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November 2, 2000
MODERATOR: Questions for Mark, who had to withdraw with a blocked neck today.
Q. How did it happen?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I just woke up - went to bed, woke up with a stiff neck. Actually
happens to me not very often, but it does happen to me. I have had a history of it. I have
an awkward way of sleeping. I sleep on my stomach. You know, I guess the pillow is really
soft here at the hotel. It just happens. I woke up with a stiff neck. I came here in the
morning at 10:30. I saw the doctor. I put two anesthetics in my backside, down low, for my
back, then I put three in my neck. Felt a lot better. Groundstrokes weren't too bad, but
as soon as I went to serve, I can't lift my head. As soon as I go to lift my head to
serve, if the serve goes in, I try to hit a groundstroke, everything locks up. No chance.
Q. The same thing has happened in the past to you?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: It has happened. It's happened in the past before. I was lucky
enough that it happened once that I had a night match, and I had it mobilized, it got
better, loosened up towards the end so I was able to play. Being second match, I had no
chance. You know, last time it happened was at the Colonial Classic this year. I woke up
in the morning to play Andre in the final, it happened. What pisses me off, you have
people that don't believe you, that think that I just didn't want to play because I wanted
to get ready for the Australian Open, which is extremely frustrating. I just hope now that
these people who made these comments can realize that it happens. I've never, ever pulled
out of a match intentionally. I've played lots of times with pain. But this, I can't do
anything out there. These things happen. They should know that. I hope now they can just
think about what they're saying before they say it.
Q. What can you do?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I just have to mobilize it. I'm going to come back this afternoon,
mobilize it, get a massage, get it warmed up. I'm sure tomorrow it will be a little
better, but I'll just keep doing the same.
Q. Do you think you'll be out of the circuit for a couple weeks?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No, no, no. I've had it before. Like I said, I'm sure it will be a
little better by tonight, you know, a little more than 50% by tomorrow. It will get better
and better, especially with treatment. I've just got to go out today and buy these pillows
which help sort of give you that perfect thing for the spine. Like I said, I have an
awkward way of sleeping. It's happened a lot. It is very frustrating.
Q. On a slightly different tack, what is the latest as far as you started to work with
Peter McNamara? He hasn't come here, has he, this week?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No. He's in Singapore playing an over-35's. He'll be with me in
Lyon and Paris.
Q. So it has actually started?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yes. It started actually in Hong Kong, Japan, went back to Miami,
then this week, he's only missing this week.
Q. When he's away, you contact him by telephone?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Yes. I called him the other day. He sends me faxes. We keep in
close contact. I think the relationship will be great. I've known him since I was 12 years
old, which is important. He knows me as a person. He's known me for a while. I think
that's important. You know, he's very relaxing on the court. We have a lot of fun on the
court. He knows the way I train. Everyone trains differently, everyone trains more than
others or less than others, everyone needs different things than others. He knows exactly
what I need. At the moment it's been working great. I'm excited.
Q. He's been through everything himself, including injuries, hasn't he?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Exactly. So he knows what it's all about. I think the biggest thing
is he was up there, he's one of the best tennis players in the world, he was Top 10. I
think he got to 7 in singles before he got injured, one of the best in doubles with
McNamee. He knows how I feel on the court, he knows the pressure situations. Great thing
is, he still hits the ball well, hits it great. It's good to get out there on the court
Q. Patrick Rafter said he wished you were going to be part of the team for the Davis
Cup final, wants to put any differences that you guys may have in the past behind you. Is
there any way, in light of his comments, that you would perhaps reconsider playing on the
team for the Davis Cup final?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Myself and Pat, we've put everything behind us. We're talking
really well. I mean, it's like nothing ever happened, you know. We're going to practice
once, but I couldn't because my luggage didn't get in. We joke all the time in the locker
room. We're always talking like nothing's happened. But for the case of playing the Davis
Cup final, I won't be there, no.
Q. I guess next year is obviously a fresh year. Are you likely to reconsider your Davis
Cup plans for next year?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: There's plenty of time. I'll sit down and think about that.
Q. Has Fitzy or Wally approached you about it yet?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Fitzy has, yes. Actually, he's talked to my dad. My dad said,
"I've got nothing to do with that. You speak with Mark. I don't want to say anything,
have nothing to do with it. It's best to speak with Mark."
Q. Are you planning to have a special training with McNamara in the off-season?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Because he lives in London?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: The thing is, why I feel like it's going to be good, when we're at
the tournaments, we will be training hard and everything, but when we have our weeks off,
he goes back to London, I go back to Miami. I think it's good to not see each other. He's
with his family, it's sort of fresh, I'm with my family and friends, I'm training there, I
know exactly what I'm doing. He speaks to me on the telephone, tells me what I'm training
on, "Do this on the court, do that, work on this on the court, keep up your
fitness," then we meet up for the tournaments. I think that's great. I think if
you're together too much, you know, I don't think it's that good. I think it will work out
well like that. We're together, he goes off, we see each other after a couple weeks, we're
fresh, you know, he's fresh, I'm fresh, we're ready to start again.
Q. Where are you planning to start your new year? What are the first two or three
tournaments you'll play?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Hopman Cup.
Q. Then? Anything between then and The Open?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No, just Hopman Cup, warm-up for the Australian.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.