Mark Philippoussis wanted to win the St. Jude indoor tournament Sunday, and he wasn't about to let something like Michael Chang's 26th birthday stop him.
The Australian beat the defending champion 6-3, 6-2 for his fifth career title and first since last June."It was his birthday, and I didn't want to be the first to give him a birthday present," said Philippoussis, who hadn't beaten Chang in four previous matches.
Philippoussis didn't start this year well, losing in the second round of the Australian Open and in the first round at San Jose last week. But helped by harder workouts and a better diet, he came to Memphis ready to play well and win.
"I came here with high expectations," he said. "I knew I was hitting the ball well, and I knew I could do it. I'm just happy that it has happened."
Philippoussis, seeded fourth and ranked 16th in the world, kept the second-seeded Chang scrambling as he mixed powerful ground strokes with a big serve.
He beat him in 1 hour, 19 minutes, for his first title since the the Queen's tournament in June. He won $120,000 from the $700,000 purse.
Chang, who was given a cake and serenaded by the crowd following the loss, had a difficult time against the hard-hitting Philippoussis and was short on some of his shots.
"He had the mentality of just coming out and swinging away," said Chang, ranked fifth. "I think from there things just started to go for him. He wasn't missing too many balls."
Philippousis served three aces in winning the first game despite double faulting on the first point. Philippoussis went up 2-0 as Chang failed to hold serve.
"I wanted to get on top of him from the start and not give him a chance," Philippoussis said. "I didn't want to let him get his timing on his ground strokes. I knew he would be dangerous for me. I went for a lot of shots today."
It appeared that Chang had broken back in the next game, but the umpire called the ball out. Philippoussis responded by fighting off three more break points for a 3-0 lead.
The Aussie, who upset top-seeded Marcelo Rios in the semifinals, had nine aces in the first set as Chang lost a set for the first time in the tournament.
With the second set 2-2, Chang fell behind 15-40 and held off three break points before Philippoussis put a passing shot by him for the break. He broke him again for a 5-2 lead with a strong forehand winner.
Philippoussis, who had been only 1-4 during indoor finals before Sunday, wasted no time clinching the victory.
Top-seeded Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde of Australia beat Ellis Ferreira of South Africa and David Roditi of Mexico 6-3, 6-4 for their third doubles title here and first since 1993.
Faber Grand Prix
HANOVER, Germany - Unseeded Swiss teen-ager Patty Schnyder fought off two match points and upset top-seeded Jana Novotna 6-0, 2-6, 7-5 Sunday to win the Faber Grand Prix and her second career title.
Schnyder, 19, battled the Czech veteran for more than two hours, taking advantage of Novotna's mistakes in the final game to capture the $450,000 event.
Novotna, hampered by a slightly strained stomach muscle, served two double faults and let a passing shot from Schnyder fall in uncontested in the final game.
Novotna was playing only her second tournament since taking a two-month break. This was her fourth final at the Faber Grand Prix, having won in 1994.
Novotna was pinned at the baseline for much of the match because of Schnyder's passing shots, but attacked the net as she rallied from 0-3 down in the final set.
However, as Novotna, ranked third in the world, twice attacked at match point while leading 5-4, Schynder fended off both by ripping a cross-court backhand and dropping a hard return at Novotna's feet.
Schnyder won the Tasmanian International in Australia in January. Ranked 25th, the title will move her to No. 15.
"We've seen another breakthrough here with the young players," said tournament director Ed Peters, referring to teen-agers like world No. 1 Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Venus Williams.
Schynder earned $79,000. Novotna got $36,000.