Very bizarre 3-hour 12-minute clincher of the Davis Cup ’03. Philippoussis  had the enthusiastic crowd behind and he was playing on his favorite surface while Ferrero  enjoyed the best season of his life trying to finish as No. 1 and had defeated the Australian rather easily in their two previous meetings, so even though Ferrero wasn’t a grass-court player, every result was expected, but certainly not such a scoreline. Philippoussis broke at the end of the first two sets, but at 0:1 in the 3rd he was broken after the longest game of the match (7 decues) and lost his service timing committing many doubles faults. Ferrero broke as many as four times in the two successive sets, but the most demanding season in his career (and a thriller vs Hewitt two days before), took its toll. Before the decider, they both needed medical time-out – Philippoussis to his back, Ferrero to his right thigh. The Australian had simple tactics for the decider: to get as many points as possible behind the serve, and apply chip-and-charge on receiving games when the Spaniard misses his first serve. Despite a bagel set, the point difference was the lowest possible with such a set because ‘Scud’ won all games with a 2-point margin (the first five 4:2, and the last one 5:3 converting his third match point with an overhead). “At the end of the day I was completely numb. I felt like I wasn’t playing but watching from the sideline,” Philippoussis said.
AUSTRALIA d. SPAIN 3-1 at Melbourne Park, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia: Grass
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) d. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(0), 6-2
Carlos Moya (ESP) d. Mark Philippoussis (AUS) 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4)
Wayne Arthurs / Todd Woodbridge (AUS) d. Alex Corretja / Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
Mark Philippoussis (AUS) d. Juan C. Ferrero (ESP) 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 2-6, 6-0
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) vs Carlos Moya (ESP) unp.
From left: Todd Woodbridge, Mark Philippoussis, John Fitzgerald (cpt.), Lleyton Hewitt, Wayne Arthurs
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