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Mark Philippoussis: 9 things you must know about ‘The Scud’

Modified 05 Dec 2014, 21:48 IST
Mark Philippoussis played on the side of Hyderabad Aces in the CTL.

Mark Philippoussis, who represented the Hyderabad Aces in the Champions Tennis League, is arguably one of the most exciting talents Australia has produced. The big server from Melbourne often triggers animated discussions among tennis fans about his fearsome serves.

1. What’s in a nickname?

No wonder he is nicknamed “the Scud”, after the Scud missile, deployed in the 1991 Operation Desert Storm. Philippoussis was touted as the one of the biggest servers in his heydays.
Philippoussis loves to catch a few waves

2. Surfing freak

He has a big passion for surfing and is often seen catching waves at Cardiff Reef in California, where he is now settled with his wife Silvana Lovin, after getting hitched in September 2013. The couple also has a son named Nicholas.

3. Too many aces up his sleeve

Philippoussis is known to fire aces at will and he loves to rattle opponents with that lethal weapon. He set a new record of serving 46 aces at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships against Andre Agassi en route to reaching his second Grand Slam final. His record of serving aces was three short of the overall ATP Tour record then held by Netherlands’ Richard Krajicek.

4. Love for speed

Philippoussis instilled the fear factor in the minds of his competitors, thanks to his power-packed serves. At large, the Australian tennis player always had a penchant for speed. He relishes fast cars and motorbikes and even has a prized possession – an iconic Harley Davidson. However, it is believed that he only cleans it and never takes it for a spin!

5. Silver Screen

Philippoussis’ exploits were not just limited to the tennis court. He had decent acting prowess and even starred in the American reality TV dating series Age of Love in 2007.

6. Davis Cup victory

Philippoussis took a lot of pride in playing for the country and the coveted Davis Cup afforded him that opportunity. He was instrumental in Australia’s win at the 1999 Davis Cup, beating France 3-2 in front of an inimical crowd at Nice – the country’s first win in thirteen years.

The Australian won both his singles matches to pave the way for a magnificent victory. Four years later in 2003, he delivered when it mattered again, winning the deciding singles against Juan Carlos Ferrero despite a dodgy shoulder injury, sealing a convincing 3-1 win over Spain.

Nicknamed “the Scud,” Philippoussis delivers a powerful serve that earned him the name

7. Sampras admirer

Philippoussis seems to relish the prospect of playing American great Pete Sampras. The Aussie played Sampras the most times during his international career, playing on as many as twelve occasions, winning five times and losing seven.

8. Coaching stint with Pat Cash

Pune Marathas’ legend player and 1987 Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash was Mark Philippoussis’ coach for close to two years before parting ways in 2000. The eighteen-month-stint saw ‘Scud’ scale a new high – entering his maiden Grand Slam final, the 1998 US Open, where he lost to fellow countryman Pat Rafter.

9. Tattoo appeal

He has a tattoo of Alexander the Great on his upper right arm that he got in 1999. “I wanted a tattoo of him because of his Greek blood,” he reportedly said.. “He was a conqueror. He was a great fighter.”

Originally published on the CTL website here.

Published 05 Dec 2014, 16:23 IST
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