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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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2006 Articles

Scud fires, at last
By Leo Schlink
January 3, 2006

MARK Philippoussis last night won his first match on Australian soil in almost two years.The dual Davis Cup winner shared an encouraging 7-5 6-1 opening-round doubles victory at the Adelaide International with Belgian Xavier Malisse.

The pair downed Swede Robert Lindstedt and Finn Jarkko Nieminen, presenting Philippoussis with a vital confidence boost at the beginning of an Australian summer circuit pivotal to his flagging career.

Philippoussis, 29, had not tasted victory in Australia since eliminating Croatia's Mario Ancic from the second round of the Australian Open in January, 2004.

He missed most of the Australian circuit last year after injuring his groin at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Appearing slimmer, fitter and more focused than at his previous outing - in St Petersburg in October - Philippoussis served strongly and produced deft touches around the net.

His only moment of discomfort came at 4-0 in the second set when he swallowed a fly during his ball toss. He quickly regained his composure to spear into the second round. Supported by his fiancee Alexis Barbara and his father Nick, Philippoussis had to wait for Malisse to polish off fellow Victorian Peter Luczak in singles before venturing out to Court No.7.

He was greeted by a huge crowd, which remained around his court even as Australia's surprise Wimbledon doubles champion Stephen Huss joined American drawcard James Blake on Centre Court for doubles.

Philippoussis's summer has been bankrolled by wildcards. He will use he first invitation today when he faces tough American Vince Spadea.

He is scheduled to return to Melbourne for the January 16 to 29 Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

Philippoussis starts back on long path to top
By Michael Gleeson
January 3, 2006

MARK Philippoussis took his first tentative steps towards resurrecting his famously unfulfilled career yesterday in a rare appearance in a doubles match at the Adelaide International.

In an encouraging sign that the former Wimbledon and US Open finalist seems to have a renewed commitment to fight his way back to something approximating his best, the former world No.8 moved freely with feisty Belgian Xavier Malisse to post a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Robert Lindstedt and Jarkko Nieminen.

After his tumble down the rankings the big-serving Victorian requires wildcard entries for this summer's events. He will travel from Adelaide to Auckland for the Heineken Open, in preference to the more common options of the Sydney International or the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, before returning for the Australian Open.

While declarations of renewed commitment must be taken with some caution, the fact Philippoussis has returned to Memorial Drive in Adelaide - the scene of his inglorious Davis Cup performance against Sweden two years ago - and has opted to play doubles may indicate the measure of his resolve to reclaim a ranking befitting his prodigious ability. He played only two doubles tournaments last season, one of which was with compatriot Lleyton Hewitt at London's Queen's Club in June.

Through a combination of injury and lack of motivation, Philippoussis has played only four ATP and Challenger events in the past two seasons, resulting in his world ranking dipping to 205 before he lifted it to a still underwhelming 171 by the end of last year.

Philippoussis has not played a tournament since losing to Fernando Verdasco in the first round at St Petersburg in late October, but under another coach - this time a back-to-the-future case of re-hiring his childhood coach Archie Adams - he has reportedly been training hard in the US and has trimmed several kilograms from his large frame.

Earlier Lleyton Hewitt practised for about an hour with coach Roger Rasheed at Memorial Drive ahead of his return to tournament play today. The world No.4 last played competitively in the Thai Open in September, where he withdrew from the quarter-finals because of groin soreness. He missed the final tournament of the year - the Masters Cup in Shanghai - while expecting the birth of his daughter Mia.

Hewitt, who lost to Marat Safin in four sets in last year's Australian Open final after being hampered by a groin injury, will meet Czech Jan Hernych tonight while Philippoussis confronts American Vince Spadea, ranked 75, in the singles. In a bumper day Alberto Martin, American James Blake and exciting young Briton Andy Murray will also be on centre court.

Romance and glamour in the stands with Poo
IT'S not exactly a romantic sunset cruise in the Greek Islands but together time is still together time regardless of location.

Yesterday, that location just happened to be in the stands of the Next Generation Adelaide International at Memorial Drive where Aussie tennis spunk Mark Philippoussis watched the Malisse V Luczak match with his equally as gorgeous fiancee Alexis Barbara.

The Poo happily signed autographs for young fans before heading to prepare for his doubles match.

Alexis' appearance on the sidelines may have had something to do with the fact that nearly all the shops in Adelaide were closed yesterday - only a handful of Rundle St fashion stores were open.

Bec and Lleyton Hewitt better watch out, they've got some pretty stiff competition in the glamour stakes - Alexis, in particular, seems to have captured the eyes of men and women alike.

But stay tuned, Bec (and hopefully baby Mia) are likely to cheer their man on at his first round match tonight against Jan Hernych.

Mark Philippoussis news follow: twitter.com/flipfocus
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-03-2006, 10:23 AM
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Re: 2006 Articles

OK, here's the Reuters article with the quotes after his win over Spadea.

Philippoussis, Blake, Murray advance in Adelaide
Tue Jan 3, 2006 3:20 AM ET

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Mark Philippoussis advanced to the second round of the Australian hardcourt championships in Adelaide with a 6-4 3-6 6-4 victory over Vince Spadea of the United States on Tuesday.

Fifth seed James Blake also moved into the second round after a comfortable win over Spaniard Alberto Martin as did Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, who upset eighth seed Juan Ignacio Chela, and German Florian Mayer who beat Argentina's Juan Monaco 6-2 6-4.

Britain's rising talent Andy Murray also advanced with a 3-6 6-0 6-2 victory over Italian qualifier Paolo Lorenzi.

Philippoussis, a former U.S. Open and Wimbledon finalist who is now ranked 172nd, managed to overcome three service breaks in the second set to beat the 75th-ranked Spadea.

"I'm very happy, a win is a win no matter how you look at it," Philippoussis told reporters. "The first match is always going to be tough, it's just good to get back out on the court and get that monkey off my shoulders.

"I've been working hard in Miami for the past two and a half months to build up to this summer.

"I don't want to look too far ahead or get too excited. I'm taking each day as it comes but I'm happy with the way things went.

"It's a new year and a fresh day and the first tournament.

"It's far from my best but that's the good thing, I came out with a win and had some good points."

The 26-year-old Blake won the opening set in 27 minutes before breaking serve three times in the second for a 6-3 6-3 victory.

"I came out here and played pretty well from the start so I'm pretty excited," said Blake.

"It was very fortunate for me to play a guy that can test my skills and I didn't know what to expect having practiced indoors for the last few weeks."

Top seed Leyton Hewitt and second seeded Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty play later on Tuesday.

Hewitt will meet Czech Republic's Jan Hernych, while Hrbaty meets Australian qualifier Rameez Junaid.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2006, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2006 Articles

Philippoussis sets himself for the Open
By Linda Pearce
January 12, 2006

MARK Philippoussis is sharing his time between the practice court and the chiropractor's rack ahead of next week's Australian Open but is not considered in any danger of missing his home grand slam through injury for the second successive year.

The world No.165 has been receiving treatment from Davis Cup chiropractor and kinesiologist Andrea Bisaz since withdrawing from this week's ATP Tour event in Auckland on Saturday, citing back spasms. He returned to Melbourne at the weekend, and to the practice court yesterday.

"He certainly doesn't look in any doubt at the moment and I've never seen him so fit and strong," Bisaz said last night. "Mark should be fine."

Philippoussis, 29, suffered a slight muscular twinge in his back during his second-round singles loss to Dominik Hrbaty at the Adelaide International and, while fit to play a doubles match the next day, decided to bypass the Auckland event in what would have been his final warm-up tournament.

Injury permitting, Philippoussis will be playing in his 10th Australian Open, having built a 16-9 win-loss record and reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park four times.

The 1998 US Open and 2003 Wimbledon runner-up has 10 career ATP titles, but the last was in Shanghai in 2003, and he required a wildcard entry into this year's Open main draw.

Mark Philippoussis news follow: twitter.com/flipfocus
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-17-2006, 03:09 PM
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Re: 2006 Articles

Here the short itw transcript after his loss to Grosjean.

Mark Philippoussis
Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Q. Can you talk about tonight's match.

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: He played great tennis. He definitely played great tennis. Didn't have too many unforced errors. No doubt about that. When you're not playing great tennis yourself and the other person's playing as good as they're playing, it definitely makes things tough.

Q. Where do you see yourself going from here, the next 12 months and beyond?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: To the next tournament, you know. Simple as that. I'm just going to put this behind me and go out and keep training and getting my ranking back up, trying to build my confidence up and just keep playing matches. That's the only thing I can do.

Q. How have you found that, the recent times when you've obviously had struggles with injuries, on and off, etc.? Where do you sort of feel your career's at now?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Obviously, I've got to, you know ‑‑ it's on, you know, a long way back, that's for sure.

But, you know, I feel like I've been in the sort of situation before, not ranking‑wise, but coming back from surgeries where it's been a long way back. This is just another thing where I'm going to have to work harder. I'm working hard. I'm just going to keep working hard and sooner or later it's going to pay off.

Q. When you talk about coming back, realistically, where you are, are you happy just to be competing on the tour, or do you want to be a genuine contender at Grand Slams again?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I'm not just being happy. Might as well not play. I think my goal is just to get my ranking back up where I'll be in the tournaments. And just build up from there.

Q. How much of a handicap was that coming into this tournament, that you hadn't had match play in recent times?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Obviously there's nothing that substitutes for match play, simple as that. Doesn't matter how hard you work, how many hours you put in on the practice court. Nothing is as good as playing matches in tournaments.
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