Sorry Scud fizzles on return

01:43, Jan 31 2009
LONG WAY BACK: Former world No 8 Mark Philippoussis has been beaten in straight sets by a 20-year-old as he attempts to qualify for the Australian Open.

Former US Open and Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis has survived his tentative return to the court but apologised for not putting up a better fight in his opening match at the World Tennis Challenge in Adelaide.

After not playing a serious match since re-injuring his right knee in qualifying for the Australian Open in 2007, the 32-year-old was easily defeated 6-2 6-3 by American Taylor Dent at the teams event at Memorial Drive on Wednesday.

"I tried, but it got ugly out there," Philippoussis said.

"I promise I'll do better in the next match.

"The knee held out and I like to say I had a lot of fun. But you don't have that much fun when you get beat like that."

Philippoussis started slowly with Dent rushing to a 3-0 in the opening set before closing it out when he broke the Australian's serve for the second time in the eighth game.

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In the second set Philippoussis showed more promise but caused organisers some concern at the end of the third game when he called for the trainer.

Fortunately it was just to have some tape applied to a sore thumb and not any problems with his still heavily strapped knee.

The Australian broke Dent's serve but then gave the break straight back in the sixth game before the American took a grip on the match.

Philippoussis then saved two match points before a Dent volley secured the win.

The World Tennis Challenge involves teams from France, Australia, the USA and Sweden playing each other in a round robin format with each team made up of a current player and a former star.

-AAP