Re: Mark "The Scud" cheering thread!!
Mark gives an exclusive interview to "The Age" newspaper tomorrow, but today TA have hinted he will get the WC for the Oz open.
Philippoussis 'set for Open wildcard'
Tennis Australia has strongly hinted that Mark Philippoussis would again be given a wildcard into next month's Australian Open.
Philippoussis, who has had a topsy-turvy year, is well outside the cut-off point for direct entry and has ignored TA's wildcard play-off tournament starting on Friday.
However he is still regarded as a marquee player and, while TA is publicly hedging on the subject, it is quick to point to the attraction of the former Wimbledon and US Open finalist.
Meanwhile, former women's champion Lindsay Davenport has almost certainly played her last Australian championship.
The American pulled out of the tournament on Thursday morning after discovering she was pregnant.
Davenport, 30, has decided to reassess her career after a six-month break from the game.
Open tournament director Craig Tiley said that Philippoussis' world ranking of 114 left him 13 spots outside direct entry and the cut would "obviously have to move for him to get in directly".
"He'll have to rely on a decision based on his performance during the year, based on his ranking, to get in," Tiley said.
"He's our second highest ranked player so he would have to be seriously considered based on his ranking.
"I think Mark's a good drawcard based on any indications we've had from around the world from the tournaments who like to have him.
"He's had a very good year, his ranking's moved 100 spots during the year so I would definitely believe that Mark's a good drawcard for any event," Tiley said.
Philippoussis has worked spasmodically with Andre Agassi's former coach Darren Cahill and fitness trainer Gil Reyes but his results have ranged from winning the ATP tournament at Newport to first round second tier Challenger losses.
The Victorian will be in competition for three discretionary wildcards along with Brazilian former World No.1 Gustavo Kuerten and Australian players who are outside TA's other entry criteria.
Tiley said the tournament would miss Davenport but still retained a quality field.
"She's been a great drawcard," Tiley said.
"The success she's had here at the open and the success she's had internationally, she's a fun player to watch."
Davenport may well have played her last match.
She and her husband Jonathan Leach are expecting their first child in mid-2007.
The American won the US Open in 1998, Wimbledon in 1999 and the Australian Open in 2000, along with an Olympic gold medal in 1996.
She has won a total of 51 titles in singles, 36 in doubles, and finished four seasons ranked No.1: 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2005.
Davenport ended 2006 ranked 25th.
© 2006 AAP
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