Mark battles but is out in Adelaide

January 15, 2004: Sadly Mark’s run at the Adidas ended with a 4-6, 6-7 (4-7) loss to Verkerk. Mark was broken on his opening serve and while he had a few chances, he couldn’t dent his opponents powerful serves. Post-match Mark said he wasn’t fully geared up for the night match and made some poor shot selections on critical points. The Australian Open seeds were announced today and Mark is seeded 10th, the highest Australian in the draw (Hewitt is 15th). The draw is set to take place on the 18th.

January 14, 2004: It took another full three sets but Mark prevailed over Rusedski 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. The longer matches have actually been good for Mark as it prepares him well for the longer potential five set matches at the Australian Open. Next up is a quarterfinal match with Verkerk at 7:30pm local time.

January 13, 2004: Mark showed that he’s one of the best to dig out of a hole and he showed it again in Sydney. After a great opening set against Hidalgo, he then lost the second and was down 0-2 in the third before rolling off the next six games to win 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. Next up he’ll face Rusedski. On the fashion note, Mark’s new colors from Fila are a blue/yellow/white combo that’s got sort of a ripple tie dyed look to it. He had this to say about it in today’s Australian: “It’s definitely different,” Philippoussis said. “I’m actually relieved and glad I’m out of that red stuff. I felt like I was in that thing for 10 years, so it’s nice to have a bit of a change. Kind of hippy, huh?” Lots of pictures of the new threads in the Photo section.

January 12, 2004: Mark starts his run in Sydney tomorrow against Ramirez Hidalgo from Spain and his is the third match of the day. Todd Woodbridge has clarified his position on Mark’s team. He’s not a coach but rather just a scheduled hitting partner who’s offering some helpful advice. Several articles added.

January 10, 2004: The Adidas International gets underway tomorrow and Mark’s first round match-up will on the second day against a qualifier (unknown as to whom at this point), with the chance to meet Rusedski or Chela in the second round. Mark’s camp has also expanded with the addition of a ‘secondary coach’ in the form of doubles god Todd Woodbridge. The two got along so well during Davis Cup that Mark asked Todd to continue to train with him and offer advice and training tips alongside his father. Given Todd’s excellent skills at net, hopefully some of them will be passed on to Mark – he’d be devastating if he played even more at net than he currently does!

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