Scud crashes but Jelena scrapes through
The latest revival in the career of Mark “Scud” Philippoussis hit a snag at the Australian Open play-off in Melbourne on Sunday.
The powerful Australian, who beat youngster Brydan Klein on day one of the event, was downed in straight sets by australian Institute of sport player Samuel Groth. Groth, 20, from New south wales, broke Philippoussis in the 10th game of the first set to take it 6-4.
The second set remained on serve until Groth broke to lead 4-2. Philippoussis broke back, but Groth secured another break and then served out the match 6-3. The 194cm Groth was more than able to match the 31-year-old in the power stakes and served more aces in the 90-minute affair.
Starting the year ranked 686 in the world, some strong Challenger results have seen Groth improve his ranking to its current mark of 341. Meanwhile, the comeback trail was kinder to Jelena dokic. The former world No.4 scored another victory on sunday, grinding out a tough three-set victory over experienced Victorian Christina wheeler 3-6, 7-6, 6-3.
Having now won two from two in the round robin phase of the event, dokic has booked her place in the play-off quarterfinals. Three of the favourites in the women’s draw joined dokic in recording wins on sunday. sophie Ferguson defeated Victorian teenager sally Peers 6-4, 6-2, while last year’s play-off finalist Jessica Moore was too strong for 15-year-old Isabella Holland. www.sportal.com.au