Will we see Mark in Melbourne? Tennis Australia’s team playoffs for wildcards into the Australian Open begins next week. As of right now Mark has not entered, but there is a potential for a last minute entry.
Mark played this week at the AEGON Masters Champion Series event. His first match on Dec 1st against Rusedski showed a slimmed down Mark looking in better shape than we’ve seen recently. He won the matcch 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 10-3 and showed some fighting spirit at tough points. Unfortunately his next match against Edberg did not go nearly so well with a 4-6, 2-6 loss. Last night he played El Aynaoui lost again 6-3 5-7 6-10. For those who miss seeing Mark on their tvs, check out this BBC Video Interview.
During the first week of October Mark played at the AFAS Tennis Classic in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Unfortunately he lost all three of his matches: Pioline (6-3, 1-6, 8-10); Krajicek (6-7, 6-7); Enqvist (6-7, 5-7). The second match was broadcast live and Mark apparently looks very slim and fit. In a short interview he spoke of hoping to return to the main ATP circuit and that he’s currently working on a side project to develop orthopedic sport shoes. (thanks to Katinka for the info)
Next Mark played at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships in Suprise, Arizona. Sadly he fared no better here losing his first match to Ferreira 3-6, 2-6. But losing players stick around and play exhibition doubles matches and here Mark fared better winning both: with Arias defeated Courier and Pernfors 7-6, 6-4 and with Pernfors defeated Courier and Arias 7-5, 6-3.
As nice as it is to hear that Mark is in shape and looking fit, losing routinely on the senior circuit doesn’t show much hope that he would make it on the main ATP circuit. Next up is the AEGON Masters tournament at London’s Royal Albert Hall in December.
Mark played in another seniors tournament last week – the Hall of Fame Champions Cup in Newport, RI. He won his first quarterfinal match against Pernfors 6-3, 6-4. In the semifinal he lost to Cash 6-3, 3-6, 11-13. He then played a 3rd place match against Martin and lost 3-6, 7-6(7-4), 6-10. In addition to his singles matches he plaed an exhibition doubles match with Pat Cash against Wilander and Pernfors which they won 6-4, 6-2.
Mark is also scheduled to compete in the Afas Tennis Classic in Eindhoven, The Netherlands from October 1-4th. (Thanks to Ineke for the info!)
Mark has a new tournament scheduled for this fall. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships will take place in Surprise, Arizona on October 8th to 11th. Other players include Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Wayne Ferreira, Jimmy Arias, Aaron Krickstein and Mikael Pernfors. The event is part of the Outback Champions Series. Ticket information is available at http://www.surpriseaz.com/
Mark is back on the court again, this time at the Grand Cayman Legends Championships. In his first round he defeated Ferreira 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, [13-11] in what was very windy conditions. Tonight he’ll play a semifinal match against Jim Courier.