Mark Philippoussis opens up about his ‘messed up’ party boy years, the $100,000 purchase he sold the next day and the moment he realised tennis wasn’t going to define his life
- Mark Philippoussis once bought a $100,000 Viper only to sell it the next day
- The 43-year-old opened up about his extravagant and luxurious life off court
- The Scud made two Grand Slam finals and was known for his party boy antics
- He told The Howie Games how a cancer scare to father Nick changed his outlook
Published: 01:19 BST, 20 September 2020 | Updated: 01:44 BST, 20 September 2020
Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis has revealed the extent of his wild hedonistic life off court and the moment that changed his drive to play the game.
The 43-year-old opened up about his luxurious spending habits and extravagant lifestyle through his career that saw him driving flash cars and dating celebrities as he climbed the tennis ranks.
The two-time Grand Slam runner up told ‘The Howie Games’ the story of how he bought a $100,000 car only to sell it the next day after driving home from the dealership.
‘I’m not exaggerating when I say I would easily go through one car a month and just change it,’ Philippoussis said.
‘I never kept it because it never made me happy, I was just bored.’
Mark Phillippoussis (pictured with wife Silvana and son Nicholas) has opened up about his extravagant and luxurious life off the tennis court
The Poo serves the ball in a match against Albert Portas at the US Open in New York in 2000
Philippoussis lived in Florida in the 1990s and took a drive to Tampa with a friend to check out the Dodge and Chevrolet dealers.
The pair took to the road in a Hummer convertible and slid out on the slippery road on the way there, slamming into a concrete barrier and totaling the car.
The Scud refused to head home despite the crash and took a taxi to the dealers, which were across the road from each other, and told them whoever had their Viper or Corvette ready first would take his money.
‘You can laugh, because it’s ridiculous,’ Philippoussis said.
‘Long story short, the Dodge Viper was ready in 45 minutes. They detailed it and I bought the car on my American Express and I drove back home with the car but I didn’t fit in it properly, so the next day I sold it.’
Philippoussis called it a ‘messed up story’ and a ‘stupid thing’, all because he refused to drive home in a taxi.
Philippoussis was known for his party boy antics and dated a slew of celebrities including singer Delta Goodrem (pictured together)
The Poo enjoyed career highlights as Australian Davis Cup captain, taking the win in 1999 and 2003 and celebrated like a party animal after his achievements.
He said he wanted to have a life off the tennis court and be able to enjoy himself on the outside of his professional life.
‘When I was on the court, I played. When I trained, I trained hard. But as soon as that thing was over, I switched off and enjoyed my life,’ Philippoussis said.
‘The greats have almost no life, and that’s the reality of it. They’re obsessed, you need to be obsessed with everything about what you’re doing.
‘That’s what needs to happen and that wasn’t me. It was at the start, but that wasn’t me, and I can just be honest and say that.’
Philippoussis hits a backhand in the 1998 US Open. He made the final that year, finishing runner up to fellow Australian Pat Rafter
This push to appreciate and celebrate his life with family and friends stemmed from a cancer scare to Philippoussis’ dad Nick in his teenage years.
The thought of losing his dad put life in perspective for Philippoussis, leading him to change his priorities and realise what was truly important.
‘Watching someone that you love, you think they have a certain amount of time left to live, changed everything for me. And tennis seemed not so important anymore,’ he said.
‘It got to a stage where I realised I didn’t care about eating, sleeping, breathing tennis because my first priority in my life was always my family.
‘I grew up that way but that took it to another level seeing someone, your father, who helped me become who I am, almost losing him to cancer. It changed everything.
‘I didn’t give a crap about tennis anymore to be honest with you.’
Phillippoussis said his outlook on tennis changed in his teenage years after his father Nick (pictured together) was diagnosed with cancer