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Philippoussis Withdraws From Tourney

January 15, 2000

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Mark Philippoussis woke up with a stiff neck Saturday and withdrew from the final of the Colonial Classic, a warmup for the Australian Open starting next week.

Philippoussis, considered a leading contender to win the Open, was to have played top-ranked Andre Agassi in the Colonial final.

The Australian player’s chiropractor advised him not to play Saturday ``keeping in mind what he has next week,″ Colonial Classic director Colin Stubs said.

In a semifinal Friday, Philippoussis beat Pete Sampras 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), serving 15 aces and yielding only six points on his serve.

``With his serving capability, he’s going to be very tough to break″ on the faster courts for this year’s Australian Open, Sampras said.

Philippoussis is scheduled to play a qualifier in the first round of the open. He is in the same section of the draw as Agassi, and could meet him in the fourth round.

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