Injured Flip in denial?: "My best tennis is ahead of me."
M. Philippoussis - Day 3
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Q. You had the ankle assessed. How bad was the damage?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: It's not the ankle. It's a ligament. I have to get an MRI.
Q. Any idea how bad it could be?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Oh, it was pretty painful out there. But I'll see. I don't think it's going to be anything ‑‑ I don't think it's going to be anything too bad.
Q. Would it harm your chances of Davis Cup?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I don't know.
Q. You put in all the hard work, you come up again, get another injury. You seem to have gone through the cycle a lot of times. How hard is it mentally?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: It's nothing. I mean, it's frustrating. But, you know, looking at those two tiebreakers, I have 5‑4, Love‑40, two tiebreakers, and I was up a mini break on each one. And, you know, there's the match right there. So it was nothing (indiscernible) the match at all.
Q. The sharpness of those big points, is that where you missed just from being absent on the circuit for so long?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No, no. I mean, you know, like I said, the Love‑40 point, rallied. It's always easy to say you could have done something a little different in that point. But, you know, just missed my opportunity, simple as that. I had the opportunities but didn't take them.
Q. Do you think you showed enough today you could get back into the Top 20, 10 even?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I know what I can do. Whatever you guys think, it really doesn't worry me.
Q. What do you think you can do?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I know my best tennis is ahead of me. It's as simple as that. I know I've proven it to myself here. The eagerness is back. I'm just going to get stronger. I'm going to go back and work hard. This is nothing. I'm going to get over it. There's only more positive things to come.
Q. The last time you were on that court, you were in the final.
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: It's really nice to be back on that court. I always love that court. It was a gorgeous day today. Unfortunately (sic), next time I'll come under different circumstances.
Q. What were you having checked by the trainer?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Ligament.
Q. Your right?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: My right leg, ligament coming from the ankle up to the calf muscle.
Q. Is that something new?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: It came up after my match, my first‑round match. I was an hour later walking around, I didn't think much of it at all, and it was painful from then on. Yesterday, it was painful. Today, I just thought I'll tape it, you know, I'll play through it. Unfortunately, it just got worse and worse.
Q. You put the losses down at the end of the sets more to whatever it is that makes you not play well rather than the injuries?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Of course, it's nothing to do with the injury. It's simple as that. At 5‑4, I had Love‑40, opportunity to win that first set with set points, and didn't take them. Twice in the first two sets, had mini break up. Again, he got back into it. You know, right there...
Doesn't matter how you're feeling the end of your match, you got those mini breaks, those chances, you've got to take them.
Q. Are you trying to use that as fuel to get you back here in a better position next year?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Of course. Of course.
Q. What is the short‑term in terms of the next tournaments coming up? Where do you have wildcards coming into or have you entered into?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I don't know where I've got wildcards coming in. But the next one's LA. Leading up, you've got the Masters Series in Cincinnati, Toronto. So there's a lot of big tournaments ahead before the US Open.
Q. You're going to have to do qualifying at those?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: If I have to, definitely.
Q. Yesterday in her press conference, Eleni said her wish was to play mixed doubles with you. Has she ever asked you to play mixed?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No. No.
Q. Do you think you ever would?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I'm not one for mixed doubles. If I ever do, I'd definitely ‑‑ I'd play with her. She is a great girl. I was very happy to see her do well.
Q. What about Marat today? Were you surprised at his ability ‑‑ the consistency with which he was able to play, given we all know his preference isn't that surface?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No, I mean, anyone who is talented, the guy is top five in the world, you can play on any surface, doesn't matter. With a big serve like that, it's going to get you into the points. He hits the ball well. He's volleying a little better. That guy is going to be tough on any surface, whether he likes playing on it or not.
Q. Did you feel like it was a little early for you to have to meet him in the draw?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No. That's what happens. You know, you let down your guard, you lose your ranking, that's what you've got to pay for. You know, hopefully next year I'm coming in with a better position, put myself in where, you know, that won't happen again.
Q. You said after the first match that this was a good opportunity for you to get your comeback going. Where do you rate your comeback?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: Everything's going fine. Everything's positive. Nothing's negative. I'm not going to go jump off a bridge anywhere. Everything's fine, so...
Q. You worked with Andrew the last few weeks. Is that sort of going to be ongoing?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I don't know. I invited Andrew along as a hitting partner more than anything, you know, to get me prepared for these tournaments. So we'll sit down and discuss that.
Q. I wanted to ask about the grass. A lot of players are saying the grass is getting slower every year. The head groundsman says that they don't do anything different. Is that your impression, that things are getting slower? Is that a disadvantage for you?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: The grass? I don't think the grass is getting slower. Some courts where some players think it's a little softer. But, if anything's getting slower, you would think sometimes they'd slow down the balls. But, no, I mean...
Q. Doesn't affect your performance here?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: No, I didn't feel it was.