Points won by each set: [ 29-20, 21-28, 47-49, 35-27, 33-33 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
50 % Philippoussis – 79 of 157
33 % Agassi – 55 of 165

Agassi was admittedly 33-years-old at the time, and his movement visibly limited, but somehow before that Wimbledon he became the best player in the world for the sixth & last time in his long career due to Hewitt’s unexpected slump, so I consider this Philippoussis’ victory as the most valuable in his Grand Slam resume, along with defeating Sampras seven years before in Melbourne. He delivered a clinical service performance excluding the 2nd set. It’d be tough to imagine his win if he didn’t serve so well – in the last two sets, except the final game, he was losing the vast majority of serve-and-volley actions. In the 4th set at *4:2 (0/40) he struck five consecutive bombs and Agassi didn’t put one return into the court, whereas in the decider the Australian [48] trailed *1:2 (0/30) and 2:3 (30/40) when the big serves helped him, Agassi helped a bit too, because in that 6th game he had Philippoussis’ relatively conservative second serves on his racquet twice, and on both occasions sent (off both wings) the balls long. The underdog also fought off two break points with huge serves leading 4:3. Scud’s 46 aces meant equalling Ivanisevic’s Wimbledon ’97 record, produced during a lost match to Magnus Norman; the same year, Philippoussis won his first meeting against the American (out of form then), afterwards Agassi collected six straight wins not being close to defeat, and the Wimbledon ’03 marked the end of their six-year-old rivalry.

# Comparison of Scud’s two similar Centre Court matches at Wimbledon (both 4th round):
2000: Philippoussis d. Henman 6-1, 5-7, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4… 3 hours 12 minutes… Total points: 158-136 (aces: 32-14)… Breaks: 5-2
2003: Philippoussis d. Agassi 6-3, 2-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4… 3 hours 13 minutes… Total points: 165-157 (aces: 46-10)… Breaks: 3-2

Serve & volley: Philippoussis 24/56, Agassi 8/12

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply