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January 17, 2003

Mark Philippoussis


MODERATOR: Questions for Mark.

Q. He seemed to run down everything you hit at him. Frustrating?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah. I knew that was going to happen. That's pretty much his main thing, his movement around the court. So, yeah, I mean, obviously I was aware of that. He moved really well. He was pretty solid, you know, off the ground.

Q. You played pretty well in the first set. Where did you feel the momentum of the match start to swing his way?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I mean, the second set is obviously important. But I had breakpoint chances. I mean, bottom line is, you know, I said I wasn't strong enough. My legs weren't strong enough. It's simple. I just couldn't move towards the end. I couldn't play my game, which is coming to the net, because I wasn't coming to the net well. I mean, my legs broke down. I knew I wasn't strong enough, but I tried as much as I could out there. Now I've got a few days off. Go to the gym, get my legs strong, you know, get ready for the Davis Cup.

Q. When you say your legs broke down, do you mean in terms of the strength?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah. You know, I played relatively a long match the first one, five-setter. I just wasn't strong enough to come back and back it up. That's all. I was hitting the ball okay, but when you can't move proper to the ball, doesn't matter how well you're hitting the ball. You're a step slower. You know, I've got to take some positive things away from this tournament. You know, coming to the net and finally you're back on the tour, just playing some matches. Now I just want to try and stay healthy and just get, you know, my body back in shape, you know, my legs strong so I can, you know, back those five-setters up and can come out and play, you know, and feel good for the Grand Slams.

Q. How long do you think it takes before you get to a stage where you can play a tough match and then back it up again?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Oh, you know, I got some time now to work. You know, if I work hard, obviously the more you work, the fitter you're going to get, the stronger you're going to get. If I do the right things, you know, I can be in some good shape for the French, as long as I do the right things and eat healthy and work on my legs and just try to get my legs strong, you know. But the good thing is, too, I'm playing tournaments now, I'm playing matches. That's the best thing for them.

Q. It's Wimbledon the focus now for the year?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Not at all. The next focus is the Davis Cup. That's what I'm focusing on. I'm going to relax now. I'm looking forward to watching the boxing on Sunday. Maybe that's one positive thing. Now I can get to watch the boxing (smiling). So, yeah, I mean, you know, I can't put my head down. You know, I played two good matches. You know, and continue and try to get to the net, chip and charge, you know, serve and volley. I just got to do the right things, and things will pay off for me.

Q. Do you know when you'll go to Sydney for Davis Cup?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I don't know yet, no.

Q. Beyond that, have you got a schedule worked out for the American hard court season?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Obviously, Indian Wells, Miami. Before that, I'm not too sure. It's a question mark before that. Couple tournaments in Europe, so, yeah.

Q. Before that?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah. After Davis Cup, I go to Marseille and Copenhagen. So, yeah, I've got a good schedule.

Q. Do you sort of try to not play much early in the first half of the year coming back after a break?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No, I wouldn't say that. This is when I need to play matches. This is when I need to play tournaments. You know, I'm going to have a few days off. After the fight, Monday I'm going to start in the gym, you know, slowly trying to get my legs strong, stretching, you know, a few days off the court, and then go up to Sydney and start preparing, then move on for the indoor season. This is the time I've got to work on my game and stay healthy and do the right thing. Play the matches, ice my knee, stretch, do things off the court, little footwork things. If you do those right things, it's going to get stronger, it's going to pay off for me. I'm just looking forward to getting back on the tour and just playing some matches.

Q. With regards to the Srichaphan match, what does that give you for the year? There were people that thought that would give you confidence for the year.

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah, it's given me confidence. It was a high-quality match. There was a lot of moving on the court, a lot of covering. He did, as well. It's a little disappointing because obviously it would be nice, you know, to back it up. But, you know, I went out there, I tried. I think a lot of people saw that my legs just weren't strong enough. But, you know, I gave my best, and that's all I could do.

End of FastScripts….

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