AUSTRALIAN youngster Mark Philippoussis continued his fine vein of form when he defeated former Marlboro Championships winner Richard Krajicek 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-5 in a Red Group singles match at Victoria Park last night. The 18-year-old Philippoussis, regarded as Australia's best prospect since Pat Cash, reached the final of the Tokyo event last week, defeating Dutchman Krajicek on the way. And he proved that last week's victory was no fluke as he saved one match point to establish himself as the favourite to win the Red Group and advance to the semi-finals. But he must first overcome American Richey Reneberg today in his final preliminary match. Krajicek's only chance now is to defeat Reneberg and hope the American beats Philippousis. Less than 30 minutes after completing their thrilling match, both players returned to action to take part in the doubles competition. Earlier in the evening, defending champion Stefan Edberg played the clown on Centre Court - and beat him. Edberg opened his Marlboro Championships account with a 6-4, 6-3 win over American funnyman Luke Jensen in the Gold Group. The 29-year-old Edberg was his usual cool self against an opponent who showed the Hong Kong crowd that his EQ - entertainment quotient - also included an array of breathtaking shots with both hands apart from his comic antics. The contrasting personas made for a leisurely 100 minutes of tennis, which the Swede was happy to be a part of. 'I think it's good to have somebody who can have a bit of fun and he did it in a good way,' said Edberg. 'It created a bit of a laugh with the crowd and it was quite pleasant, actually. 'The good thing about it was that he was not trying to make a fool of his opponent. If he was using the crowd to make a fool of his opponent, then that would be different.' Jensen endeared himself to the majority of the half-filled stadium except for a pocket of Edberg supporters who cheered for the Swede even when the American double-faulted. Jensen's high-fives with a few kids on the front row, animated gestures to oppose line calls and the grunge outfit all contributed to a fun-filled encounter. But on a more serious note, former world number one Edberg felt that he was not at his best yesterday. 'I was a bit rusty in the match and felt a little bit slow,' said Edberg. 'I'm playing doubles as well so that will give me an opportunity to sharpen up. It's important for me that I win every match.' Edberg won the first set 6-4 but survived six break-points in the final game before firing an ace to take the set. He broke Jensen in the seventh game of the second set and on match point, with Jensen serving, placed an exquisite backhand service return beyond the American's reach. In the first match of the day, Italian law student Andrea Gaudenzi held court against Henri Leconte to win 6-3, 6-1 - ending the Frenchman's hopes in the singles competition. The 22-year-old Monte Carlo resident has brought his law books to Hong Kong to prepare for an exam in Bologna on October 27. But Gaudenzi, beaten in the qualifiers of a Hong Kong Challenger tournament four years ago, said his tennis, for the time being, takes precedence over his studies.' Gaudenzi meets top-seeded Croatian Goran Ivanisevic in his final Silver Group match tomorrow to decide which player will advance to the semi-finals. In doubles action, Hong Kong's John Hui and Melvin Tong were knocked out by British-Swedish pair of Martin Lee and Magnus Norman, losing 6-3, 6-1.