Mark has added another event to his schedule and this time he returns to play at home in Australia. He will take part in the first World Tennis Challenge to be held in Adelaide from January 14-17th. It’s another over-30 tournament and will be round robin team play with two man teams from Australia, France, Sweden and the United States. What’s intriguing is that Mark’s teammate is former coach Pat Cash. Given their less-than-nice parting it’s an interesting match up.
In news that is somehow depressingly familar to fans, Mark has pulled out of the Charlotte tournament. Even worse, it’s knee related – it’s not fully recovered yet. The tournament quoted Mark saying, “I am disappointed that I am not quite ready to compete in Charlotte. My doctor tells me I will be ready to go for the Stanford Championships in Dallas next month and I can’t wait to step on the court there.”
The anticipation is high and the questions are many as Mark prepares for yet another comeback performance. The Outback Series event in Charlotte starts on the 24th and it will be Mark’s first tournament since getting injured at the Australian Open wildcard playoff 9 months ago. It’s now been 3 surgeries and 10 years since he made his first Grand Slam final appearance (1998’s US Open against Pat Rafter). What kind of player this version of Mark will be is anyone’s guess. No reporters have ventured to find his practice grounds so there’s not even a hint of what we’ll see. Here’s hoping it’s all good!
Mark has committed to another Champion Series, this one is Suprise, Arizona from November 5-8th. Tickets are on-sale now – see the Outback website for complete details. Surprise has also announced commitments from Jimmy Arias, Jim Courier, Wayne Ferreira, Todd Martin, and was in negotiations with John Mc.Enroe.
Mark was in Hawaii for the Rip Curl surfing event and did a video interview wonderfully entitled Five minutes with tennis legend Mark Philippoussis”.
A date has been set for a tennis comeback, if not one on the main circuit. Mark has signed to participate in the Champion Series event in Charlotte from Sept 24-28th. The Champion Series is for players over 30 and will be an eight man round-robin format. The event is to be a test-run for the knee to see how it will hold up to match play for a hopeful return to the ATP circuit.