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 On the heels of that announcement came a less encouraging one as citing a sore back he’s withdrawn from the Heineken Open in Auckland next week.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.
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.
December 31, 2005: The draw for Adeliade has been released and Mark will play Spadea in the opening round. Mark has a 4-2 lifetime record against him, winning the last time they met in 2004 on clay. However it’s anyone’s guess which Mark Philippoussis will show up for the match – so far he’s kept the press in the dark on his training.
December 22, 2005: Mark will have the chance for a little more match play prior to the Australian Open. It was announced today that he will be partnering up with Belgian Xavier Malisse for doubles as the Adeliade International. The two have not played together before. It also appears that the confusion over Mark being scheduled for two tournaments in one week has been resolved – Mark will be playing at the Heineken Open in Auckland from January 9-15, and not the Adidas International in Sydney.
It looks like January will see Mark trying to pull off the impossible – being in two tournaments at once. Today he was just granted a wild card into the Auckland Open in New Zealand that starts January 9th. However earlier this month he was also granted a wildcard into the Sydney International that also starts Jan 9th. Both tournaments have spoken about how thrilled they are to have a top Australian play their event. Yet even in today’s articles about the Aucland wildcard, they mention the Syndey wildcard as well, with no explanation as to how he’s going to pull off two tournaments at once or which one will get scrapped.
Good news for Mark! The USTA awarded Mark a wilcard into the US Open. He was the only foreign player to receive one, so three cheers for the US Open. Here’s hoping he can lift his came and show us some of the brilliant tennis he’s played in the past. The draw for the US Open will take place on August 24th.
August 15, 2005: The question of the week is where is Mark Philippoussis and just what is he planning. The Cinncinatti Masters event starts today and Mark did not receive a wildcard (or possible didn’t even apply) nor did he attempt to qualify. With a game that’s somewhere in the gutter at the moment, just what is Mark doing to try and get back to the top? Sadly it’s a question without an answer at the moment.
August 7, 2005: Mark is not listed on the draw for the Montreal Masters event this weekend so it appears he did not attempt to qualify. The next major tournament is the Cincinnati Masters event next week to which he doesn’t have a wildcard, so hopefully he will try to qualify. At the USTA Juniors event in Kalamazoo Mark had fun in his exhibition with Taylor Dent. They each played a doubles match with a top wheelchair tennis player, with both he and Taylor takeing turns trying to play from wheelchairs themselves. They then both played a singles set that Taylor won 6-3.