Q&A: Milos Raonic on his plans for world domination and his crush on Taylor Swift

Q&A: Milos Raonic on his plans for world domination and his crush on Taylor Swift

He doesn’t just want to dominate the tennis world. He’s already busy plotting his corporate takeover

Q&A: Milos Raonic

Two years ago, no one had heard of you. Today, you’re ranked 15th in the world. What clicked?
I realized that when I control the return of my serve, I can dictate the point. Now I’m working on everything else: my return game, moving laterally, getting quicker, fitter, more agile.

Have you been as surprised by your ascent as
everyone else?

Totally. But my goal was always to get to centre court.

In other words, you don’t mind the spotlight.
Well, I like to showcase myself because it can lead to opportunities. When my tennis days are over, I want a reputation that will help me succeed in business.

You’re well on your way. Lacoste, Wilson, SAP, Rogers, Biotherm Homme and Commerce Court are sponsors, and you’ve won $1.75 million on tour. What was your first big purchase?
A condo for my parents at Yonge and St. Clair, but so far nothing for myself. When I’m training in Barcelona, I stay at a university dorm. It’s far from luxurious.

Do students invite you to keg parties?
I get invited out, but I always have to decline. Tennis is

When you’re back in Toronto, do you get to unwind and have some fun?
I try, but I don’t go out to clubs or drink. The craziest thing I do is drink Coke to stay awake. I like to play Ping-Pong at Spin, and I’m pretty competitive. I have a bit of a temper, too.

Really? When you lose in tennis, you seem remarkably calm and gracious.
That’s because by that point, there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s over. But in practice, I can be really hard on my coach.

Oh yeah? Do tell.
Every few weeks I’ll have a blow-up. Recently, he was trying to get me to hit my backhand in a way I disagreed with. I tried his suggestion but didn’t really give it my best and he got mad. I can be stubborn.

This month, you’re bringing Andy Roddick to the ACC for your annual Face-Off event. Roddick recently called it a career after 12 years. Isn’t it bad form to beat a retiree?
Not at all. I did it last year with Sampras. Andy beat me once before, so it’s a great chance at redemption. My plan is to serve well. I think that’s my plan for everybody.

Your serve is terrifying. But the flaws in the rest of your game were apparent during the beat-down Andy Murray laid on you at the U.S. Open. Was that a humbling experience?
It was, but I understand that the top guys are better than me, and I get motivated when people point out that I need to improve certain things, because I know I’ve got time to do it.

At the U.S. Open, one of the guys from LMFAO was in Serena Victoria Azarenka’s box, and Vogue’s Anna Wintour was in Serena Williams’. Why is yours always so empty?
I’m only 21. Most of my friends are still in school. Although I was hoping Wayne Gretzky would come to the U.S. Open. He texted to say he could make it later in the tournament, but I got eliminated.

You and Wayne are text buddies?
Yeah, I’ve got his number. We had dinner recently and have stayed close.

Who else is in your dream entourage?
Justin Bieber, because he’s a Canadian idol, the UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre, because he’d add a don’t-mess-with-me factor, and Taylor Swift, because she’s my celebrity crush.

Is there a lady in the picture for you?
No, I’m too busy focusing on tennis.

But if Ms. Swift came calling, surely you could find the time, no?
Ah….Who knows. Maybe. Well, sure. Why not?