Mark has officially delayed his comeback until the Newport Championships in July. His manager says that Gil Reyes feels that Mark is only around 95% fit and they don’t want to risk further injury. In what is either a good case of spin or just an earlier misprint, Mark’s manager says that Mark was offered a Queen’s club wildcard but turned it down because he wasn’t fit enough. Because of his win at Newport last year, tournament officials have extended him a wildcard. Newport stars on July 9th.
It appears that wildcard chances do not last forever. The Age reports that Queen’s Club officials have rejected Mark’s request for a wildcard entry into the main draw. If he wishes to play he will have to qualify. With time spent on the reality show and no recent match play to show form, it is likely that “No” will be the similar response from Wimbledon as well.
Mark has withdrawn from the the Champion Series event in Athens starting tomorrow, citing an unspecified injury. The Australian press says that industry speculation is that Mark’s commitment to Age of Love is behind the withdrawl. Either Mark is injured, (again) or he’s blowing off actual tournament play for tv – either way it’s not a great move for Mark’s actual tennis career or his hopes for another Wimbledon wildcard.
Mark to tackle reality-tv! Philippoussis is the newest single man to take on the US dating reality world. He will star in Age of Love where he hopes to meet the woman of his dreams. The twist? The 13 female contests are in two different age ranges. “The Kittens” are six women in their 20s who will live one floor above the apartment Mark will have in L.A. and “The Cougars” are seven women in their 40s who will have the floor below. The eight episodes will air on NBC in the U.S. starting June 14th (so far no Australian network has expressed interest in the show). On an actual animal front, Mark has a new four month old rottweiler named Kya. And last but not least on the tennis front, Mark has supposedly been playing four times a week with rocker Gavin Rossdale at Gavin’s home in Beverly Hills. One hopes that tennis with a rock-star has been vigorous enough to get Mark into form as his Champions Cup debut is only six days away and losing early on the ‘seniors tour’ wouldn’t exactly be a good warm-up for the grass court season. Although no tournaments have been announced, he will most likely be seeking wildcards or attempting to qualify for Surbiton and Queen’s Club prior to Wimbledon.