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Old 01-17-2006, 12:17 PM   #105
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Default Re: Mark "The Scud" cheering thread!!

That was unfortunate. Mark lost to Grosjean 4-6, 2-6, 3-6.
Let's hope he won't be discouraged by this loss.

Scud falls at first hurdle

Australian Mark Philippoussis' slide into the tennis wilderness continued tonight as he suffered a first round Australian Open exit for the first time in 11 years.

The former world No.8 was thrashed in straight sets by French 25th seed Sebastien Grosjean 6-4 6-2 6-3.

The last time Philippoussis fell at the first hurdle in his national tournament was in 1995, although he has had first round losses in other grand slam events the French and US Opens in the past two years.

Grosjean made light work of Philippoussis' greatest weapon, his booming serve, breaking him twice in each set, including the first game of each of the first two sets.

Philippoussis showed slightly more resistance early in the third set, taking it to 3-3 on serve.

But he was then broken to love in the seventh game to give Grosjean the decisive advantage and capitulated by losing serve again in the final game of the match.

Grosjean said he was surprised how easily he handled Philippoussis' serve.

"I tried to be really focused on the serve and it's a little bit easier at night, the serve has less speed than during the day," Grosjean said.

"But I hit the ball very well and it surprised me a little bit."

The Frenchman's pace around the court and accurate passing shots made it difficult for the Australian to gain any ascendancy by attacking the net.

And Grosjean was also the more consistent player from the baseline, leaving Philippoussis struggling to find a way to dent him.

With Philippoussis having been regularly affected by injury in the past two years, his lack of much recent competitive play was clearly a factor.

He played just 19 matches last year, winning nine of them, to slump to No.165 in the rankings and needed a wildcard just to play in this tournament.

His loss tonight leaves four Australians standing after the first round of singles. Thirteen started the tournament.

AAP
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