Tennis News Wire -
Stefan Edberg produced the performance of the week on Thursday evening to defeat Mark Philippoussis 6-4, 7-6(4), a result that gives him an unassailable lead at the top of Group B and assures him qualification for Saturday’s BNP Paribas Zurich Open final.
Edberg, who defeated Goran Ivanisevic to lift the Zurich Open title back in 2010, hit a purple patch against the 36-year-old Philippoussis. The Swede was undaunted in the face of a barrage of 220km/h serves from the Philippoussis racquet, and used his own deft touch at the net, and wily groundstrokes to outsmart his opponent.
"This is about as well as I can play,” said Edberg. “In fact I think today was the best I've played in years, I'm really happy. It was just one of those days where everything feels right. I also got the run of the luck today, a lot of lucky balls went my way which always helps."
For Edberg it will be a first ATP Champions Tour final since he lifted the title here in Zurich two years ago.
“It’s great to be back playing well again and I am happy to be in the final. The court here suits me so I will look forward to the match whoever I play.”
Elsewhere on Thursday, Carlos Moya notched up an impressive 6-4, 6-2 victory over Former World Number One turned politician Marat Safin, a win that puts Moya in pole position in Group A with just one remaining round robin match to play. After the match, Moya was keen to add his name to the list of those praising the achievements of Indian Wells Champion Roger Federer.
“I was so impressed with how he played in Indian Wells,” he said. “He played Rafa and he killed him. Even in Melbourne he was already playing so well, and at the end of last year too, winning the World Tour Finals. What I think is that when he’s playing at his best, he’s still the best. The question is how long he can keep playing his best, particularly in the Grand Slams over five sets, because if your level drops for five minutes then these young guys kill you.”
In Thursday's final match beaten 2011 Zurich Open finalist Tim Henman recorded his first win of the week, a routine 6-4, 6-1 victory over France's Henri Leconte.
RESULTS - Thursday 22nd March
Tim Henman d. Henri Leconte 6-4, 6-1
Carlos Moya d. Marat Safin 6-4, 6-2
Stefan Edberg d. Mark Philippoussis 6-4, 7-6(4)
LATEST GROUP STANDINGS
Matches won/lost (sets)
Carlos Moya 2-0 (4-0)
Marat Safin 1-1 (2-2)
Michael Stich 1-1 (2-3)
Pat Cash 0-2 (1-4)
Sefan Edberg 2-0 (4-0)
Mark Philippoussis 2-1 (4-2)
Tim Henman 1-2 (2-4)
Henri Leconte 0-2 (0-4)