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Philippoussis advances at Open play-off

17/12/2007 09:47:45 PM Comments (0)

Mark Philippoussis' stop-start comeback took another twist on Monday night with the 31-year-old going through to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open play-offs despite withdrawing from his final round robin match with a knee injury.

Philippoussis, who was 1-1 in matches at the Melbourne Park qualifier, had only remained in contention because of the withdrawal of top seed Alun Jones - who he'd been due to play.

Waiting on the result of a match between Brydan Klein and Sam Groth on Monday night to see if he'd progress, the two-time grand slam finalist scraped through by the smallest of margins.

With Klein beating the big-serving Groth 7-5 6-4 it left the three players in group A with a match win each.

The group was also logged on the same number of sets won, with the two quarterfinalists ultimately decided on games won divided by games played.

Groth won the pool (0.622) from Philippoussis (0.615) and Klein (0.600).

He is now scheduled to play Victorian Rameez Junaid on Wednesday.

Whether Philippoussis, who has a long history of knee problems, can play on, remains to be seen.

A spokesman confirmed he had swelling in the lateral miniscus (cartilage).

If he is forced out of this tournament, Philippoussis will need a discretionary wildcard entry to play in the Open.

Also on Monday, another comeback gathered momentum as Jelena Dokic won her third-straight match in the play-off tournament.

She beat Victorian Karolina Wlodarczak 6-2 4-6 6-2, but remains far from pleased with her game ahead of the quarters.

"I'm not happy at all with my game, I'm struggling (to put) all my practice work into my matches," she said.

"That's expected, so I think I can get much, much better and hopefully I will already do it in the next match."

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