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Philippoussis faces tough times

sports Updated: Jun 01, 2009 01:11 IST

Australia's two-time Grand Slam finalist Mark Philippoussis has revealed his tennis fortune is gone, he faces a legal battle to keep his home and has suffered bouts of depression, reports said on Sunday.

Philippoussis, 32, who earned more than seven million US dollars on the court and millions more off it in endorsements, said he is being sued for failing to pay the mortgage on his re-financed home in Melbourne.

Once ranked eighth in the world, Philippoussis said he had been unable to play for three years after several operations on his knee, which ended his ATP Tour playing career.

“I bought this house when I was 18, primarily for my mum. But I'm now paying three-and-a-half times as much as I'd be paying on a normal home loan,” he told Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun newspaper.

“Things are tough. Financially tough, but more importantly than that, it's been the mental side.

“I wouldn't say I'm battling depression, but have I been depressed a lot in the past two years? And freaked out about a lot of things? The answer is yes.”

“I haven't played tennis since 2006, and tennis is one of those sports where if you don't play, you don't get paid,” he added.

Philippoussis, who inspired Australia to two Davis Cup final victories, over France in 1999 and Spain in 2003, reflected on his fallen status as a one-time tennis celebrity.

“I've lived an easy life, the life you dream about. And at that time I thought it was normal, but it's so far from normal,” he said.

‘I was almost signed off by a fan’

Paris: Big-hitting Chilean Fernando Gonzalez revealed on Sunday how a freak injury signing autographs almost shattered his French Open dreams. The 28-year-old Chilean, who outgunned Romania's Victor Hanescu 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the third time, injured his ankle while signing photos and tennis balls for fans at the Rome Masters in April.