June 28, 2006: Unfortunately the magic of Wimbledon just couldn’t hold as Mark lost 6-7 (6-8), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6. to Mirnyi today. It was a battle of the big servers with every chance to break that much more important and Mark just failed to convert today with 10 break opportunities and only one conversion. While it wasn’t the Wimbledon Mark hoped for, his level of play on the grass this week has been better than we’ve seen in months – here’s hoping it will improve even more on the summer hardcourt. A bonus for Mark this month has been a return to working with former coach Peter McNamara (who coached Mark as a junior and in 02-03). While there’s no word as to whether this is going to be a permanent arrangement, McNamara has long been a supportive and steadying influence on Mark so any time spent with him is a good thing.
June 27, 2006: Proving that there’s just something special about the grass at Wimbledon, Mark won over Mathieu with monster fourth set tiebreak 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 7-6 (14-12). Mark’s serve was booming – with an incredible 39 aces! While his first serve percentage dropped in the fourth set to 49%, the earlier three sets had it up over 65%. Next up will be either Max “The Beast” Mirnyi (a sure bet slug fest) or Ramirez-Hildalgo.
June 26, 2006: It just wouldn’t be Wimbledon if it didn’t rain, and this year the rain struck early, allowing only 30 minutes of play today. Mark now has the 3rd match of the day on Court 2 on Tuesday.
June 25, 2006: The order of play for Monday has been released and Mark will have the second match of the day on Court 3 against Mathieu. This will be a new change as Mark and the 32nd seed have never played before.
June 24, 2006: The Wimbledon draw has been released and Mark is in the bottom quarter of the top half of the draw. He will face Frenchman Paul-Henri Matheui in the first round. Top seeds in his quarter are Nalbandian (4), Johansson (12), and Blake (8). Mark was scheduled to play an exhibition match against Nadel at the Hurlington Club this week prior to Wimbledon but NAdel withdrew due to a foot injury and there’s been no word if the exhibition went on with other players.
June 16, 2006: Mark can breathe a little easier tonight as the All England Club granted him one of the remaining wildcards for Wimbledon. Now fans just have to hope for a little luck from the draw!