Milos Raonic insists that he is a better player now than he was when he lost to Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2014, his only other grand slam semi-final appearance.
The Canadian served, volleyed and rallied his way past Gael Monfils on Wednesday evening to set-up a semi-final battle with Andy Murray.
The last time Raonic was a part of the final four players at a grand slam was in 2014 at Wimbledon and Federer, his opponent, seemed to be in a different league completely as he strolled to a straight-sets victory.
However, the 25-year-old is adamant that he is a superior player now than he was two years ago and is confident that he can cause Murray some problems.
“I had a little bit of a disappointing semifinal two years ago now, and want to change that story around and give myself another go with more experience and where I feel like I’m a better player than I was two years ago,” Raonic said.
“I think I know better how to use my groundstrokes. But at the same time, because I’m getting to the ball in better position, it’s easier.
“I don’t feel like I’m getting hustled around the court that much. I feel like I can find my way back. I don’t have to go for big shots on the run. I can sort of neutralise a little bit better.”
Coached by Carlos Moya, Raonic has confessed to having his eyes on Murray long before he knew he would be playing him in the semi-finals at Melbourne.
“As much as I look back on it, even before I went on court today I was paying attention to what he was doing,” Raonic said of Murray.
“Because far from where we were 14 months ago, we’re both very different and I think improved players from then.
“So I have certain aspects that I would like to manipulate and use my game in, and I’m sure he’s going to try to do a lot of different things, too. I think it’s going to be a race to who can get in the comfort zone first.”
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