It’s been a lonely start to the tennis season without Mark to cheer on. But fans can take some heart, Philippoussis now has a set date to return. He’s accepted a wildcard into Scottsdale starting February 21st and barring any injury flare-ups, he’ll be back on court. The Davis Cup team is also supposed to be announced on that day and currently there’s no decision whether to play Mark or choose youngster Todd Reid. Given that Mark is planning to play in Indian Wells, California the day after the Davis Cup event in Sydney, Australia,my guess is that they’ll name Reid.
Mark has withdrawn from the upcoming Davis Cup match against Morocco due to injury. It’s the same hip/upper thigh muscle problem that caused him to retire from his US Open match. He’s being replaced by Todd Reid. At this time Mark will be resting up for the Heineken Open in Shanghai at the end of the month.
September 2, 2004: In a somewhat odd twist, the Australian press has devoted very few headlines to Mark’s latest first round loss; they must have run out of nasty things to say about it. Post-match Mark said that he felt his left upper leg tighten up and that he just got sick of playing with the pain and so retired. He is now on his way back to Florida for some planning as to what he needs to do next. Mark played in shirt and shorts from his new MP line that were several shades of solid blue and white sections. Also it appears that Mark is still working on what the final logo will be as yesterday’s clothes featured a logo of his initials in a circle with wings as opposed to the MP surrounded by flames we saw earlier.
September 1, 2004: Unfortunately it’s another first round loss for Mark, going down 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 1-4 (retired) to Davydenko. Poor Mark just cannot seem to catch a break this season, and this time it’s a new injury. While leading two sets to one Mark twice needed the trainer to come out to work on his left hip. Initial reports are sketchy but it seems to be some kind of muscle pull. Full media update still to come.
August 31, 2004: Mark is scheduled tomorrow for the first match of the day on Armstrong court. Play is set to being at 11am EST.
August 29, 2004: The US Open starts tomorrow but Mark isn’t scheduled for the first day of play. The Australian press has been busy writing articles stating that Mark’s spot in the Davis Cup relegation match against Morocco might be at stake if he doesn’t play well in New York. However Davis Cup captain Masur has been completely silent on the matter of who the team will be.
August 25, 2004: The draw for the US Open was today and Mark is in the top of the bottom half of the draw and will face off against Davydenko in his first round match. Top seeds in his quarter are Nalbandian (8) and Hewitt (4). Also in the quarter unseeded is Tommy Haas. See the full draw.
August 24, 2004: In a search for some good and winning numbers for Mark, I’ve updated the Stats section with Mark’s singles record for 1993 including his junior tournaments. The mens draw for the US Open is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.
February 7, 2004 pm: Australia is out of the Cup hunt. Mark ended up facing Bjorkman instead of Soderling (Swedish captain Wilander gave the nod to Bjorkman based on his performance in the doubles) and he went down hard 5-7, 2-6, 2-6.
February 7, 2004: The Davis Cup pressure falls squarely on Mark for tomorrow’s singles match. In a grueling four and a half hour match Woodbridge and Arthurs feel to the Swedes which puts Australia down 1-2. Mark must win his match against Soderling or Australia will be out. Thankfully Mark seems to play some of his best tennis in high stakes Davis Cup matches, so here’s hoping that continues!
February 5, 2004 pm: Unfortunately Mark’s Davis Cup magic didn’t carry over to today’s match. Enqvist practically demolished Mark 3-6, 4-6, 2-6 including breaking him at the first game of both the second and third sets.
February 5, 2004: The Davis Cup draw took place today and Mark will play the first rubber against Enqvist. This is a potentially tricky match for Mark as he only holds a 4-3 record against him and of their five meetings on hardcourt Mark’s only won two and all five matches have been very close.
February 4, 2004: The Australian team is busy practicing in Adelaide. The Davis Cup draw is tomorrow. The ITF has issued their “Davis Cup Year 2003” book which is a high-class glossy book with a recap of the year with photos and stats. It can be bought direct at: daviscupstore.com. Hope you all enjoy the new version of the site’s main page – key information should be easier to spot right away with the new look.
February 3, 2004: Mark is on-site in Adelaide and practicing for the Davis Cup match against Sweden beginning on the 6th. Also it seems that Mark (along with several other athletes) is being used on the ad campaign for the Equinox Fitness Club. The advertisements will appear on billboards in cities in which Equinox has clubs, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as in Vogue, Vanity Fair, New Times and Variety magazines. If someone spots one please let me know!
December 1, 2003: Media wrap up from the final with 91 articles and 15 more photos added. During a celebration today at Federation Square to honor the Davis Cup team, Fitzgerald hailed Mark as a national hero for playing through the pain to seal the victory. On the injury front, it’s a bit of good news as while Mark did tear his right pectoral muscle, an MRI shows it to be a low-grade tear. Doctors recommended three weeks of no tennis which is fine since Mark was planning to head to Australia tomorrow for a Hawaiin surfing holiday anyway.
November 30, 2003pm: First off, a correction to the score for the match against Ferrero; I was in such a hurry I accidentally left out the fourth set! The correct score is: 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 2-6, 6-0. It was an important set to miss obviously as Mark really fought back in that fifth set after Ferrero got on a comeback roll. On top of being a fantastic win for the team, it was also a great psychological win for Mark to come back after leading. Mark spoke after the match about not knowing how he got through the final set, but felt he was just carried along by the crowd. Unfortunately the one downside to the match is that Mark put some serious strain on his right shoulder and will be having an MRI to determine the damage. 29 great photos added (articles will be added tomorrow)
November 30, 2003: Congratulations to the new Davis Cup Champions! Mark brought the Cup home with 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 6-0 defeat of Ferrero in 3 and a half hours! Way to go Mark!!
November 29, 2003: Australia now leads Spain 2-1 thanks to a great performance by Woodbridge and Arthurs to defeat Corretja and Lopez in the doubles rubber. For today’s rubbers, Mark will play Ferrero first with Hewitt vs. Moya to follow. Good luck Mark!
November 28, 2003: Day one of the Davis Cup final is over and Lleyton got it off to a good start with a 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7-0), 6-2 marathon match against Ferrero that lasted just under 4 hours. Unfortunately Mark didn’t have the same luck to keep it going, taking a 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(4-7) loss to Moya. So the final is currently tied at 1-1 with the doubles rubber up next.
November 26, 2003: The Davis Cup final will open with the Hewitt s. Ferrero match and Mark will play the second match of the day against Moya. More articles and practice photos added.