June 15, 2006: Mark’s feeling of match win glory was sadly short lived with a 2-6, 6-3, 3-6 loss to Gonzalez in the third round. Mark fought for the match and showed signs of good quality play, but he had a bit of trouble with the serve and that cost him (and getting broken the first game of the match didn’t exactly set a good tone). Unfortunately for Mark I have a feeling two match wins just won’t be enough for the All England Club to justify a wildcard when there are many other deserving players out there. Thankfully for fans, Mark has indicated that if he doesn’t get a wildcard he will be attempting to qualify, and that might not be a bad thing – he could certainly use the match play.
June 14, 2006 pm: For a player who couldn’t manage to win one match on the hardcourts, Mark proved his grass court prowess by winning two in one day! Following his morning defeat of Moodie, Philippoussis went on to defeat Grosjean 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 4-6. Grosjean is ranked 23 so it’s an impressive win for Mark and will garner him some nice bonus points in the rankings. Hopefully it will also impress the All England Club. Mark looked in good form in both matches and that all important serve was firing – 22 aces in the Grosjean match alone! Mark will only get a short time to rest however as he has the first match of the day (granted a 12:30pm start) tomorrow against 6th seed Gonzalez. Big update to the photos page with photos from Queens as well as back at the Nasdaq 100. It appears that Mark has switched from Fila to Nike. Although there’s been no formal announcement Mark has been wearing the trademark Swoosh since late May and is wearing it still at Queens.
June 14, 20006: He won! He won! Mark won his first round match at Queens Club today defeating Moodie 6-3, 6-4. Showing that grass is his best surface Mark looked comfortable during the match and while not an inspiring performance Mark played a solid game. The key to the match was Mark’s serve that held up throughout the match. Next up he’ll face Grosjean against whom he lost earlier this year at the Australian (though Mark did win their lone meeting on grass at Wimbledon in 2003).
June 13, 2006: That staple of the British grass court season has struck earlier, with rain interrupting play today at Queens Club. They haven’t released a revised order of play for tomorrow but about half the matches got completed so Mark will likely have the second match of the day tomorrow. Also he must still wait for a Wimbledon wildcard. The All England Club announced 3 of its’ 8 mens wildcards (all Brits – Alex Bogdanovic, Richard Bloomfield and Jamie Baker) and will be announcing the other 5 later this week. It is likely they are waiting to see how players fare at Queens so it is now even more important than before for Mark to play well.
June 12, 2006: Queen’s Club begins tomorrow and Mark will take the court on day two of play (Tuesday). He will be facing off against Wesley Moodie of South Africa who’s currently ranked 70th in the world. Tomorrow is also the big day when the All England Club will be announcing their wildcards for Wimbledon.