Scud has surgery


Mark Philippoussis has had arthroscopic surgery in New York. Philippoussis, who injured his knee while leading eventual champion Pete Sampras by a set in in his Wimbledon quarter-final, had the operation on Tuesday.

No further details are known, but it is believed the Australian No.2 plans to return to his Florida home later this week to begin his rehabilitation. Philippoussis was thought to have torn the cartilage in his right knee and is expected to miss six weeks.

Meanwhile, Australia's Davis Cup squad members will start to arrive in Boston tomorrow to prepare for next week's quarter-final against the United States. Lleyton Hewitt is expected to replace Philippoussis as the second singles player behind world No.2 Patrick Rafter.


Knee news is good news


Mark Philippoussis' knee injury may not sideline him for as long as first feared, but the Australian No.2 is still a definite non-starter for next week's Davis Cup quarter-final against the United States in Boston.

Philippoussis, 22, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in New York on Thursday, and not only was the operation considered a success, but the damage was apparently less serious than initially diagnosed.

The Victorian's co-coach, Pat Cash, said from London yesterday that the surgeon had trimmed a small twist in the lateral meniscus, which was doubled over inside Philippoussis' knee joint, prompting his quarter-final default at Wimbledon.

``He will be back on the court in two weeks,'' Cash said, meaning the original estimate had been cut by more than half.

Philippoussis was injured during the second set of his Wimbledon quarter-final against top seed Pete Sampras. Philippoussis had won the first set and Sampras later said the US Open finalist was ``kicking my arse''.

The world No.13, whose Davis Cup singles place will be taken by Lleyton Hewitt, was believed to have planned to come back at the ATP Tour event in Cincinnati from 9-15August. He may now be able to return earlier.

Meanwhile, the news is similarly encouraging for Tennis Australia, which yesterday secured financial services group Australian Unity as the new sponsor for its satellite, challenger and futures programs for the next three years.

Tennis Australia also recently negotiated a contract extension with Thalgo for the troubled Australian women's hardcourt championships, which will now be played at the Royal Pines resort on the Gold Coast rather than Hope Island, completing a full book of sponsors for the local circuit this summer.

Clearly, Australia's fine Wimbledon showing was not an isolated event. The annual Tennis Australia ``health index'', which measures such factors as ball and equipment sales, tournament attendances, TV ratings and numbers of registered members and coaches, was up 5.8percent, the second consecutive sharp rise.

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