Gimelstob shocks Philippoussis

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The little-known teenager Justin Gimelstob recorded the biggest win of his short career when he upset Australia's Mark Philippoussis to steer the United States to the final of the Hopman Cup mixed team event in Perth yesterday.

Gimelstob, ranked 151 in the world, outslugged the 30th-ranked Australian 7-6, 4-6,7-6 in a match lasting nearly two and a half hours to carry the US team to an unassailable 2-0 lead and a place in tomorrow's final.

"That was a big win, probably the biggest of my career so far," the New Jersey-born right-hander said after his first singles victory in Perth.

Chanda Rubin, the world No 17, who has not lost a singles tie in the eight-team tournament, had accounted for Nicole Bradtke 7-5, 6-0 to give the US team the early advantage.

Gimelstob, 19, arrived in Perth only nine hours before his first match against Guy Forget on Sunday. He was on a beach holiday in Florida when he was called up as a late replacement for Richey Reneberg, whose wife was due to give birth.

Gimelstob turned professional last June and his previous best performance was a quarter-final place at the Scottsdale tournament in the United States last year.

In the other Group A tie, the top seeds, Croatia, who lost 2-1 to the United States in a seven-hour match on Wednesday, were handed a 3-0 victory by France after Guy Forget forfeited due to blisters on his hand. Romania kept alive their chances of reaching the final with a 3-0 victory over Germany in Group B.

The top seed Thomas Muster, angered by mobile phone users, dropped a set and took more than two hours to beat Norway's Christian Ruud for a place in the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open in Doha.

The Austrian needed two hours and 13 minutes to defeat Ruud 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 and set up a last-eight match against the American Jim Courier, the eighth seed.