Philippoussis' poor form continues
Philippousis has slumped down the world rankings this season
TOKYO, Japan -- Mark Philippoussis' miserable run of form continued on Monday with a 6-3 6-4 defeat by Czech Tomas Zib in the first round of the Japan Open.
The Australian has now bowed out in the first round of his last five tournaments while his world ranking has slumped to 104.
Philippoussis, twice a Grand Slam finalist, failed at the first hurdle in Los Angeles, at the Olympics, the U.S. Open and in Shanghai before arriving in Japan.
His form showed no signs of improvement as he exited amid a flurry of unforced errors in a match played under a closed roof due to typhoon-like conditions.
Davis Cup team mate Lleyton Hewitt heads the men's field at the $860,000 tournament, alongside Argentine David Nalbandian and Asia's top player Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand.
However, French Open champion Gaston Gaudio has pulled out of the event with an ankle injury.
Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova will be favorite to win her second Japan Open title in a row in the women's draw after the Russian teenager's victory in Seoul at the weekend.