Neck problems force Mark out of Japan Open

October 3, 2003: The curse of the stiff neck has struck again with Mark having to retire 2-5 against Saulnier today. Post-match Mark said he felt asleep on his stomach and must have twisted his neck when he got up. But the good news is he says it’s usually gone in a day or two. Next up for Mark is the Madrid Masters on the 13th. The results there are crucial if he wants to make the Masters Cup at the season’s end.

October 2, 2003: Mark advanced again at the Japan Open today with a 6-4, 7-5 over Ancic. In a post-match interview he said he’s feeling fresh and hungry for more wins. Also Tennis Australia has announced that they will be laying a grass surface in Melbourne for the Davis Cup final against Spain.

October 1, 2003: Mark continued his winning ways with an in-form win 6-4, 6-3 over Browne. He’s carrying some good confidence from the win in Shanghai and looked relaxed and powerful in his match.

September 29, 2003: The Japan Open gets underway today and as the fifth seed Mark has a first round bye. Mark’s win in Shanghai also jumped him up two places to 9th in the Champions Race and up one to 14 in the 52 week rankings.

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