Former top 10 player Mark Philippoussis says he is not surprised at the resurgence of Roger Federer. The Australian also spoke highly of Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic,
"Federer's form doesn't surprise me one bit,” commented Philippoussis. “He's so professional about everything. His whole schedule is organised around big events, he's so smart and always peaks at the right time.”
“When he first started off you could see how incredibly talented he was but his weakness was definitely his mental side. He would lose it a bit, and take the accelerator off in matches. But then in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon the year he won his first title, beating me in the final, he was a game away from retiring. He was down in the match and he shouldn't have won. He wasn't feeling physically great. he contemplated calling it a day but he hung in there, and went on to win the match and the title. And he built his career from there. Those are the matches that make your career."
Speaking on Tomic, the Australin said, "Tomic is incredibly talented. He's so mature about how he plays the points. His reading of the game is way ahead of how old he is. He reads the play so well - almost like the way (Martina) Hingis used to.”
“I would like to see him be more aggressive on shots," he said. “He feeds off other people's pace but to get to the next level he needs to have the killer shots as well, it's not enough to be a great counter puncher. I also think his serve needs to be bigger. The guys in the top 5 have all improved their serves. Bernard can't be happy with slicing it in and getting into a rally. He is going to need the free points. He will definitely get to the Top 20 and probably Top 10, but to go further he has to make improvements. If he does that then absolutely, I see him winning Slams.”
Philippoussis is playing the ATP Champions event in Zurich this week.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.