Former World No. 3 Milos Raonic has increasingly become interested in art, and his great uncle was an artist from Montenegro. He has enjoyed visiting art galleries or going to art shows that have coincided with the ATP Tour’s schedule.
But during the coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian has been staying inside. ATPTour.com spoke to the 29-year-old to find out how he’s been keeping busy, his advice and more.
What movie would you recommend and why?
The Talented Mr. Ripley. I wouldn’t have recommended it probably a week ago, but now that I’ve had time to go through things, it’s sort of been revisited and talked about and I just appreciate how great it is.
Have you been able to watch a bunch of movies?
I’ve tried not to, because I don’t know how long we’re going to be in this situation, so I’ve tried not to start binging right away and then be out of things that I can possibly stream.
Is there a book you’d recommend?
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. It was recommended to me a long time ago and I remember it. Now I read a lot, but back then I didn’t read so much, and it was probably one of the first books since early in my childhood that I had and I was very enticed to finish it in a single sitting because it was so good. It was so touching and it’s one that I recommend to a lot of people.
What made you start reading more now than you used to?
It’s just an easy way to shut down. Always if you’re watching something on an iPad, a computer, or a phone, you can get boggled and maybe distracted by other things. I find this way that I put all my electronics far away and when I read, it keeps me more present than a TV show because a TV show you can keep listening to it and maybe check something on your phone in the meantime or that kind of thing. With a book, you need to completely put everything down in the meantime. It just requires more attention.
Especially with your career and how busy you are, it must be good to get away from everything for that bit of time?
I think it’s more of a complete disconnect. I travel with a bunch of books everywhere I go and I love going to different bookstores in different cities. Even though the books might not be changing too much, I think it’s sad to see a lot of mom-and-pop bookstores go out of business.
What music would you recommend to anybody?
It’s a lot of older music that I listen to: a lot of Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, a lot of stuff that’s always playing a little bit more quietly. Nothing to get me too riled up, especially since I’m home all the time [now].
A lot of the guys have been playing video games. Have you gotten into those at all?
I’ve gotten into it for a couple of days. I hadn’t played a single video game for maybe three or four years. So I think this got me into thinking, ‘Okay, how can I kill some time and keep me enticed?’ I got into it for a bit, but I don’t think it’s something that’s going to last in my own personal daily routine.
What video game?
NBA2K has been played a lot. [I like playing with] Toronto, but when we play with friends, everybody has to go with random teams. Sometimes you can get a better team, a disadvantaged team. It just makes everybody have to play with every other team.
Have you been playing it with other players or other friends?
Friends from normal life. It’s just been people that I don’t get a chance to be in the same time zone with. Normally when I have time during the day, they’re working. But this way, everybody’s got a bit more time now and we just find ways to try to make the most of the days.
Of course it’s a very tough time in the world right now, but how nice has it been to get to catch up with those people?
It’s been nice getting on the same page with people, especially because most of my close friends are from outside of the tennis world. They work throughout the day and they’re normally in the North American time zones. Having chances throughout the day when the time zones aren’t an issue, I can actually find time to get in touch rather than getting in touch and having a full conversation over FaceTime once a week or once every two weeks depending how busy everybody is, it can happen daily.
What’s your message to the fans?
The most important thing is to respect what their government asks of them and also the others around you by staying home and trying to make the most of things, but within your confined space with the people around you, just for everybody’s health. That’s whether it’s the people close to you or people on the other end of the country. This thing spreads fast. It’s not just the people in your community that you affect. It’s them talking to another person, talking to another person, talking to another person.The effects and the ripples can be felt far and wide.
I think people have to respect that and realise the seriousness of what’s going on… for most, this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I think people will need to be aware of how it’s changing our lives a lot. You have to respect that process.