In the most difficult period of his career, the Australian Mark Philippoussis was unable to manage his earnings in the best possible way and, also due to constant physical problems, he succumbed to pressure and suffered from depression.
The negative vortex that swept Philippoussis between 2006 and 2009 left its mark but did not stop the former tennis player, who found the courage to tell his story during the Sas Australia show.
Philippoussis said: “When you are an elite athlete, the last thing you think about is having financial problems. I have lived by spending well beyond my means. I saw how my parents sacrificed their lives to give me the opportunity to devote myself to tennis; once I achieved my dream, all I wanted was to reward them. My dad had a good job in a bank and he quit because he said he wanted to help me.
Philippoussis and economic difficulties: “I asked friends to buy food”
We ate pasta and cabbage seven days a week, until it became one of my favorite foods. Despite the injuries, I thought I would move on and settle my accounts. When I was away from the Tour for a few months, I realized that I could not continue on this path.
You feel weak when you get hurt, but you can’t think so because you have to move on, you have to recover and be well. I’ve been gone for a few months. I couldn’t afford much, I had to ask my friends to buy some food.
I was very ashamed of what was happening to me and fell into a deep depression. It was difficult to spend three years paying bills without earning money from sports scores. Fortunately, my family supported me at all times and I was able to get out of that negative vortex.”
Achieving glory and fame in the world of sport has consequences that do not always benefit the athlete in question. Mark Philippoussis knows something about it, who after having earned the top 10, won eleven tournaments in the major circuit, including the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells in 1999, and played two Grand Slam finals, was forced to pay the bill reserved for him by injuries and by some bad choices.