Philippoussis not a Weiner at ATP Shanghai

Posted on September 29, 2004

No. 4 seed Mark Philippoussis lost his fifth consecutive first-round match Tuesday at the ATP stop at Shanghai, this time in humiliating fashion to American journeyman Glenn "I.C." Weiner. Flipper won the first set but failed to close the deal, flaming out 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Weiner entered the event with a 4-6 win-loss record on the year.

"I wasn't feeling that good when I went into that match," Weiner said. "For sure it's one of my best wins. I played him in Hong Kong about 10 years ago and he kicked my butt."

Philippoussis said the Florida weather and other intangibles had him off-kilter.

"Physically I'm feeling good, the injury is fine," Philippoussis said. "It was pretty much a terrible day out there...I haven't had the time to think. I was stuck in the house with hurricanes then went to San Diego to get back in shape. I know how things started at the beginning of the year and things got worse and worse."

It was an all-"B"-American day in Shanghai, with No. 8 seed Jan-Mike Gambill also collecting a rare win, defeating German qualifier Ivo Klec in straight sets.

"It hasn't been a great year for me," said Gambill, offering up his history in Asia. "This is my second time in Shanghai. I've been to Hong Kong and Tokyo a few times and the last time I was in Shanghai I lost in the quarterfinals to (Michael) Chang. I like to play the Asian tour."

Other unseeded winners into the second round were qualifiers Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France (d. (LL) Healey in three) and Dutchman Melle Van Gemerden (d. Vacek), Germany's Lars Burgsmuller (d. (WC) Zeng), Denmark's Kristian Pless (d. C.Rochus 6-0 in the third), and Chinese wildcard Ben-Qiang Zhu bringing the local fans to their feet (d. Zib in three).

"I think it was not so much tactics but it was important with the mind," said Zhu of putting the mind-press on Zib. "It was a psychological win. Like in Davis Cup in Nanjing, we played better and better. The strong mind helps me."

Zhu then stood up and shouted "I will beat you all with my mind! All of you!" No, he didn't really.

On Wednesday are (WC) Van Lottum vs. Tipsarevic, (Q) Phau vs. (6) Nieminen, Lu vs. (2) Novak, (7) Ricardo Mello "Yello" vs. Peya, and Wayne "The Serving Machine" Arthurs vs. (5) H.-T. Lee.

Federer Survives Shaky Outing, Roddick On Tap Today at ATP Bangkok

Roger Federer didn't have his best in his first outing since his win at the US Open, but survived into the second round at Bangkok Tuesday, defeating France's Nicolas Thomann 6-4, 7-6(4) in the quest for his 10th title of 2004.

"The first match in Thailand felt good and I'm always happy to win tiebreakers," Federer said. "I had a vacation after the US Open and I have been working out here since I got here last week. I've been training and I'm almost over the jet-lag which is important to avoid injuries. Also, I've been training very hard and I'm not feeling tired, but I hope I feel tired at the end of the week."

Not so lucky was Federer's Davis Cup coach, Marc Rosset, who was edged in a third set tiebreak by Aussie Paul Baccanello. Also into the second round was No. 5 seed and defending champ Taylor "Make a" Dent, who struggled past unseeded countryman Justin "Time" Gimelstob in three sets.

"He played well the whole match and I was struggling with my serve and volleys," Dent said of Gimelstob, who last week won a challenger event. "For my game it's important to do these two things well."

Other un-seeds into the second round were Dutchman Dennis van Scheppingen (d. (WC) Djokovic in three), American Jeff "The Lizard King" Morrison (d. (Q) Kohlmann), Switzerland's Ivo "I Dated Hingis" Heuberger (d. Savolt), and another young American in Alex Bogomolov Jr. (d. (Q) Crabb).

On court Wednesday, ticket-holders get their money's worth with two former No. 1s and a couple locals to cheer for in (WC) Udomchoke vs. Vanek, Okun vs. (3) Safin, (4) Srichaphan vs. Chiudinelli, (LL) Parmar vs. (2) Roddick, (7) Andreev vs. (Q) Wassen, Levy vs. (8) Soderling, and (Q) Iwabuchi vs. A.Garcia.

Spain Leads Dirt Winners at ATP Palermo

Spain led the winners Tuesday at the ATP stop on the red dirt in Palermo, with five additional into the second round in (6) Rafael "The Prodigy" Nadal (d. countryman (Q) Almagro), (7) Dave Ferrer (d. countryman A.Martin in three), Alex Calatrava (d. Elsner), qualifier "Julio &" Galo Blanco (d. (Q)Di Mauro in three), and Marc "M-Lo" Lopez (d. countryman Gimeno-Traver).

"Sunday night, after we won Davis Cup, we did not go to bed," said The Prodigy, giving the life update. "We celebrated and I had a very early flight to go to Barcelona on Monday. I had a medical check-up for my foot then I came to Palermo, practiced 30 minutes then I went to bed...I thought it would be more difficult today as I was tired from the Davis Cup."

Also into the second round were Italians (5) Filippo Volandri (d. Montanes), "You Say" Potito Starace (d. Gasquet 6-1 in the third), and wildcard Andreas Seppi (d. 1999 winner Di Pasquale in three), Argentina's Juan "The Principality" Monaco (d. Kohlschreiber, who retired in the third due to the flu), Russian (4) Nikolay Davydenko (d. Hanescu), and Belgium's Kristof Vliegen (d. 1998 winner (Q) Puerta).

"I'm around 150 right now, I would like to break into the Top 100 but it's going to be difficult as I need a lot of points," said Seppi, breaking down how the rankings work: points = rising higher. "I'm looking forward to the indoor season though, as I prefer to play on fast surfaces."

Scheduled on the dirt today are (8) Berdych vs. O.Hernandez, (3) Fernando "Hot Sauce" Verdasco vs. The Principality, (1) Nicolas "The Golden Child" Massu vs. D.Sanchez (career series tied 2-2), Olivier "Mucus" Mutis vs. (6) The Prodigy, (7) Ferrer vs. Calatrava in an all-ESP, and M-Lo vs. (4) Davydenko.

Sharapova Eases Into Second Round at WTA Seoul

Top-seeded Maria Sharapova (d. Gagliardi) led the seeded winners Tuesday at the WTA stop in Seoul, including (2) Shinobu Asagoe (d. (Q) Okamoto in an all-Japanese), and (5) Katarina "Robotnik" Srebotnik (d. Ant. Serra Zanetti).

"The fast court suited my game better," said Sharapova, who battered her opponent into submission. "I just played my game today."

Two seeded upsets were performed by Luxembourg's Anne "Kosmo" Kremer (d. (6) Kurhajcova in three) and Japan's Yuka Yoshida (d. countrywoman (7) Obata, who retired in the third set due to the heat).

Other un-seeds into the second round were qualifiers Chia-Jung Chuang of Taipei (d. Bohmova in three) and Israel's Shahar Peer (d. Nemeckova), and Japanese lucky losers Rika Fujiwara (d. (WC) S.-J. Kim) and Miho Saeki (d. (Q) Rao 7-6 in the third).

On court Wednesday are Voskoboeva vs. Stosur, Yoshida vs. Talaja, Spears vs. Asagoe, Chuang vs. Domachowska, and Castano vs. Mamic.

Clijsters Returns Today at WTA Hasselt

The seeds went three-for-three Tuesday at the WTA stop in Hasselt, Belgium, but the anticipation was for today's return to the court by former No. 1 Kim Clijsters, who has sat out much of 2004 with a wrist injury.

Winners on the seeded side Tuesday were (5) Francesca Schiavone (d. Santangelo), (6) Silvia Farina Elia (d. Perebiynis 6-1 in the third), and (7) Maggie Maleeva (d. (Q) Lee-Waters).

Un-seeds into the second round were Spain's Maria Sanchez Lorenzo (d. Schaul), Czech Iveta Benesova (d. (Q) Bachmann), Italy's Maria Elena Camerin (d. (LL) Rousseau), (LL) Michaela Pastikova of the Czech Republic (d. Garbin), (Q) Vanessa Henke of Germany (d. Flipkens in three), and homecountry favorite (WC) Els Callens (d. (Q) Birnerova).

"I am very eager to finally play again, in competition," Clijsters wrote on her website. "Especially in my own country."

On court Wednesday are Sanchez Lorenzo vs. Ruano Pascual, Karolina "The Spreminator" Sprem vs. Anabel "Funky Cold" Medina Garrigues, Denisa "Hanging" Chladkova vs. Farina Elia, Benesova vs. Clijsters, Henke vs. Bovina, and Llagostera Vives vs. Marrero.

Seeds Three for Three at WTA Guangzhou

All three seeds in action Tuesday at the WTA stop in Guangzhou left the court winners in (3) Flavia "Of the Day" Pennetta (d. (WC) Z.Yan in three), (4) Marion "Roly Poly" Bartoli (d. Hopkins), and (7) Nicole Pratt (d. Morigami).

Un-seeds into the second round were Slovak Martina "Nurse I Need a" Sucha (d. Jidkova in three), Russian Tatiana "The Pocket Baseliner" Panova (d. (Q) Bratchikova in three), (Q) Na Li of China (d. Douchevina), Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn (d. Craybas), and Shuai Peng of China (d. (Q) Grandin).

On court Wednesday are Diaz-Oliva vs. Safina, Zheng vs. Vento-Kabchi, N.Li vs. Jankovic, Brandi vs. N.-N.Liu, and Sucha vs. Klara "Kouky" Koukalova.

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Injury pulls this week on the WTA Tour were Nathalie Dechy (continuing left quad injury), Eleni Daniilidou (left calf strain), Jelena Dokic (elbow/brain injury), Anna-Lena Groenefeld (shoulder injury), Maria Kirilenko (right shoulder injury), Petra Mandula (upper respiratory illness), and Seda Noorlander (right shoulder injury)...Kim Clijsters will play her first match today on the WTA Tour since May...13 of the Top 15 players are planning to play the WTA Tier II Filderstadt event next week. Maria "Grunt-o-rama" Sharapova is the only Top 15 player competing at the Japan Open...Todd Woodbridge has called synthetic grasscourts a "cancer" on Australian tennis: "We need to rip up everyone of those courts for our juniors to play on if we want to improve our game. For them to become competitive at the professional level they need to go out and hit a million balls on clay or slow, slow hardcourts."...Mark Philippoussis has lost his last five matches...Billie Jean King on the state of women's tennis: "We've got so far to go," she told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "A little less than $1 billion is spent on women's professional-sports sponsorship throughout the world. Men have $25 billion...Women's sports is in its infancy from the point of view of sponsorship...I want coed power. I want us all working together...Everyone labels me as women's rights. I'm about people's rights: The reason I'm in women's rights is because I'm under-served. If you were under-served as the male, I'd be doing it for you...It's all about justice, really." You go BJK...Svetlana Kuznetsova has clinched a spot at the year-end WTA Championships, joining Lindsay Davenport and Amelie Mauresmo...In the "How Far Have We Fallen?" category, Nicholas Lapentti's little brother, Giovanni, is seeded higher than him at a challenger tournament this week...Bangkok defending champ Taylor Dent: "Last year I saw some sites, and I'd love to see more things. Hopefully I keep winning and don't see much, but I'll ask Paradorn (Srichaphan) where to go if I have time."...Best Beavis & Butthead headline from "Aussie falls to dark horse American Weiner"...The movie Wimbledon has knocked the Tom Cruise thriller Collateral out of the No. 1 spot at the UK box office...The sixth annual Matthew Shepard Memorial Tennis Jam will take place on October 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Crotona Park in the Bronx, N.Y. The "tennis-a-thon" benefits the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which fights hate crimes nationwide. For more information contact Tim McCall at (212) 246-4829...Kim Clijsters, who sounds like she still might be coming back too early off the wrist injury, says it will be a tough task to qualify for the year-end WTA Tour Championships: "I think it will probably be very hard to make those. But you never know. I'd probably have to win every tournament I play in. I don't even know if I could make it then. Now I'm just going to play this year just for next year. I'm only focusing on next year. I'm just very happy to be out there again."...Mardy "Silver" Fish doesn't seem to get criticism from Patrick McEnroe and Cliff Drysdale that he is not in peak shape: "That's unfair," he told Florida's Tennis Life magazine. "I haven't done anything differently than I've done in the past."