Australian Open 2023: Mark Philippoussis hits ballkid in exhibition doubles match, video

Mark Philippoussis still takes his tennis very seriously — just ask the ballkid who got caught in the Aussie tennis legend’s firing line at the Australian Open.

Philippoussis was playing an exhibition doubles match on Sunday with 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis against the legendary American duo Mike and Bob Bryan.

Watch Tennis Live with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. Live Coverage of ATP + WTA Tour Tournaments including Every Finals Match. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Trailing 5-1 in the first set, Philippoussis raced off the court during a rally to try and hit a backhand back in play.

He was aiming to flick the ball around the net but the ballkid, kneeling in position, was in the firing line and copped the ball to the body under their armpit.

Thankfully it wasn’t too hard a blow and Philippoussis, known affectionately as The Scud, gave the ball girl a fake angry look and a hug and she gave a big smile and shook it off.

“Oh no! Get out of the way ball kid!” commentator Mark Cation said.

“Is she OK?”

“I think Mark has a future in comedy,” commentator Brad Stine said.

Philippoussis and Baghdatis lost the first set 6-1 and made a better fist of it in the second set, but ultimately lost 6-1 6-4 to the Bryan brothers.

Philippoussis, who made two grand slam finals and won two Davis Cups, is coaching title fancy Stefanos Tsitsipas at Melbourne Park along the with Greek star’s father Apostolos.

Tsitsipas will take on Italian young gun Jannik Sinner in the fourth round on Sunday night.

It’s been a tough Australian Open on the ballkids, with several matches including Andy Murray’s marathon second round match against Thanasi Kokkinakis finishing in the early hours of the morning.

There have also been growing calls for ballkids to be paid after it emerged they are not financially compensated for their services at the Australian Open.

Around 2500 kids apply to be ballkids every year, with less than one in five of them actually successful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *