Big serve bounces Agassi out

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 30, 2003 at 10:18 p.m.
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Mark Philippoussis reached the quarterfinals he's never advanced past that round at Wimbledon by defeating Andre Agassi.

WIMBLEDON, England - The ace race was one-sided, the match much closer. Andre Agassi lost them both.
The top-ranked Agassi was overpowered Monday by unseeded Mark Philippoussis, who tied a Wimbledon record with 46 aces and pulled off a fourth-round upset, 6-3, 2-6, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4.
The defeat ended Agassi's bid at 33 to become the oldest men's champion at Wimbledon in the Open era.
"Everyone was expecting him to win, and that's a great position to be in," Philippoussis said.
Agassi hit 10 aces and kept the match close by overcoming 18 of 21 break points on his serve, but he converted only two of 11 break-point chances himself. Philippoussis repeatedly came up with big serves on important points - and against a player whose service return may be the best ever.
Philippoussis, who has 119 aces in four matches, earned his fourth quarterfinal berth at Wimbledon. He has never advanced further.
The Australian's serves topped out at 134 mph, and his ace total tied Goran Ivanisevic's mark in a second-round loss to Magnus Norman in 1997.
"I felt like I made him earn it," Agassi said. "There were a lot of moments where either one of us could have taken the match, and he ended up doing it at the end."
No. 5-seeded Andy Roddick advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time, and No. 4 Roger Federer and No. 10 Tim Henman also won. Federer hurt his back warming up and required treatment in the first set but still beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4.
"It was very tough for me," Federer said. "I don't know how I won."
Advancing in rapid succession on the women's side were two-time champion Venus Williams, defending champion Serena Williams, No. 2-seeded Kim Clijsters, No. 5 Lindsay Davenport and No. 8 Jennifer Capriati. The five winners swept every set and lost a total of 23 games, fodder for the argument that women's tennis lacks depth.
"The top players are playing well right now," Davenport said.
There will be two all-American women's quarterfinals today: Capriati vs. the No. 1-seeded Serena Williams and Davenport vs. No. 4 Venus Williams.
French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne also won, but 16-year-old Maria Sharapova was eliminated.
Philippoussis staged the day's biggest upset when he won his final 16 service games, saving nine break points. He smacked a 119 mph service winner on the final point, then raised his arms in jubilation.
"The great thing about the serve is you've got the ball in your hands," Philippoussis said. "You can take your time. No one can rush you, and you're in control. Today I had great rhythm out there, and it made life a lot easier for me."
The 6-foot-4 Philippoussis has long been touted as a potential Grand Slam champion and is again a title threat after enduring three knee operations during a 14-month span in 2000-01.
Agassi, who won his lone Wimbledon title in 1992, said he'll be back for another try next year.
"Why wouldn't I be back?" he said "I'm still a tennis player. This is the place to be."
Roddick, the lone American left in the men's draw, beat Paradorn Srichaphan 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Roddick lost a set for the first time in the tournament but won 17 of 18 service games, making him 63 for 65 through four rounds.
Roddick will next play Jonas Bjorkman. The unseeded Swede reached the quarterfinals for the first time in 10 years at Wimbledon by beating Max Mirnyi 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Henman, bidding to become the first Englishman to win Wimbledon since 1936, beat 2002 runner-up David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-3.
Alexander Popp, a 6-foot-7 German, made the most of his 14-inch height advantage against 5-foot-5 Olivier Rochus to win 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Popp will play Philippoussis next.
No. 8 Sjeng Schalken defeated No. 9 Rainer Schuettler, the Australian Open runner-up, 7-5, 6-4, 7-5. French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, seeded third, trailed No. 13 Sebastien Grosjean 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (2) when their match was suspended because of darkness.

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