LONDON, England - Before trying for another win against Andy Murray, Milos Raonic will have to get over another painful loss to Roger Federer.
The 23-year-old Canadian takes on home favourite Murray on Tuesday at the ATP Finals, the prestigious year-end men's tennis tournament.
Both players lost their opening first-round matches on the weekend, with Murray going down to U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori and Raonic losing in straight sets to six-time champion Federer.
After defeating the Federer for the first time in his career just over a week earlier in Paris, Raonic was far from pleased with his showing in Sunday's rematch against his nemesis.
"I get pretty angry when I lose, so I'm going to have to learn how to slap myself out of it," said the hard-serving player from Thornhill, Ont., who fell to 1-7 against Federer in his career.
Raonic, the first Canadian singles player to qualify for the year-end tournament, was trounced 6-1 in the first set against Federer. Raonic then fought back in the second set before failing to convert on set point. Federer made him pay, forcing a tiebreak that he easily won 7-0.
While Raonic has long struggled against Federer, he carries a 4-2 record over Murray into Tuesday's match.
The eighth-ranked Canadian won their last meeting in the fourth round at Indian Wells in March. Murray's only wins came two years ago in Miami (walkover) and New York (fourth round).
But the sixth-ranked Scot is fighting for his pride at home and will no doubt be a threat after clawing into the eight-man season wrapup with three autumn titles in the space of five weeks.
"It's a completely different match, things are going to be quite different than the first match," said Raonic. "We both have more of an idea what we need to do different for the next round.
"It's going to be about who necessarily adjusts better, who can play better come Tuesday night."
Raonic said that competing indoors in London at the onset of winter contrasts sharply from summer days on the grass of Wimbledon across the city.
"You are here really looking to cap the year off on a high note, to push, and only against the best players in the world," Raonic said. "In Wimbledon, come that time of year, you could be having a poor year up to that point.
"It's a good way that you could turn it around. It's still relatively early in the season (at Wimbledon). One big result there can change a lot for the following few months. That's probably the biggest difference."
Unlike other tournaments, a round-robin loss at the Finals does not necessarily mean total defeat, through the mathematics and countback formulas can quickly get complex.
"At the end of the day, it's just a tournament with a different format," he said. "There are a few more perks (private dressing room for each singles player, boat transport from the tournament hotel down the Thames).
"You get treated a bit better and so forth than you would necessarily at other events. But you are just trying to be as efficient and as proficient as possible in finding a way to prepare for your matches so you can play your best level when needed."
Raonic will be seeking his 50th win of the season when he faces Murray.
Also Tuesday, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic face the French duo of Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Nestor and Zimonjic, two-time champions at the year-end event, lost their first match 6-3, 7-5 to Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo on Sunday.