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Old 09-08-2007, 04:30 AM   #37
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Default Re: Marks progress?

This is the type of news ive been waiting for... at least it gives us some info on what is going on. Again it's all talk..positive talk, but still I will believe it all when i see it. I really dont like the fact his back has been a problem since July and its still not fully recovered. If anything his back has been the most persistant problem over the last couple of years. Unfortunately making a successful return to the tour might be wishful thinking.. but regardless of what he can achieve it would be nice if he can fight his wait back on tour and retire in a similar fashion to Tim Henman. Really - even if its just one match... to see Mark play close to the level we all know his capable of would be a treat.

Scud desperate to make up for lost time
September 8, 2007
Done with reality TV, Mark Philippoussis has declared his undying love for tennis and says he is desperate to play at next year's Australian Open.

Already he can hear the doubters, but Philippoussis pledged to make a full-scale comeback to the ATP Tour and said his appearance next month at an over-30s tournament in Texas was merely an opportunity to test his level after nine months out recovering from knee surgery.

"I would love to get back and join the boys on the tour," Philippoussis told AAP from his US base in Las Vegas.

"The biggest thing for me is I love the game and I miss the game. I just miss playing it. I just want to get out there and enjoy it."

Turning 31 in November, Philippoussis has not played since tearing the lateral meniscus in his right knee at the Hopman Cup in Perth last December.

Since then, Australians have seen more of Philippoussis on the box starring in the American reality series Age of Love, where women in their 20s - known as the "kittens" - vied with a selection of 40-something "cougars" for the Scud's affection.

The one-time world No.8 has plunged to 457th in the rankings and when he slipped off to San Diego last month for four days with Tennessee cheerleader Amanda Salinas - the program's winner - any chance of a Philippoussis comeback appeared remote.

All things considered, Philippoussis admitted it wasn't unfair for cynics to doubt the seriousness of his latest comeback bid.

"No, it's certainly not unfair," he said.

"But you must understand that everyone has the right to think and say whatever they like and, to me, I know what I'd love to do is in my heart, in my mind and tennis is my life.

"If it wasn't for tennis, I wouldn't be who I am ... so I'm just looking forward to coming back and I believe in what I can do and that's the most important thing."

The former US Open and Wimbledon finalist claimed his appetite for the game was as stronger as ever and that he had sought assistance from Andre Agassi and the American's revered conditioner Gil Rayes in order to get back.

"I love the sport of tennis. I'm always watching it on TV and taping matches - I haven't done that before," Philippoussis said.

"I've been in Vegas out on the court with Andre now and again and in the gym with Gil.

"I've been trying to do everything I can to work hard."

Philippoussis will gauge his form against the likes of retired legends John McEnroe, 48, Mats Wilander, 43, and 37-year-old series promoter Jim Courier at the Stanford Championships in Dallas from October 17-21.

"It's going to be a bit of pressure on me. I can't be losing to these guys," he said.

"But, at the same time, I'm just going to have so much fun."

Philippoussis said he would have returned earlier to try to defend his title in Newport, but he had to turn down a wildcard invitation because of back issues.

"Trust me, even if I was 90 per cent I would've played," he said.

"The knee is 100 per cent and the back is pretty much 70 per cent, 75. Every day it keeps getting better and I have no doubt that in over a month it will be 100 per cent.

"What I'd love is to play a couple of small events until the end of the year and get some match fitness and then concentrate on getting back on the tour at the start of next year, hopefully at the Australian (Open)."

© 2007 AAP
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Last edited by flip_fan : 09-08-2007 at 04:35 AM.
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