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23 August 2013

Davis Cup Idols: Mark Philippoussis

Davis Cup Idols

Mark Philippoussis was renowned for his fearsome serve and powerful forehand, but the big-hitting Australian shows that he also had mental strength to dig deep under immense pressure on the biggest of stages.

Philippoussis reflects on two Davis Cup Finals - against France in 1999 and Spain in 2003 - where he won the deciding rubber on both occasions to give Australia the historic Davis Cup trophy.

Growing up in Australia, 'Scud' as he was known for his missile-like serve, dreamed of representing his country and he did so with aplomb. In 1999 he clinched the winning point against France in a final that no-one expected Australia to win.

But it was in 2003 on home soil where he showed his determination.

"There was a little more pressure: it was in Australia, in Melbourne, my home town, on grass, against Spain," explained Philippoussis. "We were expected to win. The great thing about Davis Cup is that there is no such thing as that. On any given day anyone can beat anyone."

Philippoussis tore his pectoral muscle in the fourth rubber but somehow dug deep and won the fifth set 60 to complete a famous victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

He added: "Davis Cup is something that brings you together as a team - that's what makes it even more special." 

This video is the second installment in a four-part series of Davis Cup Idols that we are posting in the run-up to the 2013 World Group semifinals and play-offs on 13-15 September.

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Related ties

FRA Flag France v Australia AUS Flag 3 Dec 1999 - 5 Dec 1999 View details

AUS Flag Australia v Spain ESP Flag 28 Nov 2003 - 30 Nov 2003 View details

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