Former Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis recalled his run to the Wimbledon final in 2003 where he defeated Andre Agassi in the fourth round before losing to Roger Federer in an interview to the ATP Tour website
Mark Philippoussis on his 2003 Wimbledon run where he lost to Roger Federer in the final
Speaking to the ATP Tour website, Philippoussis says he considered himself the favourite to win the final since he had beaten Federer on clay just a few weeks prior to the final, but ultimately came up short.
"Walking into that match, I felt like I was the favourite. We were playing on grass. I don’t care who the person is or what he’s ranked. A couple months earlier I’d actually beaten him in Hamburg where he was defending champion on clay.
I felt confident. I was living my dream. I’m not going to lie, it hurt. I got to the final. No one remembers the runners-up. Of course you don’t want to go all that way and lose. It was my second Grand Slam final loss and it hurt, especially this one.
This one really, really hurt. I came back from some surgeries, they said my tennis career was over. I worked very hard. It was a beautiful two weeks, but I fell short”. Philippoussis also spoke about his win over Andre Agassi earlier in the same tournament.
"With him, there’s no such thing as holding serve comfortably. No matter how big I was serving, if he had a chance to hit the ball, I was going to find it at my toes most of the time. Not only did I have to serve as good as I can, but I knew I had to serve aces.
It wasn’t good enough just to serve big. It’s quite comfortable for me to say that when I walked on the court, I never felt like it was about my opponent. I knew it was about me with the tennis I played. I just knew that I had to focus on me.
specially when you’re playing someone like Andre, it’s even more important to focus on you, because you can’t focus on what your opponent does or what he’s going to do." Wimbledon was one of the most successful tournaments for the Aussie during his career - he had a 27–10 record at the event.
Besides his final appearance in 2003, he also reached the quarter-finals in 1998, 1999, and 2000 and the fourth round in 2002 and 2004. The Australian reached two Grand Slam finals in his career - the other one coming at the US Open in 1998 where he lost to fellow Australian Patrick Rafter.
Mark Philippoussis also helped Australia win two Davis Cup titles in 1999 and 2003, winning the deciding rubber in the final both times and peaked at No. 8 in the world rankings. Roger Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles in his career - the most by any player in men's tennis history.
Federer is currently recuperating from a knee injury for which he underwent a second procedure last month. He has announced that he would miss the remainder of the 2020 season and plans on coming back for the 2021 season.