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Philippoussis Beats McPhie in Tenn.

February 17, 2000

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Top-seeded Mark Philippoussis beat Brian McPhie 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in his opening match of the St. Jude tennis tournament.

Philippoussis, the 1998 tournament winner, moved into Thursday night’s feature match against 16th-seeded Magnus Larsson.

Philippoussis’ play was a continuation of last week when he defended his title at San Jose.

``Each match I got through in San Jose, I got better and better,″ Philippoussis said. ``It was great to defend my title.″

In one of the evening matches, No. 5 Michael Chang beat Axel Pretzsch 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

Chang, the 1997 champion, had little trouble after struggling in the first set. In the final set, Chang broke Pretzsch’s service in the fourth and sixth games.

``For the first 1 1/2 sets, I played without many mistakes,″ Pretzsch said. ``In the second and third sets, he started making his shots and it was tough for me to play my game.″

Also on Wednesday, No. 10 Max Mirnyi was beaten 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 by Cecil Mamiit.

Other seeded winners included No. 8 Jan-Michael Gambill, No. 12 Hernan Gumy, No. 13 Byron Black and No. 15 Mikael Tillstrom, who lost to Philippoussis in the San Jose final.

Black’s 6-2, 6-2 victory over Martin Rodriguez sets up a Thursday afternoon match against Chris Woodruff. Black beat Woodruff during the United States’ Davis Cup victory over Zimbabwe earlier this month.

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