Scud's ranking climb stumbles
By Leo Schlink
November 09, 2006
MARK Philippoussis's 30th birthday celebrations were soured yesterday by an old adversary - a creaking body.
Ranked No.118 in the world, Philippoussis succumbed to bicep tendinitis after practising for an opening-round match at the Music City Challenger in Nashville, Tennessee.
The former world No.8 told organisers he would be unable to play in the $100,000 event, dashing hopes of a rankings boost before Australia's summer circuit.
Tournament supervisor Michael Loo said Philippoussis had complained of soreness after a training session.
Philippoussis, seeded fourth in Nashville behind American Vince Spadea, has entered another second-tier Challenger in Illinois next week.
The dual grand slam finalist has set himself a goal of returning to the top 100 before the end of the season.
If he achieves his target, Philippoussis will not need a wildcard into Australian Open.
Philippoussis won a Challenger title in California last month, continuing the form that netted him the Newport ATP grasscourt crown in July.
The right hander has been working on a casual basis with Andre Agassi's support team of Darren Cahill and Gil Reyes.
Cahill returns next week from Las Vegas to attend Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald's Bone Growth Foundation fund-raiser in Adelaide.
But the South Australian is yet to decide on career options after Agassi's retirement.
Tennis Australia is among Cahill's most ardent suitors and views the former US Open semi-finalist as potentially a key part of its plans.
Cahill has the distinction of helping Agassi become the oldest male to hold the world No.1 ranking at 33 and Lleyton Hewitt the youngest season-ending No.1 at 19.