Scud out for several months after undergoing surgery

MELBOURNE, Australia, AP

Australia’s Mark Philippoussis will be out of action for about two months after undergoing knee surgery on Thursday.

Philippoussis, 24, the 1998 U.S. Open runner-up and a hero for Australia in their Davis Cup final victory against France in 1999, said: “Naturally I’m very disappointed about missing the Australian summer. Philippoussis will miss the Hopman Cup international mixed teams event which starts in Perth on Saturday and the Australian Open in January.

He will also be out of Australia’s Davis Cup first round tie against Ecuador in Perth from February 9-11 although he was doubtful to play anyway after being unavailable several times previously for Davis Cup matches, including this year’s final which Australia lost in Spain. “I’ll wait to see how my year unfolds and keep in contact with Fitzy and Wally (captain John Fizgerald and coach Wally Masur),” Philippoussis said. Fitzgerald said: “Mark and I had a terrific meeting a couple of weeks ago and I now have a clearer understanding of his position in relation to Davis Cup. Philippoussis had an ongoing public feud with Fitzgerald’s predecessor John Newcombe but officials hope the changing of the guard will help draw him back to the team. “I felt I was playing great tennis at the end of this year,” Philippousis said. Coach bans Philippoussis from buying more sports cars

Coach Peter McNamara has banned his star pupil, Australian world number 11 Mark Philippoussis, from buying any more sports cars until he wins a Grand Slam tennis tournament, a newspaper reported.

Despite enormous promise, he failed to break through to win a major, reaching the 1998 United States Open final which he lost to countryman Patrick Rafter.

“Cars are out. No more cars,” McNamara said on Thursday in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“He’s not allowed to buy a car unless he wins a Grand Slam — that’s the deal we have. It hasn’t stopped him buying motorbikes. I think we’ll have to put the deal on motorbikes as well.”

The newspaper said Philippoussis had already sold most of his stable of almost 20 sports cars including several Ferraris.