Mark flounders on grass at Queens

June 8, 2004 pm: Mark and Lleyton pulled out of doubles today at Queens, immediately after Mark’s loss – no word as to why though. Mark fans can find some hope though – he lost first round at Queens last year as well. On the fashion front, Mark debuted some of his new clothing line at Queens. The outfit was white with a steel blue pattern down the left side of the shirt and shorts. My guess is that some sort of marketing deal still exists with Fila as he was wearing their sneakers, which actually had the same steel blue coloring. There are some nice photos in the Photos section showing the complete outfit.

June 8, 2004: Just where has the Mark of 2003 gone? In the opening round at Queen’s Club, playing someone who was ranked 866 and in his first ever ATP tour event, Mark lost. For the player who ran all the way to the Wimbledon final just one year ago, this is not a good start to the grass season. As to how he played, I give you this from The Age: “In what, on paper, was probably the worst defeat of his career, the Australian was scratchy from the start, serving three double-faults to lose serve in the fifth game, missing simple volleys, dumping overheads into the net and generally looking ill-equipped for the short grasscourt season.” Not the way to start your grass court season, but at least he still has doubles this afternoon with Hewitt.

June 6, 2004: The draw has been released for Queens/Stella Artois and Mark, seeded 9th, will face qualifier Ian Flanagan of Great Britain in the opening round on Tuesday. Trouble looms almost instantly though with a potential second round match with Ivanisevic. Mark is also entered in the doubles with Hewitt and they’ll face off against Gambill and Hill in their first match.