Mark Philippoussis gives his verdict on 'modern players'

Philippoussis was a two-time Grand Slam finalist.

by Dzevad Mesic
Mark Philippoussis gives his verdict on 'modern players'

2003 Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis says there are some very talented players in today's game but he feels that the game has become "soft." Philippoussis, a former two-time Grand Slam finalist and a top-10 player, suggests that targeting a player on the net has become such a big thing nowadays that players have to issue a lengthy apology if they hit a player.

“The lounge is packed [these days]. [Back then] you pretty much just had a coach, that’s it, maybe a trainer, towards the end of the 90s. Now, players are like brands. It’s like an entourage, so it’s a completely different thing.

You didn’t have the social media or the forums. You could play and of course, you dealt with the crowd and appreciated signing autographs and all that, but then we switched off. You could switch off when you wanted to get away," Philippoussis said on Tennis Channel, per Sportskeeda.

When Philippoussis was suggested that players back in his day were tougher, he said: “These guys are talented today, incredible athletes, but my God are they soft. I just went by the lounge, they’ve got a hair salon there and now they do feet and nails.

I mean, you know? When I had a short ball I went right at the guy. Always. You say sorry and you move on. Now it’s like ‘oh f*** man’ you’ve got to send an email to apologise, a text, an Instagram post. Go at him again!

Hit him again”.

Philippoussis on working with Stefanos Tsitsipas

Tsitsipas, the 2021 French Open runner-up, is predominantly a baseline player. But Philippoussis feels volleys can be a valuable asset for Tsitsipas as they have been working on improving the Greek's volleying skills.

"He (Tsitsipas) stays at the back, but he likes to come forward. I believe that's something that can be worked on. No one was working on those volleys. I understand times have changed, I understand that conditions are slower, courts are heavier, balls are heavier.

But it's still an important part of the game, coming in and finishing balls off at the net," Philippoussis explained. Philippoussis, who was famously the player Roger Federer beat for his first Grand Slam title, was in Tsitsipas' box during this past Wimbledon.

But Tsitsipas didn't really make a run at this year's Wimbledon, having lost to Nick Kyrgios in the third round. Tsitsipas, who turned 24 in August, didn't accomplish his goal of winning a Grand Slam this year. Going forward, Tsitsipas' top priority remains becoming a Grand Slam champion.

Mark Philippoussis