Knee flare-up hampers Mark at Olympics

August 17, 2004: In his post-match interview, Mark said his poor form was a result of a tendonitis flare-up in his knee that prevented him from pushing off to power a serve. This is a first time for tendonitis and Mark doesn’t think it’s related to his cartilage injections, but he will be stopping in Miami to see his specialist before heading up to New York to prepare for the Open. The biggest problem seems to be that due to the scheduling of the injections, prior to his first round match Mark was only on court 4 times in the past month and didn’t have time to adjust his knees to the hard court surface and triggered the tendonitis.

August 16, 2004: Olympic disaster for Philippoussis is what the headlines are going to read later today. Mark lost 6-3, 0-6, 1-6 to Rochus today in Athens. Something serious must have happened (no news reports just yet) because he was serving well (75%) in the first set and then it all just went to hell. The second set is listed as only lasting a mere nine (yes 9!) minutes (and probably wins some record for shortest set ever). But looking at the numbers Mark had 11 (!) double faults in that set – that’s more than two complete games! Add to that an 8% first serve percentage. And even more frightening – he didn’t win a single point on his serve that entire set which means he lost every game at love! Hopefully news reports later today can offer some explanation – or if any readers saw the match and would care to report please email me at hoo@hooloovoo.com.

August 15, 2004: The schedule for Monday has been released and Mark will play Rochus as the second match of the night on Court two. The night session starts at 5pm Athens time and they follow a ladies match.

August 14, 2004: The Olympic opening ceremonies were yesterday and Mark was marching in the forefront of the Aussie team. Sadly even the good looking Greek-Australian couldn’t even make the team uniforms look good – they were lambasted all across the Aussie press spectrum. The tennis Olympic action starts tomorrow, but Mark will have a day of rest and isn’t expected to play his first round match til Monday. In an article about Delta’s health scare in The Australian (she was taken to the hospital with a slight fever after performing for the team), there was one very interesting sentence: “The two were joined by his coach, Brad Gilbert.” This is the first mention of Mark working with Brad Gilbert and given that Brad is currently Roddick’s coach it’s highly likely that The Australian got it wrong. But this is tennis, so anything is possible.

August 12, 2004: The draw has been announced for the Olympics and Mark will have the chance for a little revenge against Olivier Rochus in the first round. It was Rochus who defeated Mark in the first round of Dubai earlier this year. See the complete draw

August 10, 2004: Mark arrived in Athens this morning and ready to go in his quest for the gold. The tennis is set to begin on August 15th and the draw is expected to be announced later this week. The ITF says it will be featuring live scoring on their website: http://www.itftennis.com/olympics/. They also posted an audio interview with Mark – it’s dated this week, but based on the content it’s from much earlier in the year. On a lighter note, the Australian edition of match.com voted Mark the sexiest male Olympian!

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