For reasons unknown, Mark never played in this weeks Tunica Challenger. Unfortunately Challenger events just don’t get much press coverage so there has been no reports on why Mark wasn’t there as original expected. Today Mark was offered a wildcard into the French Open from Tennis Australia, but turned it down, saying he wouldn’t be ready for the clay season and instead plans to focus on the grasscourt season. He hopes for a wildcard into Wimbledon and Queens based on past results.
Mark has entered the Tunica Indoor, a Challenger event in Nashville starting on May 2nd. Although initial reports had Mark playing in the Mens Claycourt tomorrow so far there’s been no word on whether Mark is there or not.
March 20, 2005: Mark showed some excellent fitness in the doubles on Saturday, starting the day with a win over Gimelstob & MacPhie 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). He and Gambill then came back later in the day to play Beck & Levinsky and win 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2). Today they were supposed to play Leach & Parrott, but the results are listed as a walkover. With little press at Challenger events, there’s been no word on why Philippoussis and Gambill didn’t play.
March 19, 2005: Sadly one win wasn’t enough to spark a streak as Mark lost to Christophe Rochus 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 2-6. But I suppose fans can take heart that he at least won a set before going out. Later today he and Gambill will play Gimelstob and MacPhie in the second round.
March 18, 2005: It may not be the great achievement in sport, but Mark has finally won a singles match again. He defeated Morrison 6-3, 7-6 (9-7). Later today he’ll play Christophe Rochus.
March 17, 2005: Mark has taken the big step and gone back to play the Pro Tennis World Open, a Challenger event in Florida. In a positive step to get some more match play, he’s teamed up with Gambill in doubles and they won their first match against Martin and Ventura, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4. His first round singles match against Morrison will be finished later today. Mark currently leads 4-3. The NASDAQ-100 in Miami has granted Mark a wildcard for next week’s tournament. The 3/21/05 issue of Australian Woman’s Day has a four page spread on Mark and Alexis and their wedding plans. (Thanks Gail for the AWD info) The results with corrected tie-breaker points for Mark’s match against Carraz are 6-7 (7-9), 1-6. (Thanks Aaron for the correction).