Australian Open Wrap Up

Mark is also still a borderline for consideration for the Davis Cup. Of all the articles, The Age really seemed to sum it up right:

The two-time grand slam runner-up looked fit and strong, was able to match the Frenchman for long periods from the back of the court. Some of his winners were breathtaking, full of power and precision, and his volleys were deft. But then there were double-faults and inexplicable unforced errors, way too many of them.

Mark still sounds pretty positive about his tennis and the fact that he’s planning to keep working hard on his game. He’s just waiting for that one breakthrough to really boost his game. According to his agent at IMG he has already secured wildcards to both San Jose and Las Vegas. And on the ironic trivia end of things, this bit from the Sydney Morning Herald is a good one:

A large poster of Mark Philippoussis still adorns the corridor of the ATP offices in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Immediately underneath the photograph is a quotation from John McEnroe: “This will be the next guy to dominate men’s tennis.”

Mark out in first round of Australian Open

January 17, 2006: Mark’s 2006 season is not going the way he could have hoped. For the first time in 11 years Mark was eliminated from the Australian Open in the first round. He was soundly beaten by Grosjean 4-6, 2-6, 3-6. Grosjean easily handled a weakened Scud serve and dominated him at the baseline. There’s been no word as to where Mark will play next.

January 16, 2006: Mark’s first match against Grosjean will be the second night match on Rod Laver Arena. There’s been no reports as to how Mark is looking as he’s been practicing at the Albert Park reserve and sessions have been closed to the public and media.

January 15, 2006: The draw for the Australian Open has been made. Mark is in the top half of the draw and his first round opponent will be Grosjean who’s seeded 25th. Top seeds in his quarter include Hewitt (3), Gonzales (9) and Coria (6).

Mark gets a wildcard to Australian Open

Tennis Australia has confirmed that Mark will be receiving a wildcard for the Australian Open. On the heels of that announcement came a less encouraging one as citing a sore back he’s withdrawn from the Heineken Open in Auckland next week. Mark was a bit sore after his second round singles match in Adeliade and was still feeling stiff after his doubles match. It’s more of a precaution than a serious injury (we hope) as Mark wants to have it fully rested before he competes in the Open. Here’s hoping the back just needs a day or two off and that Mark will be fully ready for the Open.

Adelaide

January 6, 2006: Unfortunately the Adelaide tournament is over for Mark in the doubles as well. He and Malisse lost to Erlich and Ram 2-6, 2-6 in the semifinals. Both players said they enjoyed the partnership and hope to team up again.

January 5, 2006: Mark’s comeback took a bit of a u-turn today with a 6-3, 4-6, 1-6 loss to second seed Hrbaty. Mark started very strongly and looked great in the first set, then opened the second set with a break and a hold to go up 2-0 and looked on track to win. However lack of play took it’s toll and Mark lost the rhythm on his serve. Forced to relay on a second serve the nerves kicked in and Mark barely held on to three more service wins. While Mark was disappointed to lose, he says he feels on track with his comeback and just needs match play to get everything working together. Thankfully he’s still in the doubles event and can get more time on court. Mark and Xavier will play their doubles semifinal match tomorrow night against either Guccione/Healey or Erlich/Ram.

January 4, 2006: Philippoussis and Malisse seem to be working out well together as a doubles team. Today they defeated Kerr & Parrott 6-3, 6-3 and reports indicate they both played well during the match. Mark will play his singles match against Hrbaty tomorrow at 2pm.

January 3, 2006: It wasn’t a perfect match, but it was a win! Mark beat Spadea 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to advance to the second round in Adelaide. Mark started the match very strong with a serve that gave up few points, but in the second set he had some lapses and was barely able to hold serve. Thankfully he pulled it together for the third set. He’s still not the Mark of a few years ago, but he’s showing definite improvement over last year’s dismal form. Post match Mark said that he’s spend the past two and a half months working extremely hard in Florida to prepare for 2006. Next up for Mark is the number 2 seed, Dominic Hrbaty, against whom Mark is 2-2 having lost both recent matches in 2005. Tomorrow Mark plays his second round doubles match with Malisse against Kerr and Parrott. Match will start at 7pm on center court.

January 2, 2006: Mark’s first court appearance of 2006 seems to be a positive one. He and Malisse downed Lindstedt / Nieminen 7-5, 6-1. Mark is also looking trimmer and more fit, seeming to move around the court with ease and none of the lumbering that was present last year. He looked at-ease on court, except for one slightly icky moment when he swallowed a fly during the ball toss for a serve. Also it seems Mark ahs gone through another round of musical coaches, leaving Andrew Florent and hiring Archie Adams who used to coach Mark as a child. Mark will play his first round singles match against Vince Spadea tomorrow at 12:30 on centre court. Several photos and articles added.

January 1, 2006: Happy New Year Mark Fans! May 2006 see a return to the top of the standings for Mark – and preferably a rise with low worries/stress for his fans 🙂 Mark will take the court tomorrow at 5pm for his first round doubles match with Malisse against Lindstedt and Nieminen. On the romance front it’s anything is possible as Mark has been spotted with a gold band on his wedding finger and reports vary from: the wedding happened, the wedding will happen soon, to the wedding is far off.