home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 20, 2003

Mark Philippoussis


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What's on that hat, Mark?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Oh, it's a dragon. It's a sunglass company that give me some stuff, take care of me.

Q. Free publicity for the company?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Well, yeah. They take care of me, I take care of them, so...

Q. That was a pretty clean match today. Couple breakpoints, defended them both. Are you on your way back inside the Top 30, 20?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Oh, definitely. I mean, I just want to stay healthy. I'm healthy now. I'm feeling good. I'm just trying to get stronger, trying to get my legs stronger. With every tournament, that's going to happen. You know, with every match I play, I'm going to get a lot stronger, and mentally stronger. You know, I'm enjoying myself out there. I think that's number one. I'm enjoying being back on the tour, I'm enjoying the challenge, I'm enjoying the traveling - well, I won't say I'm enjoying the traveling. But, you know, I'm just enjoying being part of the tour again. It's been such a long time. And I'm playing some good tennis. I am on my way back, there's no doubt about that.

Q. You made a couple long runs tonight for balls. That kind of showed us your fitness is pretty high right now. The shot selection when you got there wasn't always the greatest, but you got to those balls, which was kind of key, wasn't it?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah, I'm moving a lot better. That's what I'm working on. And my legs are getting a little stronger, which is making my footwork a little better. You know, I'm just -- I think I'm playing some good tennis, just solid tennis. Like you said, it was two breakpoints I didn't play good to get down to those breakpoints, but came up with good serves and got myself out of trouble. And besides that, you know, I was happy. I played a pretty clean match.

Q. What goals have you made for yourself for 2003?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I haven't actually -- I won't say I've -- the goal I've made for myself would be to get myself as physically strong as possible by the end of the year. That's the goal I've made for myself.

Q. What do you think about Fernando Gonzalez?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Very talented. Strong off the ground. He was playing great towards - I think in the summer last year in America. Cincinnati, I think he lost in the final. So, obviously, a talented guy. I mean, there's no easy matches out there. Hits a hard ball. You know, so... You know, I think he's not coming to the net too much. He's going to sit in the back and hit the ball hard off the backhand and forehand. He's got a big forehand, he's got a big serve. So, you know, just sit back and hit it hard.

Q. A lot of guys have said the ball is heavier here because of the humidity. Many guys who serve and go to the net say it's been tough for them to play in that kind of game. Do you think that is right?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I do. Obviously, they want to slow down the game a little. And to do that, they've slowed down the balls. You know, by slowing down the balls, the balls will get a lot heavier, quicker. You know, when you do want to come to net, it's gonna be -- you're gonna leave yourself open a lot more than before, you know. Whereas Goran was playing, winning all his tournaments. There's Edberg, you know. I mean even when Pat was playing, you know, those guys were at the net serve and volleying, chip and charging. Now I think people, they hit their ground strokes a lot better, a lot harder. Make it a little tough for them to serve and volley. Definitely I think the game's moving towards the ground strokes.

Q. Players out there today had problems with the heat. Yours was a later match and didn't last that long. Could you feel the temperature?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: It was hot, but not as bad as yesterday. I practiced yesterday and I thought yesterday was a lot hotter than today. It's a little tough, I think especially for the girls, as you saw in the first match. But it can be really tough. If you don't do the right things, you know, I guess wearing a hat, if you don't drink a lot of water and eat the right things, it can get really tough out there.

Q. Have you been up at six in the morning to do some surfing down in San Diego?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Every day. Every single day.

Q. A lot of professional surfers out there?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah, I actually live four houses down from Rob Machado, who was one of the best surfers in the world - still is. He free surfs now. But there's another pro surfer, Damian Hobgood, who his brother C.J. was world champion two years ago. Another Australian surfer, Heath Walker, an Aussie pro surfer. I surf with these guys every day, I surf. It's awesome, so much fun.

Q. Aside from the fact that you have a lot of fun doing that, are you taking anything away from these guys in terms of their professionalism that would help you as a tennis player?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: You know, surfers are pretty laid back, you know. They're pretty laid back, I must say. So, for me, it was pretty easy for me to adapt to the way they are (laughing). So the only thing I would say was you have to wake up really early. There's a swell coming in, they're up at the crack of dawn, you know, just crack of the day waiting to surf. That was the toughest thing, getting used to waking up and still trying to open your eyes while you're paddling out. I mean, it's fun because they want to train with me. They go in the gym with me. We go to yoga classes. You know, we have fun.

Q. Where do you tennis train over there?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Bobby Riggs tennis in Carlsbad. Yeah, in Carlsbad.

Q. Who's down there to train with?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I hit -- also do some stuff, hit a lot at LaCosta. They have all the college kids there at LaCosta. There's always some college kids around. Or last week, after Indian Wells Mac was with me, so we just hit on our own.

Q. Have you noticed a trend towards some of the players going to this luxilon string, as far as cutting back on some of the power, going for more spin?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Oh, I tried that last year, it didn't work for me.

Q. Obviously, your game has always been about power.

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah, I mean, number one, you've got to string that tension at maybe 28, 27, 29 to play luxilon. I string gut at 36, 36 and a half. That's the kind of string that you need to have a lot of whip, you know. Clay courters, they can just sit back and whip the ball and just use all their string. You know, that was fine when I was doing that. But every time I went to step into the ball to flatten the ball out, I couldn't control the ball. So I used that the whole clay court season except I swapped at the French. So I mean, for me, I string it at 34 and my arm was falling off, so that didn't exactly help.

Q. Could you feel the impact on your wrist and arm using that polyester string?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah, definitely. It's definitely not for me. I've been using gutter since I'm 16, 17.

Q. Seems like the Spaniards are in love with it.


Q. You said your game is going good. Good enough to have a good run for the tournament this year, or is it a bit early to tell?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No, I think if there's one thing that would stop me is my fitness. That's getting stronger, like I said. Scottsdale I had a long week, got a little tired at the end, but that's expected. I'm feeling good. I definitely had a lot of time to work out after Indian Wells and get fresh. You know, I'm feeling good. So number one for me is to get out in the court and play my game. Just, you know, serve and, you know, mix it up, serve and volley, stay back, hit hard and just be positive, go out there and be positive. I think I just don't -- one thing I want to change is if I lose a match -- I don't want to lose a match, beat myself out there. I'd rather go out there and, you know, "That guy played a great match and beat me" and tip my hat off and say, "Too good." I don't want to go out there, make unforced errors and just hand it to him, like I've done many times in the past. That's -- I think that's towards my fitness. Because, you know, if you're tired and you don't want to run, you're going to hit some balls that aren't there because you don't want to run. You're going to go for winners that you're not in position. It's normal. But if you're moving well, if I'm moving well - which I am now, starting to move good - and you're fit, you're going to run balls down, get to them, then you are going to have a lot of options when you get there, you're going to work the ball back and get in the rally. Because if you have to run all day, you don't care if you feel good. Now that I'm moving better, I feel like I'm getting to the ball easier. And I have a little more options, you know. Like I said, I just want to get as fit as possible, get my legs as strong as possible so when I do go out there, my footwork's great and I'm moving good. And I know that if I move good, I'm going to play good, you know. It's all movement for me. It's all health. That's the only thing that could keep me back and stop me from getting back to the top - and I know I can.

Q. Is the Delray house still on the market?


Q. Can you give me a deal on it? What's your price on it? Is it under three million yet?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yeah, 2.995, yeah.

Q. Will you carry the mortgage for me?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: (Smiling) I'll throw in a couple of horses, too.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297