First time Paris-Bercy held on blue courts (previously it was pink)…. Safin injured his right eyebrow with the frame of his racquet at 3-all (30-all) in the 3rd serve on Philippoussis’ serve. After the medical time-out (lasted 9 minutes) he broke Philippoussis the only time in the entire final! Safin, despite winning long tie-breaks (9/7 & 10/8), didn’t save any set points – he led 5:1, 6:4 in the 1st one & 6:3 in the 2nd. “When you see the blood you get scared,” Safin said. “But after two sets you don’t want to give it away. It was very close, but if it had kept bleeding I would have had to stop the match.” Philippoussis believes his opponent justified his ranking as the best tennis player in the world. The Australian said: “I had three break points at four-all in the 2nd set, but I did nothing wrong. He hit two unbelievable shots, then hit a lob. I did nothing wrong on those points. I’ve just got to come away positive with this week and learn from that match. Marat’s played well all year and this is why he is number one in the world at the moment.”
Safin’s route to his 8th title:
2 George Bastl 7-5, 6-4
3 Sebastien Grosjean 6-2, 7-6(4)
Q Alex Corretja 7-6(5), 6-3
S Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 6-2
W Mark Philippoussis 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(8)
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