Philippoussis feels good as he heads for Qatar (article)

01-01-2004, 10:02 PM
This is from the Qatar Gulf Times newspaper... thought some fans would want to know how he was doing :)
Philippoussis feels good as he heads for Qatar

FOUR weeks ago, a pensive Mark Philippoussis sat in Melbourne’s Grossi Florentino restaurant planning his next match against Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero in the Davis Cup final.

Hours earlier, Philippoussis had succumbed in four sets to Carlos Moya, levelling the final at one rubber each.

For two hours, Philippoussis and his father Nick, sat almost in silence as the Melbourne tennis star prepared himself for what would become one of the most memorable matches of his life.

"I had a lot of confidence in our doubles team and I knew my match would decide the Davis Cup," said a relaxed Philippoussis as he signed autographs after practising at Melbourne Park yesterday.

Philippoussis's reaction to his initial Davis Cup defeat and his preparation for the eventual decider, tells you something about the maturity of the man and tennis player. Philippoussis, 27, does not expect victory to be handed to him - he cherishes every win. Davis Cup victories more than most.

Few people will ever forget the Scud's subsequent five-set triumph over the highly rated Ferrero to win the final, or the images of Philippoussis's proud father - with tears streaming down his face in appreciation of what his son had so dramatically achieved.

His father was there again yesterday, closely watching a confident and jovial Philippoussis strike the ball sweetly for about two hours in brilliant sunshine at Melbourne Park.

Philippoussis looks every bit like a man happy with life and where he is going. He is relaxed and rejuvenated heading in to 2004 and the Australian Open.

Philippoussis said he was happy to be training again. "As always, it feels pretty weird coming back after a long break, but I am glad to be back on the court and I feel good."

The Scud said he would have a quiet New Year's Eve ahead of another tough year of tennis.

"It was definitely a long year this year and tomorrow I guess will be (the start of) another long year," he said.

After practising at Melbourne Park again tomorrow, the US Open and Wimbledon finalist will fly out for the Qatar Open beginning on Monday, before returning for the Sydney International and the Australian Open.