NEWPORT, R.I. -- Mark Philippoussis used his big serve to
advance to the final of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships,
beating sixth-seeded Jurgen Melzer 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-0 in the
Philippoussis, ranked No. 9 in the world in 2003 before falling
out of the top 100 the past two years because of injuries, will
face eighth-seeded Justin Gimelstob, a 6-1, 7-6 (4) winner over
top-seeded Andy Murray. A top seed has never won the grass
tournament in its 30-year history as a tour event.
"I knew what I had to do," Philippoussis said. "I was
confident in my serve the whole day. On returns, I wanted to go for
it and be aggressive."
Philippoussis, a 2003 Wimbledon finalist, won 87 percent of his
After being broken for the first point of the tiebreaker and
falling behind 6-1 before losing the set, Philippoussis responded
by breaking Melzer in the third and fifth games of the second set.
Philippoussis broke serve again in the first game of the third set
to take control and later converted three aces in fourth game. He
closed the match out with his 16th ace to reach his first final
Gimelstob, making his 10th appearance in Newport, will be
looking for his first ATP title.
"I served very well. The best that I have this week, and that
enabled me to take more chances," Gimelstob said. "The courts are
advantageous to my style."
Gimelstob also noticed how well Philippoussis has played.
"It's nice that he's back, but I just want to concentrate on my
side of the net," he said.
Murray advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon before coming
to Newport, where he felt he was affected by the surface that
endured two days of rain.
Before the semis, Gabriela Sabatini, Patrick Rafter and Gianni
Clerici were enshrined into the Hall of Fame during a center court
ceremony. Steffi Graf, a 2004 inductee, presented Sabatini.