Quarantine Chronicles: Catching Up With Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic has been doing anything but sleeping in during his 14-day quarantine period ahead of the Australian swing. The World No. 15 in the FedEx ATP Rankings is gearing up to represent Canada in the ATP Cup alongside Denis Shapovalov, Peter Polansky and Steven Diez, and he’s determined to maximise precious time on the tennis court.
But what is Raonic up to when he’s not on court? And what is his go-to delivery dish? The Canadian sat down for a chat with ATPTour.com to reveal seven things he’s been up to during quarantine…
1. Getting creative with his in-room workouts.
"I hope the hotel doesn’t see that’s the use of the minibar fridge... But you can get creative in a hotel room. Our creativity has been using a fridge as a step-up, but there’s other ways. Towels can be used for different workouts. There’s many ways you can get creative, but for us our big thing was coming prepared and trying to have as much with us as possible… I was aware of how the conditions would be, so we came here and we brought a lot of things that we could use."
2. Organising his day to make the most of practice court time.
"So you hear the night before what time your slot is [to go outside for five hours] and what time you’ll get picked up. And then you adjust your day to that. You get ready and wait by your door for them to come around again once they’ve also corralled your team and the player you’re practising with. And then you’ll all come out to the elevator, go down in the same elevator. By the way, getting your hands sanitised and always wearing masks throughout this whole process. Then get in the car and head to the courts. You step straight out on court and you practice for your allotted time – that’s what we’re all trying to make the most of, the time on court.
"After that you get to go to the gym, one of many across the whole venue that was built for the players. Your gym is actually correlated with your court. So anybody that day that practised on that court uses the exact same gym after, so that way they have time to clean it, to sanitise it… So you go to your gym, after that you have one hour to eat. And again... so if you practised on Court 3, you go to the gym for Court 3, then you go for the table in the area outside that’s for Court 3 for your time to eat.
"And after that you get picked up. Straight in the elevator, straight upstairs, straight to your room… The rest of the time, you really try to make the most of it. I’ve spent time doing other things, other kind of workouts to supplement the trainings that I’ve been able to do at the venue. Spent time reading, studying, doing various things. But you know, with the consistency it has been settling. It has been generous that we get to get out for those five hours."
3. Getting a lot of chevapi delivered.
"There’s a great restaurant here called Chevapi Grill. It’s Balkan cuisine and the dish [chevapi, made of grilled sausages] I believe originated from Bosnia. But it’s a dish that’s famous throughout all of former Yugoslavia. I’ve had it many times. Growing up in Canada, my parents would always take us out to get it. There’s a great one here that I get on Uber Eats from Chevapi Grill. I’ve had it a good portion of the time since I’ve been here, and it’s been nostalgic and it’s been enjoyable."
4. Picking up some interesting reading material.
"I’ve actually been reading a book called Barbarians at the Gate. It’s from a famous company takeover [RJR Nabisco] in the '80s that’s actually been very interesting for me. That’s sort of kept me busy, but I have a long ways to go."
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5. Keeping in touch with loved ones.
"It doesn’t matter if it’s quarantine or not, the person that I speak to the most is my girlfriend. Facetime, text, phone calls… whatever is possible at the moment. At this moment she’s also in quarantine in Belgium, so we’ve actually both had a bit more time than normal to keep in touch."
6. Beating boredom by staying mentally engaged.
"Just make sure you’re always doing something. I think if you get yourself caught up in doing stuff mindlessly, either you get caught up in a binge of a TV show or you can get caught up going through YouTube videos or scrolling through social media.
"I think you have to find something that engages you a bit more. That’s what makes the biggest difference. Because if you have something that you’re excited to stay awake for and that you’re eager about, that helped make that transition a lot easier. If you’re sort of like, I’m just doing stuff to kill time, then you could also be sleeping to kill time too. So it’s harder to weigh out those options."
7. And beating jet lag by not sleeping in.
"I don’t really tend to sleep in. I’ve actually gotten on a schedule pretty well, it only took me about two days to get used to it. Obviously the first four days we didn’t get to go anywhere, and the toughest thing about those days was keeping yourself awake… But once I was able to get through that and now with the benefit of being able to get out and being in the sun, it’s helped significantly to get used to the jetlag."