Mark will be playing World Team Tennis again this year. At the February 14th draft he was selected by the Philadelphia Freedoms whom he last played for in 2002. Matches start this July. Earlier this month, SurfImages caught Mark on the beach walking Mika and then catching some waves.
Mark enjoyed his time in Rio and even managed to fit in some surfing. He said that Brasil’s beaches are like those in Australia. In an interview with local news he says he got to surf with Kelly Slater (9 time World Champion surfer) at a celebrity event. There were over 4,000 people there and he was more nervous than at the Wimbledon final! More photos both on court and on the beach on the Rio Championships website. Thanks again to Juciane for all the info.
Also this week, Mark has also left his home in the US and mooved back to Williamstown, in the western part of Melbourne. He hopes to start up a tennis academy there with his father, Nick, to ‘give something back’ to the sport. The Hobsons Bay Leader has a nice article with an interview where Mark talks about moving back home.
Mark was in Hawaii for the Rip Curl surfing event and did a video interview wonderfully entitled Five minutes with tennis legend Mark Philippoussis”.
It’s been several months since Mark’s name has appeared in the news, but he was back in the papers today, this time for a surfing accident. He was surfing at Bells Beach in what were rather nasty conditions and got swamped by a wave that broke his board in half. He was swept into a sea cave where he managed to take some shelter and spent almost two hours being battered by waves before seas calmed enough to make his escape. Thankfully his injuries appear to be minor – foot scrapes and a banged hip. He’s currently at his mum’s house in Williamstown recovering. Longtime fans will find some irony in the words of his agent Rob Aivatoglou that Mark is training for a return to the sport and was surfing as part of his rehab. Looking for the positive, it is the first time a return to tennis has been mentioned in months.
June 9, 2005: Mark’s winning streak didn’t carry on yesterday, with a 2-6, 4-6 loss to Roddick in round two and then a 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 loss to Grosjean and Mirny in the doubles. Post match Roddick was very complimentary of Mark saying that no one should count him out at Wimbledon as he was a formidable foe on grass. Lots of photos from Queens added.
June 7, 2005 pm: Media update from Queen’s. Reueters reported that Mark left California for grass courts in Miami a month before coming to Europe. He also made a deal with himself to pack up the surfboards for a few years to focus on the tennis, saying that he’s found peace of mind and doesn’t need the escape of surfing to cope anymore.
June 7, 2005: Mark’s doubles match turned out to be just what he needed to warmup as today he flattened Sluiter 6-4, 6-0 in a mere 62 minutes. Next up for Mark is a challenging match against Andy Roddick, against whom he’s never played. Should be a match between two big servers. Media update to follow.
June 6, 2005: Double good news! Philippoussis and Hewitt won their first round doubles match against Leach and Palmer 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Both players looked a bit rusty from their lack of match play (Hewitt has been recovering from broken ribs), but started showing some good form in the second and third sets. Mark is happy to have gotten some match play before his singles round tomorrow. But the really good news of the day is the All England Club granted Mark a wildcard into Wimbledon!
June 5, 2005: The draw has been announced for Queen’s Club and Mark will face Raemn Sluiter in the first round, though he isn’t expected to play his match til Tuesday. In addition he and Hewitt received a wildcard to play doubles together and they’ll play on Monday against Leach & Parrott. Keep your fingers crossed as tomorrow the All England Club awards it’s wildcards.
April 15, 2004: It seems that Mark is not listed as participating in the BMW Open on the 26th. (thanks to Ilana for finding the player list!) And according to the press, Mark is set to now resume at the Tennis Masters Rome on May 5th. The next Davis Cup match has been announced and Australia will be playing at home against Morocco on starting on September 24th. Also I’ve restructured the Photos section so that it should be easier to navigate.
April 13, 2004: With Mark not playing any tennis right now it’s been a slow news cycle. And unfortunately just when he’ll return to the game is uncertain. He formally pulled out of the Monte Carlo Open yesterday so his next possible return is at the BMW Open on the 26th (though their website does not indicate players expected to be there). While Mark and Delta were spotted on the beach trying to attend the Rip Curl Pro that was cancelled due to lack of surf, former coach Peter McNamara was being quoted in the press about the state of Mark’s tennis. Most interesting quote with regard to Cash’s embarrassing remarks: “Emotionally, it’s affected him and obviously now his tennis has been affected because he just doesn’t seem to have his heart and soul into it at the moment. He’s taking (the comments) a little bit harder than what people have thought. So the people who were out to get him, I think they’ve got him. They’ve done a good job on him.” Also to keep you thinking about Mark’s tennis, links to 310 more photos were added to the 2003 Photo Archives!