The absurd $100k splurge that summed up Mark Philippoussis

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Pictured here is Mark Philippoussis and his wife Silvana Lovin.
Mark Philippoussis is pictured here with his wife Silvana Lovin. Pic: Getty

During his lofty playing days, Aussie tennis legend Mark Philippoussis never shied away from the fact he was one of the sport's most renowned play boys.

The tall, dark and handsome Aussie of Greek ancestry embraced his lifestyle as a tennis party boy and all that came with it.

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From celebrity girlfriends such as Delta Goodrem, to fast cars and lavish parties, Philippoussis had it all and he wasn't afraid to flaunt the success that tennis brought him.

A two-time grand slam finalist with a US Open final appearance in 1998 and a Wimbledon decider in 2003 - perhaps the biggest regret for the Aussie was not turning that immense talent into major title success.

Part of the reason may well be put down to his flashy lifestyle, with the 43-year-old revealing a crazy story about his life of excess in his sporting heyday.

Appearing on the latest episode of Mark Howard’s podcast, The Howie Games, the Aussie tennis icon opened up about a wild story around his love of sports cars.

Philippoussis confessed that during his tennis playing days he would burn through new cars like some people burn through shoes - sometimes buying a new one every month.

Apart from owning “numerous Lamborghinis and a bunch of Ferraris”, he's also gone through more than a dozen motorbikes.

Mark Philippoussis is seen here at the US Open during his playing days.
Mark Philippoussis' success during the 1990s and 2000s funded his love of fast cars. Pic: Getty

“I would get bored. 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.”

However, it was during his time living in Florida under the mentorship of renowned coach Nick Bollettieri in the 1990's that Philippoussis' obsession with cars hit its most extraordinary point of absurdity.

As was his way, the Aussie tennis star decided it was time for a new set of wheels but he was torn between a Corvette and a Dodge Viper.

So 'The Poo' set off with a mate in a massive stretch Hummer to a dealership in Tampa to check out the two American sports cars.

As fate would have it, the slippery roads caused Philippoussis to veer out of control in the Hummer, when he slammed on the brakes to avoid a broken down semi-trailer and crashed into a concrete divider.

Philippoussis makes ‘ridiculous’ revelation

With the pair both a bit rattled from the accident, Philippoussis' mate wanted to get a taxi home but the tennis star was having none of it.

“I go, ‘No man, screw that, I’m not going back home’,” Philippoussis told Howard. “I’m like, ‘Let’s go look at these cars, we’re just 30 minutes away’.

“So we got a taxi and looked at these cars. On one side of the street was Chevrolet and on the other side of the street was Dodge.

“I’m like, ‘Nup, I’m not taking a taxi home... I’m driving. We’re taking one of these cars home’.”

The next part of the story even Philippoussis can admit is "ridiculous", as he pitted the two dealers against one another; whoever could have their car ready for him to drive off in first would get his business.

Pictured here, a Dodge Viper on display in a show room.
The Dodge Viper proved a bad choice of car for the 6-foot-four tennis star. Pic: Getty

“You can laugh, because it’s ridiculous,” Philippoussis told Howard after revealing that he'd given the dealers one hour.

The Dodge Viper proved the winner so the Aussie handed over his credit card and parted with a cool $100,000.

There was just one problem when all was said and done and The Poo reflected on his expensive new purchase afterwards and it sums up his life of excess as a tennis superstar perfectly.

“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 said.

“But I didn’t want to drive home in a taxi.”

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