The 6-3 7-5 win was the Australian’s first title since winning Shanghai in 2003 and caps off a disappointing run for the 29-year-old.
Philippoussis, ranked No.214 in the world, held his serve throughout the entire tournament, showing some of the trademark signs that had him ranked ninth in the world just two years ago. The wild card had Gimelstob on the back foot early, breaking the American in the second game before closing out the opening set with three thundering aces. Gimelstob stayed with the Australian in the second set, but Philippoussis broke in the 11th game to take an edge before closing out the match.
Philippoussis, a 2003 Wimbledon finalist, was happy with the victory and believes he is getting back into shape and starting to enjoy tennis again. “I’ve been working extremely hard and this is when it pays off,” Philippoussis said. “I felt like I had good rhythm on my serve. I just felt good the whole week.”
“I’ve always said the No. 1 thing is your health,” he said. “If you feel great you start off the day great. I’m enjoying my tennis,” he added.
Meanwhile, Former Australian world No.1 Pat Rafter has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport.