Mark practicing for Davis Cup Final

November 25, 2003: Practice continues in Melbourne with Mark finally getting to play on the grass laid in Rod Laver. The grass is currently playing slow but should speed up as it’s cut each day leading up to the start. Also today a new Davis Cup tradition was started; following the traditions of Cricket Australia each player now has a number based on the order they joined a Davis Cup team. Mark plays as #86. Several articles and practice photos added.

November 18, 2003: Mark made a surprise appearance in Australia today, flying back earlier than planned to join the team for practice. He hit for about 90 minutes just to warm up and get loose.

November 17, 2003: Mark heads back to Australia tomorrow to start preparations for Davis Cup. Several articles are out about the team’s preparations. Because Mark is now the top ranked Aussie it’s his turn to ‘lead’ the team. Mark has also been announced for the Rotterdam tournament in February. (thanks to Hilde for that news)

Australia advances to Davis Cup final

September 23, 2003: After much digging, I found a reference that Mark didn’t play the final rubber because he was still having some lingering neck stiffness and didn’t want to aggravate it further. This week is the Heineken Open in Shanghi, and Mark will play his first round match tomorrow against Vinciguerra. He’s also been confirmed for the Tokyo Indoors the following week and the Tennis-Masters Madrid two weeks later.

September 21, 2003: Thanks to two wins by Hewitt and one from doubles team Woodbridge and Arthurs, Australia has advanced to the final! The last dead rubber was played by Woodbridge, who then retired after one set. No word yet on why Mark wasn’t playing that final rubber. Numerous articles and some great photos added.

September 19, 2003: It’s tied 1-1 after today’s first round of Davis Cup matches. Unfortunately Mark was once again bested by Federer, going down 3-6, 4-6, 6-7 (3-7). Hewitt however did win against Kratochvil. A full update with articles and photos will have to wait a day or so as I’m unfortunately without power thanks to Hurrican Isabel and the laptop just doesn’t have the juice for a full search. Hopefully I’ll have a full update (and power) in the next few days!

Mark skips Davis Cup practice

September 16, 2003: Mark returned to practice today and after some initial stiffness was showing some excellent form. Several articles and photos added. Two more events were just confirmed today for Mark’s schedule. He will be at the Swiss Indoors in Basel starting October 20th and will be doing a one day event called Superset Tennis in Portland, Oregon on November 11th.

September 15, 2003: It wouldn’t be Davis Cup without some Philippoussis problems. Rumor surfaced the other day that Mark is combating a neck injury which was why he didn’t practice. Then he didn’t practice for a second day in a row. Fitzy says that Mark is just fine and has just taken some time to visit with his mother and isn’t one for heavy pre-match practice. Hopefully he’s right and all is well. For you folks down in Australia, Davis Cup has a prime time night slot starting at 8pm on Channel 7.

Mark heads to Australia for Davis Cup practice

September 11, 2003: Looks like I was off a few days – Mark arrived in Melbourne early this week. He first day of team practice was yesterday. It seems he has a bit of a cough, though he says it’s just some phlegm and nothing serious. Let’s hope so! Several articles and photos added.

September 9, 2003: Davis Cup begins for Mark on the 19th and he’s expected to be in Australia in a few days. Then it’s just practice, practice, practice, before taking on the Swiss. It will be a Wimbledon final rematch against Federer for one of the singles slots. Updated Rankings: In the 2003 Champions Race, Mark dropped one place to 10, but by playing the US Open this year he moved up four places to 16 in the 52 week ranking.

Australia advances past Sweden

April 8, 2003: Article wrap-up from Davis Cup where Mark talks about how good he’s feeling and what a potential Davis Cup match in his hometown of Melbourne would be like. Also three great post-match interviews from the Nasdaq-100 added. According to one interview Mark will be skipping the Masters event in Monte Carlo and starting his clay court season after that.

April 7, 2003: Mark helped finish off a 5-0 route of the Swedes in Davis Cup yesterday with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 win over Norman. The Aussies are hosts for their semis against the Swiss. Also Mark’s former home in Delray BEach, Florida is still unsold. The $2.99 million home features both tennis courts and stables. And thanks to Christine for spotting the Nasdaq 100 doubles match I missed. Back on March 24th Mark played with Hewitt but lost in the first round to Roddick Genepri 6-7 (4-7, 3-6.

April 4, 2003: Mark is off to a great start in Malmo with a convincing 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win over Bjorkman in the first singles rubber. Go Aussies!

April 3, 2003: Mark hits the court tomorrow for the opening match in the Davis Cup quarterfinals, facing Swede Jonas Bjorkman. For this series, Mark is scheduled to play singles only, with Hewitt taking the other singles slot and Woodbridge / Arthurs for doubles. Several articles and a photo from the draw added.

April 2, 2003: Mark arrived late last night in Malmo and immediately hit the court for a lengthy practice with his teammates. Reports are that he’s looking really sharp and focussed. Several preview articles added.

Agassi takes Mark out of Nasdaq-100

March 31, 2003: Sorry for the lack of updates – I had my phone line go out on me. Mark finished up the Nasdaq-100 last week. In the 3rd round he advanced in a tough match against Enqvist 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. Next he met the eventual champion Agassi and lost 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, but the good news there was that he took a set from Agassi which he hasn’t managed since their meeting at the 2000 Australian Open. Mark is currently in Sweden preparing for the Davis Cup quarterfinal starting April 4th. 36 new articles added.

March 23, 2003: Mark is marching onward at the Nasdaq-100 with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win over Ferdanando Gonzalez last night. He next meets Enqvist in round 3.

March 21, 2003: Mark’s run at the Nasdaq 100 in Miami got off to a good start with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win over Feliciano Lopez. Also a word on site updates for the next week: I will be offline for much of next week so updates may be a little sporadic until the 31st.