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Cash hails 'animal' Philippoussis

Former champion Pat Cash hailed the raw animal power of Mark Philippoussis on Friday after he steamed through to his first final.
PTI | By Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON JUL 04, 2003 08:18 PM IST

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash hailed the raw animal power of Mark Philippoussis on Friday after his fellow Australian steamed through to his first final at the All England Club.

Philippoussis swept aside Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean 7-6 6-3 6-3 in the semi-finals with a breath-taking display of power on Centre Court.

Cash, Wimbledon champion in 1987 and a former coach of Philippoussis, said on BBC television: "I've always said he's one of, if not the most, talented players I've ever seen on a tennis court.

"When he can put it together, if serves the way he does, we know he's got the great groundstrokes, how you are going to stop that?

"He's got so much power, so much ability and so much strength. He's an animal out there. And he covers the court, he's a great athlete."

Philippoussis's 11 aces against Grosjean took his week's tally to 164 in six matches.

"He's been a serving machine this week," added Cash. "He's (also) got that big forehand cross court and once he hits it, it doesn't matter if you're there, waiting for it. He hits it so hard. It's like Pete Sampras's forehand cross court.

"Grosjean was just plain and simply over-powered."

Sunday's final, when he plays either American Andy Roddick or Swiss fourth seed Roger Federer, will be Philippoussis's second grand slam final appearance.

The 26-year-old from Melbourne lost the 1998 U.S. Open final to compatriot Pat Rafter.

Australia has now had a finalist in the men's singles at Wimbledon in each of the last four years.

Rafter lost to Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic in the 2000 and 2001 finals respectively, while last year Lleyton Hewitt beat Argentine David Nalbandian.

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