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Old 01-28-2010, 08:04 AM   #1
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Smile 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread



Long time, no posting but for a while Mark has been so unpredictable it's been frustrating to follow and support.

For the first time in YEARS I feel Mark is back on the right path. Where it leads in 2010 is anyone's guess, but I personally think it'll be a more positive and productive year for Mark.

He's expected to play Dallas starting February 1 -6. Below is a recent interview that gives a little insight to what he's been up to over the past few months. Everyone knows about his financial situation, his knee injuries and struggles with depression. I think a large part of his positive recovery over the past 6 month is to do with his fiancee Jennifer Esposito. Mark now seems to have more motivation and purpose to his life and he's looking so much fitter and healthier then he has in years. Jennifer is only a couple years older, but stunning, mature, and not in to the flashy celebrity lifestyle most of his past girlfriends have been drawn to. They rumoured to be getting married this year so that's a pretty big occasion for Mark.

Anyway Dallas will start shorty, will try to update here and my website as much as possible.

Location: Dallas, Texas
Type: $50K
Surface: Indoor Hard
Starting Date: February 1
2009 Champion: Ryan Sweeting [USA].

Tournament websites: http://www.tbarmtennis.com
http://www.frontrowtennis.com/
----------------------------------------------------------
How are you feeling?
To be honest, Iíve been training pretty hard the last five or six months, working to get my body back into shape. Not just for tennis, but for everyday living. Iíve started to get a lot stronger; lost some weight.

This is the best Iíve felt in probably three years. Iíve come a long way. I couldnít really do anything coming off of my last knee surgery other than rehab. But Iíve been training in San Diego, working on the strengthening of the knee and the rest of my body. I have a long way to go, but Iím feeling pretty good.

Each time youíve hurt your knee and came back, have you been able to play at 100 percent and not even think about the knee during a match, or is it always in the back of your mind?
After the first injury with my left knee, I worked hard on my strengthening and had a great year in 2003. I never thought about it at all; I just went out and played. But after I hurt my right knee in January, 2007, up until I had surgery, it never was the same. After the surgery, though, I feel itís fixed everything. Thereís been a lot of hard work to get the chance to get back out there and hit balls; working on strengthening six days a week and getting on the court five days a week.

I have to work as hard I can to get whatever I can out of my body. But sometimes the body says, Ďyou know what, dude? Iím doneí and it wonít give you anything more Ė no matter how badly you want it. Hopefully that wonít happen anytime soon.

At this stage of your career, whatís your ultimate goal? Is it realistic to think you could one day get back to the Top 10 and be a force in Grand Slam events, or are you aiming a lot lower?
Iím not thinking anything like that; Iím just trying to keep working to get, again, not just my legs, but my whole body strong. Iím feeling the best I have felt for a long time. Itíll be important to see where Iím at during the event in Dallas, to see how my body holds up.

This will be my first Tour event in more than three years; itíll be different, but itíll be exciting. I just have to see how my body feels and take it from there. Iím on the right path to give it another go Ė I feel very strongly about that.

What makes you feel more proud; getting into the Top 10 and appearing in two major finals, or helping Australia win two Davis Cups?
I feel like incredibly fortunate to have accomplished all of that. The matches that helped win it for Australia were huge for me, but also being able to play at a high level after being in a wheelchair and thinking my career was over was huge as well. That was a proud moment.

Where do you spend most of your time these days?
San Diego for the most part, but I also spend a lot of time in New York with my fiancťe.

Does it get kind of old bouncing back and forth across the country, or do you just get used to it?
Being on a plane five hours is nothing like going to Europe or Australia, so itís no big deal.

Iíve got to ask you the obligatory questions about the reality show. Did you enjoy it, and would you do it again?
I wouldnít do something like that again; definitely not. I didnít have as much fun as you would maybe imagine. It was very awkward, to be honest. It was an experience; Iíll put it that way.

Whatís the most nervous youíve ever been?
The morning of both the Davis Cup finals I remember not being able to eat breakfast. I could hardly function, I was so nervous. I was actually quite relaxed before the Grand Slam finals interestingly enough, considering the occasions.

The most nervous Iíve ever been, though, was when I participated in a celebrity surfing event in 2004. There were more than 3,000 people on the beach who were watching, and itís not my main sport.

Speaking of surfing, you had a pretty scary accident in 2008. What happened?
Yeah, I went out surfing one day and got smashed up against some rocks. I thought I was going to die, actually. It was pretty scary.

I rushed into some waves I shouldnít have, about 12 to 15 feet high, plus there were some really strong rip currents and it was high tide. That was a really bad combination. I was smashed up against the rocks in a little cove area and ended up being stranded for three hours. I had to wait until the tide came down to swim out of there. I was cut up some and bruised, but I was OK. I got really lucky.

Nobody knew where I was. A report went around that I was dead; missing at sea.

Fast forward a year from now. In the best-case scenario, where would you be with your game?
Thatís pretty simple. Back on tour, playing the game I fell in love with as a kid.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Go Mark! I have never lost my faith in him.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Great news. Mark has always been one of my favourite players, I hope he won't have any knee problems anymore and why not seeing him at Wimbledon this year? I think they can give him a wild card if he is ok. Go, Scud!
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Thanks for the article/interview flip_fan. I hope Mark can stay healthy and has a successful return this time.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Yessssssssss

Welcome back, Mark
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Quote:
Melbourne, August 17 (ANI): Mark Philippoussis’ ex-girlfriend has spilt the beans about the Aussie tennis player, tagging him as aloof and shocking with money.

Cheerleader Amanda Salinas, who dated the player for five months, revealed Philippoussis’ wild spending habits, his poor work ethic, and his love rat ways.

“He just didn’t think things through,” the Herald Sun quoted Salinas as saying.

The 28-year-old, from Tennessee, said that the Scud bought a truck and got an expensive lease in Las Vegas so that he could live by the beach and surf.

Salinas continued that the 32-year-old, who confessed facing financial collapse this year, could not do his own laundry.

She further claimed that the star barely visited her while they were together, saying he had to train, adding he would spend his time watching movies instead of training.

Salinas said: “He was supposed to be training but he didn’t train a day that I knew him. He seemed aloof.” (ANI)
Hopefully things have changed for the better now
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Mark will play Michael Yani in the first round of Dallas. Yani is the fifth seed so hopefully he can do well even if he dosent win but good luck. Another aussie in the main draw is second seed Carsten Ball who is capable to go on to win the tournament. C'mon aussies show them stupid dumb ass yanks how to play tennis.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Another recent interview:

Mark has been interviewed by star-telegram:

The last time you were here, you were playing in the Champions Series event. At that time, you were trying to work your way back onto the Tour. Is that still the plan? Well, that would be the ultimate plan. Iím a long way away from that happening, but thatís what Iím working toward.

Youíve been competing in Masters events, and reports are that youíve dropped some weight. Where do you think your game is at this point? Yes, I have been having a lot of fun in the Masters events. Training has been great and intense, and yes, I am a lot lighter now than when I used to play. Iím weighing 206 pounds compared to 214 pounds back in 2003, when I had one of my best years on the tour.

How are the knees holding up? How many knee surgeries has it been ó five? Well, Iíve actually had six knee surgeries ó three on each knee. They are feeling great. I have come a long way and my strength is building every day.

Have you watched much of the Australian Open? Whoís the man to beat? Yes, I have been watching a lot of tennis in the past couple of years and have been enjoying watching the Australian Open. Besides Federer I think [Andy] Murray is the one to beat. Heís my pick.

Did you give any thought about entering the wild-card tournament for the Aussie Open? No, I was nowhere near ready to think about anything like that.

What are your thoughts about the quality of tennis being played today both on the Challenger circuit and on the ATP Tour? The depth in menís tennis is great. There are no easy matches out there on the tour or at the challenger level.

What do you have to do to compete against guys who are 10-12 years younger than you? Itís all physical for me. The hitting part was never the problem. I have to be as physically fit and strong as I am capable of being.

Taylor Dent has recently been making a comeback from a back injury. While your injuries are different, can you describe how tough it is to get back to that level? He has done a great job in coming back from his injury. Heís a great guy, so Iím happy to see him back. The toughest thing about coming back from injuries is the mental side ó waking up and pushing yourself to keep fighting and staying positive.

Of course, since your reality series a few years ago, people are always interested in your love life. Anything to report on that front? Yes, I am very happily engaged to an amazing woman, Jennifer Esposito [an actress whose credits include roles on Rescue Me and Samantha Who?]

Do you have any other projects, outside of tennis, in the works? I do actually have one. Iím keeping it a secret for now but will let you know when itís time.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Wow I can't believe Mark is actually back, Yani has been struggling a little bit so far this year so maybe Mark has a chance. I really hope he wins at least one match I would love to see Mark with an ATP ranking once again. Does anyone know where Mark plays after Dallas?
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

I think Mark is fully capable of beating some challenger-level players, I just hope he is truly ready this time - fitness wise. It would be a shame to see him injury one of his knees again, hopefully he can end his career on his own accord.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Good to hear he's realised that the key is getting in good shape and he's now lighter than ever. Also good to hear talk of being realistic there (e.g. returning to Tour full time more of a big picture goal than a short term one and saying he was no where near ready for the AO Wildcard playoffs). Could Mark have finally turned the corner?
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:04 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Mark lost to yani 6-4, 6-4 .. i watched the match and will give my full report a little later... of course expect the positives and negatives!

Main positive... he looks so much healthier... slimmed down heaps, is back in the fila gear with headband, long hair... and he's shaved off the beard.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

ok so here's my honest opinion/report from today:

Mark lost to 5th seed Michael Yani 6-4, 6-4. I got to watch the match and here is my full report on the match.

Positives:

1. He looked great. You can definitely see he's been training, because he's lost over 10 kilos.. you can see it in his figure and face. Speaking of the face... ladies the beard is gone and the long curls are back! It was a flash back to the early years seeing Mark dressed in Fila, with the bandana holding back the hair.

2. Glimpses of the past... Mark served 12 aces in 2 sets, it was great to see and even the commentators were happy to see the big booming serve back. On several occasions he serve/volleyed.. it was refreshing tactic and on other points we saw the big forehand unleash some impressive winners.

3. He was there... it's been so long since we've seen Mark on the professional tour and he's had to overcome some obstacles to get back out there.

Concerns:

1. Footwork. As healthy and lean Mark appears to be, the legs still don't look as strong and built up as they did in 2003. It may be due to a mixture of things... the match started at 10pm, and he didn't really appear to be giving it 100%. Mark may still be cautious pushing off in certain directions, but it was obvious to anyone watching his movement is only about 65% where it needs to be. Of all the things, his footwork is was concerns me the most. The players these days are both offensive and defensive... they can hit hard and run hard. Back when Mark was bursting on the scene it was different. You were either a big hitter or a great retriever. From what I saw today I don't feel Mark has done enough work to build up his legs and improve his court movement/agility. If he wants to seriously attempt more challengers I still think he needs at least a solid month off with a professional trainer working on his leg strength and foot speed.

2. Match Fitness. It's a hard one to achieve because you only get match fitness by playing lots of matches. But as I said in above point I don't think he's physically ready to be playing pro matches.

3. Why is he doing this? As wonderful as it was to see Mark back in his tennis clothes and playing... it wasn't the same Mark. We got to see glimpses of his natural ability, but overall he looked like a person who hasn't played much tennis and is still struggling severely with his movement. Which begs the question... at his age (33) and his injuries (6 knee operations) why is there still a feeling he needs to do this?

If I was family or a close friend I would be wholeheartedly encouraging Mark to peruse something new and move on to the next stage of his career. In a recent interview he mentions he's got a side project he's working on. In the past he's talked about fashion and starting his own label, also last year there was a mention he's designing sandals.. whatever it is I think he should be switching his focus.

Mark is at a great stage of his life. He's engaged to a fabulous woman, and no doubt if Mark and Jennifer make it down the isle this year babies will shortly follow. I don't think physically he can compete with the modern game. His body simply won't allow it. The only possible success on the main tour would be if he still trained hard but started to play doubles. It would be much more satisfying seeing Mark claim a Wimbledon doubles trophy, then struggle to win a singles Challenger event. Or simply just play on the Champions tour. I really would've liked to see some consistent and dominating results on the seniors tour before Mark decided to play a challenger.

Overall after today I am not convinced this is the best option for Mark to be pursuing. He's such a good looking and nice guy who should be utilising all his strengths and attributes to start a new career path. I know this sounds a little doom and gloom.. which is a little unfair because I am solely basing this on his performance today.. which was his 1st tour match in 3 years, late at night and against an unknown player. He can obviously improve greatly... but in the long term scheme of things I would still rather see him move on to peruse something new.

We will now brace for the negative press tomorrow... who won't take into account all the factors and just brand him dud scud. But Mark should be proud... he's worked hard to get back on a court in that shape, it's just a shame it's taken so long to achieve.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:34 AM   #14
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poor Mark, suffered from so many injuries, I wish him the best of luck for the coming years
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2010 News, Cheers, Photos thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by flip_fan View Post
ok so here's my honest opinion/report from today:

Mark lost to 5th seed Michael Yani 6-4, 6-4. I got to watch the match and here is my full report on the match.

Positives:

1. He looked great. You can definitely see he's been training, because he's lost over 10 kilos.. you can see it in his figure and face. Speaking of the face... ladies the beard is gone and the long curls are back! It was a flash back to the early years seeing Mark dressed in Fila, with the bandana holding back the hair.

2. Glimpses of the past... Mark served 12 aces in 2 sets, it was great to see and even the commentators were happy to see the big booming serve back. On several occasions he serve/volleyed.. it was refreshing tactic and on other points we saw the big forehand unleash some impressive winners.

3. He was there... it's been so long since we've seen Mark on the professional tour and he's had to overcome some obstacles to get back out there.

Concerns:

1. Footwork. As healthy and lean Mark appears to be, the legs still don't look as strong and built up as they did in 2003. It may be due to a mixture of things... the match started at 10pm, and he didn't really appear to be giving it 100%. Mark may still be cautious pushing off in certain directions, but it was obvious to anyone watching his movement is only about 65% where it needs to be. Of all the things, his footwork is was concerns me the most. The players these days are both offensive and defensive... they can hit hard and run hard. Back when Mark was bursting on the scene it was different. You were either a big hitter or a great retriever. From what I saw today I don't feel Mark has done enough work to build up his legs and improve his court movement/agility. If he wants to seriously attempt more challengers I still think he needs at least a solid month off with a professional trainer working on his leg strength and foot speed.

2. Match Fitness. It's a hard one to achieve because you only get match fitness by playing lots of matches. But as I said in above point I don't think he's physically ready to be playing pro matches.

3. Why is he doing this? As wonderful as it was to see Mark back in his tennis clothes and playing... it wasn't the same Mark. We got to see glimpses of his natural ability, but overall he looked like a person who hasn't played much tennis and is still struggling severely with his movement. Which begs the question... at his age (33) and his injuries (6 knee operations) why is there still a feeling he needs to do this?

If I was family or a close friend I would be wholeheartedly encouraging Mark to peruse something new and move on to the next stage of his career. In a recent interview he mentions he's got a side project he's working on. In the past he's talked about fashion and starting his own label, also last year there was a mention he's designing sandals.. whatever it is I think he should be switching his focus.

Mark is at a great stage of his life. He's engaged to a fabulous woman, and no doubt if Mark and Jennifer make it down the isle this year babies will shortly follow. I don't think physically he can compete with the modern game. His body simply won't allow it. The only possible success on the main tour would be if he still trained hard but started to play doubles. It would be much more satisfying seeing Mark claim a Wimbledon doubles trophy, then struggle to win a singles Challenger event. Or simply just play on the Champions tour. I really would've liked to see some consistent and dominating results on the seniors tour before Mark decided to play a challenger.

Overall after today I am not convinced this is the best option for Mark to be pursuing. He's such a good looking and nice guy who should be utilising all his strengths and attributes to start a new career path. I know this sounds a little doom and gloom.. which is a little unfair because I am solely basing this on his performance today.. which was his 1st tour match in 3 years, late at night and against an unknown player. He can obviously improve greatly... but in the long term scheme of things I would still rather see him move on to peruse something new.

We will now brace for the negative press tomorrow... who won't take into account all the factors and just brand him dud scud. But Mark should be proud... he's worked hard to get back on a court in that shape, it's just a shame it's taken so long to achieve.
It's only one match. Let's give it some more time before declaring that he should be taking a different path.
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