I’m a little disappointed with a recent comment/announcement coming from the greatest tennis player that never was, Mark Philippoussis. A while back, I had the opportunity to sit down with the “flipper” and talk about his probable return to the big leagues of the ATP tour. Now, however; he’s telling a completely different story.
In a recent interview with the Boston Herald, Philippoussis said “I don’t really have any interest in returning to ATP.” Um, that’s pretty opposite of what you told me and what you were planning on. I totally get that people change their minds and what not, however; when you publicly say you are going to do something, most people expect to see you follow through. It’s not like a personal favor to me for him to play on the ATP, though he probably should have been a little more tight lipped about playing the tour events.
I did hear, from an inside source, that Philippoussis was given quite a few wildcards for entry to some of the ATP 1000, 500, and 250 tournaments, however; he would have had to gone through the qualifying rounds to get a spot on in the main draw. Apparently that didn’t sit well with Mark, so he decided to not enter those tournaments at all – I’d say that’s being a little on the on the primadonna side of tennis; not to mention burning some pretty serious bridges with the ATP/ITF. I mean, you can’t not play on the ATP for 7 years, then all the sudden “comeback” and expect the organization to give you direct entry to the main draws. You gotta put in the work like you used to.
Apparently Philippoussis is content playing the Champions Tour, I’m sure he’s comfortable; winning is easy there – especially when he’s up against players who are 15 years his senior. It’s like taking candy from a baby…not very hard. I’m sure it’s easy money, yet, what is he getting out of it? I can’t imagine much other than his pad in Southern California where can do what he’s really passionate about, surfing and flying a helicopter (yeah, that sounds like a really wise investment of your money).
He’s also been playing on the World Team Tennis circuit lately, which he apparently likes the format. There’s just something about the Flipper’s actions that leave me a little concerned. Is he just out trying to make a buck? Is he really into playing more tennis at a high level? What’s the deal pal?
Look, I get where he’s at, he’s gotten older and he simply can’t hang with the younger guys on the tour, that’s perfectly understandable and acceptable. Just don’t tell the world that you’re planning a major comeback to get back in the ATP rankings. It’s like he’s trying to let his fans down…again.