May 25, 2004: The latest news from Roland Garros is that Mark’s shoulder played the pivotal role in his first round loss. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Mark awoke Sunday to swelling and soreness that prevented him from doing any serious practice that day. Then when the match began there was pain whenever he served or attempted to hit a ball that was above shoulder height. The on-court trainer gave him some anti-inflammatory and said it’s nothing serious but does need rest. Post match Mark said he was suprised he even managed to finish the match but didn’t want to quit. Mark is expected to not pick up a racquet for a few days and will instead focus on leg strength in preparation for Wimbledon.
May 24, 2004: That crash you heard was the sound of Mark exiting the French Open. In a day that also featured the shocking first round exit of Agassi, Mark lost a tough battle with Horna 1-6, 6-7 (9-11), 3-6. Mark did have the trainer out after the first set to look at his shoulder, but after receiving treatment he powered back in the second. The killer blow came when he doubled faulted on his own set point in the second. But there’s always an upside (and Philippoussis fans are good at looking for them!). With Mark out of the French, he can get off the dirt and get an early start on his grass preparations!