Scud's cup victory
November 30, 2003
AUSTRALIA today snared their 28th Davis Cup when Mark Philippoussis orchestrated a dramatic and intense victory over Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero.
His enthralling 7-5 6-3 1-6 2-6 6-0 win gave Australia a winning 3-1 lead after the opening day's singles spoils were shared and Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs won yesterday's doubles rubber.
Philippoussis fought off early nerves, a fearsome comeback from Ferrero and shoulder pain and later said it was the supporters who had carried him to victory.
"If it wasn't for you guys there's no way I would have got through that match, so thank you so much," Philippoussis told the Melbourne Park crowd.
He said he and his teammates, Lleyton Hewitt, Woodbridge and Arthurs had now gelled into a formidable combination.
"Every tie we play together gets better and better and we combine so well - look at my back-up, I had Lleyton coming behind me so how could I lose.
"It's been a long year and this was our goal."
Woodbridge scotched rumours he was retiring after bettering the mark of 28 ties set by Adrian Quist in the 1930s.
"We're going to win again," he said.
Philippoussis early in the match sprayed shots wide of the lines but still managed to capture the first two sets.
Then his serve and volleys deserted him, as he fell victim to double faults and netted returns.
Ferrero produced a fiery third set, breaking the Australian in the second, fourth and sixth games.
He broke twice again in the fourth to level the scores.
Both players received treatment from trainers before the start of the final set but Philippoussis was worked on intensively as he lay on his back beside the court.
He grimaced noticeably on his return but whipped through the set like a player possessed, allowing Ferrero not one game.
Australian captain John Fitzgerald paid tribute to the passion the players and Australian fans had for Davis Cup.
"It is a country like Spain and a country like Australia who believe in the Davis Cup," Fitzgerald said.
"We believe in our sport and the people involved in it and you don't get matches like that without passion from both sides," he said.