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Old 06-23-2005, 04:54 PM   #93
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Default Re: Mark "The Scud" cheering thread!!

OK, and here the Reuters article after the defeat. Mark staying positive.

Wimbledon-Safin punishes wasteful Philippoussis
Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:40 PM BST

(Adds quotes, detail, byline)

By Bill Barclay

LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Russian fifth seed Marat Safin won his sledgehammer duel with Mark Philippoussis at Wimbledon on Wednesday, edging out the Australian 7-6 7-6 6-4 on Centre Court.

Safin displayed the opportunism of a champion in a second-round match of such fearsome hitting that at one stage early in the second set the net collapsed and had to be replaced.

Nothing could distract the often erratic 25-year-old from his task, however.

Philippoussis squandered three set points in the first set and Safin took it and the second set 7-4 in the two tiebreaks, having been a mini-break down in each.

Neither set featured a single break of serve but Safin, showing none of his usual dislike for playing on grass, nailed a break for 4-3 in the third thanks to a blistering backhand pass.

The Russian then bisected the court with his 20th ace on match point to complete a victory that suggests he is in the form to improve on his best Wimbledon performance to date, reaching the quarter-finals in 2001.

The Australian Open champion will play Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the round three and could face a quarter-final with third-seeded Australian Lleyton Hewitt.

Safin, who reached his first grasscourt final at Halle 10 days ago and is playing through the pain of a knee injury, was at a loss to explain why he was suddenly having fun on a surface he once detested.

"We don't know why a lot of things that happen in life happen when they do. I don't know how to explain it," he said.

"I am comfortable on it and I'm confident I can make some good results.

"It's important to have fun on grass. You have to play a game that is not really comfortable for you. If you are not having fun it's impossible to do anything good here."

DEFIANT PHILIPPOUSSIS

Grasscourt specialists do not come much bigger than Philippoussis, even though the 2003 Wimbledon runner-up was troubled by a foot ligament injury on Wednesday.

Injuries have been the story of his year. Ankle and back problems have hampered the 28-year-old and he has slumped to 142 in the rankings.

A defiant Philippoussis vowed to remain positive despite the loss and his ligament injury, which will require a scan.

"Everything is positive, nothing is negative. I'm not going to jump off a bridge somewhere," he said.

"I just missed my opportunities, simple as that. I know what I can do, whatever you guys think doesn't really worry me.

"My best tennis is ahead of me. This is nothing. I'm going to get over it."
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