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Philippoussis tops Gimelstob to win Hall of Fame title

7/16/2006 - Tennis

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Mark Philippoussis beat eighth-seeded
Justin Gimelstob 6-3, 7-5 to win the Hall of Fame Tennis
Championships on Sunday.

Philippoussis, ranked No. 214 in the world entering the
tournament, didn't lose serve in the entire tournament, showing
some of the form that had him ranked No. 9 two years ago. It was
his first title since winning Shanghai in 2003.

"It feels great. It feels like 20 years," the 29-year-old
Australian said after winning his 11th career title. He wasn't
broken in 54 service games in the tournament.

Philippoussis, a wild card entrant, had dropped out of the top
100 the last two years because of injuries.

"I've always said the No. 1 thing is your health," he said.
"If you feel great you start off the day great. I'm enjoying my
tennis."

Philippoussis, a 2003 Wimbledon finalist, won 87 percent of his
first-serve points for the second straight day. He had 15 aces
after getting 16 in Saturday's semifinal win.

"I've been working extremely hard and this is when it pays
off," Philippoussis said. "I felt like I had good rhythm on my
serve. I just felt good the whole week."

Philippoussis broke Gimelstob in the second game of the match to
go up 2-0. He closed out the first set with three straight aces.

In the second set, Gimelstob rallied to go up 4-3, but
Philippoussis broke in the 11th game for a 6-5 edge. He then had
aces on the first two points of the final game before Gimelstob hit
a forehand volley wide and a backhand into the net.

"It's good for tennis to have him back," Gimelstob said. "On
grass courts he's one of the best players in the world."

The Hall of Fame championships is the only grass-court
tournament in North America.