Success for Aussies at Wimbledon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Success for Aussies at Wimbledon

By Paul Mulvey and Maria Hawthorne 25/06/2003 05:38:14 AM Comments (0)

Mark Philippoussis eased into the second round at Wimbledon as he headlined a successful day for Australia at the All England Club.

Philippoussis overcame Argentinian baseliner Mariano Zabaleta 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-2 and was joined in the next round by Scott Draper and Alicia Molik.

Draper beat Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 6-4 while Molik ended a three-match losing streak to become the only Australian woman in the second round when she beat Russian teenager Dinara Safina 6-1 4-6 6-4.

Philippoussis now has an easier than expected second-round match against French qualifier Cyril Saunier who shocked 14th seed Xavier Malisse 6-4 6-3 6-2.

The world No.48 opened up quickly, breaking Zabaleta's first two service games with some sizzling groundstrokes to race to a 4-0 lead before the Argentine pegged one back.

Zabaleta saved five set points serving at 5-2, but the big Australian held an easy service game to take an early edge.

Philippoussis clawed a break back after stumbling early in the second set but the world No.40 immediately broke again to take the match to level terms.

The big serving Victorian took out the match with steadier tennis in the last two sets, his powerful groundstrokes complemented by some cat like reflexes and touch shots, breaking Zabaleta once in the third set and twice in the fourth.

"I'm not pumped by the match but I'm happy just to get through the first round," Philippoussis said.

Draper, ranked 115 in the world, served 32 aces against the No.56 Mathieu and was excited by his prospects when he faces Czech Radek Stepanek in the second round.

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