SAS star Mark Philippoussis details ‘ridiculous’ celebrity lifestyle: ‘Idiot’

Tennis champion and SAS Australia recruit Mark Philippoussis has detailed what his life was like at the height of his fame, labelling it as “ridiculous”.

The 44-year-old, who once had a career-high ranking at No. 8 in the world, said he now looks back at his behaviour and calls himself an “idiot”.

Ant Middleton and Mark Philippoussis on SAS Australia.
Mark Philippoussis was interrogated on Monday night’s episode of SAS Australia. Photos: Channel Seven

On Monday night’s episode of the military-reality show, Mark was summoned to be interrogated by Chief Instructor Ant Middleton after his psychometric test showed that he had a lack of drive.

“What that suggests is that there’s a lack of passion, a lack of aggression, a lack of internal, intrinsic drive to be here,” the medical officer explained to him.


It didn’t take long for Mark to open up about how he lost his love for tennis towards the end of his career and he would take things personally if any problems arose.

One specific issue that he couldn’t deal with was the fact that he didn’t have a clothing contract in 2003 after reaching the Wimbledon final and winning the Davis Cup with Australia.

“After my third knee surgery, I was in a wheelchair for three months and crutches for a couple of months and they said I’ll never play professional tennis again,” he began. “That drove me. I came back and had my strongest year.

“I just had the best year, I’d just won Davis Cup for the second time, how could I not have a clothing contract?”

Mark Philippoussis on SAS Australia.
Mark says he bought himself new cars because he’d get bored. Photo: Channel Seven

“My thought was, ‘F**k you’. But instead of saying, ‘F**k you’, I went the opposite and my passion withered. I just felt beaten up,” he continued. “And I knew what it’d take and I thought, ‘Do I want to go there again?’ And I didn’t.”

Mark went on to explain how he was able to purchase whatever he wanted to try and fill the void, but it never made him happy or motivated.

“I was changing my cars because I would get bored, or I’d watch this new movie, Bad Boys, [and go] ‘Oh my god they’ve got the new Porsche turbo’ and call up my agent, ‘Find me the new Porsche turbo’. That’s how ridiculous it was,” he said.

“So, the prize money doesn’t make you happier but it ends up becoming the new norm. Sometimes now I just shake my head and laugh and go, ‘What an idiot’.”

Mark Philippoussis boxing Pete Murray on SAS Australia.
Mark was pitted against Pete Murray in a boxing challenge. Photo: Channel Seven

After his chat with the Directing Staff, which ended with his admission that he wants to become a better husband and father, it was clear that Mark brought the motivation to his next test.

The celebrity recruits were each put into pairs for a boxing match later in the night, where the retired athlete left singer-songwriter Pete Murray with a dislocated elbow which forced him to withdraw from the series.

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