AP Photo/Alastair Grant
AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Raonic: “There’s nothing I want more than to be back here”

It didn’t take long for Milos Raonic to start thinking about the future.

“I’ll keep plugging away every single day and try to get better to give myself these chances,” Raonic said during an on-court interview after his loss to Andy Murray in Sunday’s Wimbledon final. “I’m going to be continuing to do the same because there’s nothing I want more than to be back here.”

Even though Raonic lost in straight sets to world No. 2 ranked Murray, Sunday’s match was a historic one. The Thornhill, Ontario native became the first Canadian male to play in a singles final of a Grand Slam in the Open era. He reached the final by defeating world N0. 3 Roger Federer in Friday’s semifinal, marking the first time Raonic beat a top three seeded player in a slam event.

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“The appreciation for tennis in Canada has grown considerably,” Raonic told reporters.

“It’s a great honour to have that kind of support. Today, what happened, happened. The only thing I can ever regret is if I don’t do everything I can to make myself return to this position again.”

There’s certainly reason to think the 25-year-old could reach another Grand Slam final in the near future. In 2016, Raonic has reached at least the semifinals of two of the three majors. In the past nine Grand Slams Raonic has played in, he’s reached at least the quarterfinals five times.

RELATED: Raonic ready for the run to Rio 2016

Before the final Grand Slam of the year – the US Open, which begins in late August – Raonic has two major tournaments on his schedule. Later this month he’ll compete in Toronto’s Rogers Cup before joining Team Canada for August’s Olympic Games.

Milos Raonic, tennis

Milos Raonic’s Ice in our Veins poster for Rio 2016.

“If you asked me at the beginning of the year, the six biggest targets were the four (grand) slams, Toronto and Rio. That’s how it’s going to stay,” Raonic said in an interview earlier this year. “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I can play my best tennis at those events.”

RELATED: Raonic makes Olympic team

Raonic remains seventh in the ATP rankings but is just five points back of sixth ranked Kei Nishikori. The Canadian began the year in 14th.

Another Canadian is moving up the rankings as well in 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov, who is ranked 372nd. Shapovalov won the Wimbledon boys’ singles championship this year and teamed up with fellow Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime to finish second in boys’ doubles.