis Memory: "Most embarrassing...I don't know...Lost 0 and 0 in juniors. It was a long time ago. Maybe under 12's. Somewhere in Europe I think."
 
Favourite Ice Cream Flavour: "Strawberry."
 
Favourite Meal: "Steak before match."
 
Favourite Sports Outside Tennis: "Basketball."
 
Current Car: "My parents' Honda Civic."
 
People Qualities Most Admired: "Honesty. People that are genuine. People that are caring. And people that just go and take care of the common courtesies. When you walk by them in the locker room and I'll say Hi and all these kinds of things. Because you see them so many times a day. You don't just want to be walking cold shoulder by a lot of people. I think this is one of the most important things on the Tour."

Courtesy of Scoop Malinowski, tennis-prose.com

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