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March 10, 1999

Mark Philippoussis


MIKI SINGH: Mark is into Round 16 against Marat Safin with a three-set victory over No. 3 seed Alex Corretja.

Q. How did you see that match today?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: You know, I was quite happy the way I started the match. I had some chances, I had some breakpoint. But, you know, he hardly made an unforced error. He was hitting the ball heavy and deep, didn't give me much of an opportunity. I was pleased to come back. I was a set and a break down. When you come back like that, it always makes the win that much -- you just get a lot of confidence from that.

Q. Did you feel you started playing better after you were a break down or did he go down?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I did. I just started taking some more chances, you know, ran around my backhand a lot. You know, I just started being more aggressive.

Q. What in your mind was the turning point? Was there a point in particular that you remember?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: The break back was important. Like I said, I had some break opportunities before that, but didn't quite get them, gave me a bit of confidence coming back then.

Q. Safin in the next round. Your thoughts on that match?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: You know, I've watched him a little bit on TV. He hits the ball hard. He's a very talented player. He's very strong. Whenever you play someone for the first time, it's always interesting. I think it, just, you have to concentrate on your game a lot more. I'll just be going out there and trying to compete and play my game.

Q. You spoke about confidence a second ago. A match like that, what could it do for you further into the tournament?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Like I said, it's building up confidence coming back like that, beating a player like Alex, who I think is one of the toughest competitors out there. He makes you play for every point, doesn't give you a lot of free points. The thing I'm most pleased about is me competing out there. That's improved a lot this year. I'm not giving up, no matter what the score is.

Q. Do you think maybe a year ago you wouldn't have been able to do something like this, like you did today?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I did come back from matches year ago, a couple years ago. This year I feel I'm a lot more competitive, a lot more mentally tough. Definitely would have been a lot more different, I think. I can't really say I couldn't have, but I just think I'm competing a lot better than I had been in the past.

Q. Seven Australians started in the main draw. You're the last one. Does that mean anything to you?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I never think about my goal is to be the last Australian in the draw of a tournament I'm playing. I'm just worried about myself. I'm here playing for myself, no one else. Any tournament I go in, I think that I have the chance of winning. You do that, then you're going to be the last one standing no matter where you're from. I'm just going out there, playing each match as it comes, just worrying about, you know, who I have to play next.

Q. Is the main difference from a year ago that you're having more fun out there? Are there other elements?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I think the biggest thing is I'm enjoying my tennis a lot more. I don't think I've enjoyed my tennis like this for a long time. I enjoy competing. I'm having fun out there. It is a good feeling.

Q. Why? What's the difference?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I don't know why. I'm just happy. I'm very relaxed. In my personal life, I have no problems. Just enjoying life. I'm just laid back, going out there, just competing well. Just love competing at the moment.

End of FastScripts....

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