Who is Mark Philippoussis?
Mark Philippoussis is an Australian retired tennis player. His career was a tale of success and comebacks plagued by injury. He has represented Australia in three Olympic games; in Atlanta, Sydney, and Athens and has helped Australia win Davis Cup twice. His other notable achievements at the peak of his career include reaching the finals of US Open and Wimbledon. In his career, he has won eleven singles titles and three doubles titles. Some of Mark Philippoussis’ greatest victories were against the likes of Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Carlos Moya, Goran Ivanišević, Andre Agassi, and Jonas Björkman. His achievements made him popular but his antics outside the court also made him equally infamous. He was in much-publicized spats with the coach Pat Cash, fellow player Patrick Rafter, and others. He also became tabloid fodder for being unfaithful to much loved Australian singer Delta Goodrem. He also starred in the reality TV series ‘Age of Love’. Plagued by knee injuries, the last few years of his career were a mere shadow of his early triumphs.
Childhood & Early Life
Mark Anthony Philippoussis was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on November 7, 1976. His father, Nikolaos is of Greek heritage and his mother Rossana is Italian.
He was given the Australian Institute of Sport scholarship. He went to ‘Maribyrnong College’ and then to ‘Wesley College’.
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Mark Philippoussis started playing tennis at the age of six and was initially coached by his father. He was also briefly coached by former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.
In 1994, Philippoussis was ranked third in the junior singles ranking. Along with Ben Ellwood, he also won the Wimbledon junior doubles championship. He also turned professional the same year.
In 1995, he reached three international championship finals. He ended the year ranked amongst the top 50 in the world. Mark Philippoussis then beat world number 1, Pete Sampras in the third round of Australian Open (1996). He also won the ‘Adidas Open de Toulouse’ on October 14, 1996.
On March 3, 1997, he won The Tennis Channel Open. He then won The Bavarian International Championship on April 28 and the Queen’s Club Championship on June 9, 1997.
Mark Philippoussis won the U.S National Indoor Championship on February 16, 1998. He then lost to Patrick Rafter in the US Open championship final, on September 14, 1998.
1999 was one of his best years in pro-tennis. On January 9, 1999, he and partner Jelena Dokić, won the ‘Hopman Cup’. He was then ranked amongst the world’s top 10 tennis players on March 29, 1999.
On February 8, 1999, he won the Pacific Coast Championship. On March 8, 1999, he won the ‘Indian Wells Masters’. He was also instrumental in team Australia winning the 1999 Davis Cup.
In 2000, he reached the fourth rounds of Australian Open and the French Open. On February 7, 2000, he won the Pacific Coast Championship again.
In 2002, Mark was still ranked in the top 100. Unfortunately, knee injuries and three knee operations kept him out of the court for most of the year. He made his comeback in 2003.
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The rejuvenated Mark Philippoussis reached the Wimbledon finals but lost to Roger Federer on July 7, 2003. He then played superbly to help Australia win the Davis Cup in 2003. He was also awarded the ATP Comeback Player of the Year award at the end of the year.
2004 was the beginning of the end of his career. He did not win even one ATP match. In 2006, he entered as a wild-card in both the Australian Open and The Wimbledon. He encountered disappointing losses in both.
He won the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Championships in 2006. Philippoussis missed almost the entire 2007 season with a torn knee cartilage.
In 2008, Mark Philippoussis was given the protected ranking of world number 119. It allowed him to enter eight tournaments as a wild-card. He reached the quarterfinals of Australian Open, but was again forced to retire due to knee injury.
In 2010, He played in some pro tour matches. In 2012, he played for the Philadelphia Freedoms’ of ‘World Team Tennis. His first match in the ATP World Tour, after nine years of absence, came in 2015.
He lost in the qualifying stage of the 2015 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
In 2017, he won the 2017 RPIA Championship in Toronto.
Family & Personal Life
Mark Philippoussis was in a widely-publicized relationship with Australian singer Delta Goodrem in 2004. The relationship ended due Philippoussis’ unfaithfulness.
Despite having a successful tennis career, he declared bankruptcy in May 2009 and that he was losing his home because of a loan. The lender Pepper Home Loans were seeking more than US 1.3 million dollars. It was later settled.
He dated actress Jennifer Esposito in 2009. Mark Philippoussis married model Silvana Lovin on August 8, 2013. They welcomed their first child Nicholas on February 10, 2014. Their daughter Maria was born on August 14, 2018.