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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the week ending on Jan 17, 2005
(Previous week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2005)

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Jan 23 Note-1

OK, everybody has recovered from the excitement of the SaniaMania at the Australian Open, I hope? .. I had a busy weekend, and so this update is a day late .. Meanwhile, quietly but with a couple of tougher wins, the 3rd seeds Bhupathi and Woodbridge have reached the quarterfinal at the Australian Open, stretching their win streak to seven matches now .. In the seocnd round they had defeated the Russians Igor Andreev and Nikolai Davydenko on Saturday, 64 46 62 .. In the 3rd round today, they got past Alberto Costa and Rafael Nadfal in a close comeback three-setter, 46 76(2) 64 .. Just one break in the first set by the Spaniards, no breaks in the second, a trade of breaks in the 3rd and then a final break by the MB-TW in a long 2 hour 31 minute match .. Up next for them in a Tuesday quarterfinal are the 5th seeds Wayne Black of Kevin Ullyett of South Africa .. By the way, Leander's partner Nenad Zimonjic, playing with a makeshift partner Wesley Moodie, has reached the 3rd round now, with an upset of the tough Belgian 12th seeds Malisse-Rochus.

Hope you all read the 150 million articles in the Indian press about Sania's show, including the kind of junk that some newspapers wrote on Sania's glamor and hair style and boyfriends (so far none, I believe!) .. Many Indian newspapers, especially the online sites write tabloid-like useless junk these days .. Anyway, Amitava DasGupta of The Telegraph from Kolkata took the trouble oif finally getting a few words from coach Bob Brett, who has been rather quiet through the Mania .. See this article - "Bob Breet not Surprized by the Sania Mirza show" .. Quote - Brett was in Australia till Friday to attend a couple of meetings .. “I met her (Sania) early in the week and advised her to rely on strengths and not be afraid to take the chances… didn’t get a chance to speak to her before the Serena Williams match as she was too busy with phone calls from India,” Brett said, laughing .. This is something that Sania and her management firm, Mahesh Bhupathi's Globosport, should  be careful about .. That is the time spent away from tennis when she has become an even bigger celebrity .. I read to my horror somewhere that there is even an offer for her to act in a movie! .. On the other hand, Sania has so far handled the time pressure over the last couple of years extremely well .. Now, even an hour a day away from tennis matters would affect her tennis, because at the highest levels of the tour, one has NO margin of error .. Everybody should take a deep breath and let the young girl concentrate on tennis .. If that takes brutal NOs to some people requesting Sania's time, so be it.  Tennis is what has got her here, and it is what will take her much higher too .. Time for another trip to Bob Brett and more work, away from the limelight (well, after the Hyderbad Open, I guess).

Back to news -- The $15K in Delhi was won by the incredibly consistent competitor from Germany, Simon Greul .. He won the final beating Sunil Kumar Sipaeya .. Sunil has assured himself the India #1 ranking in two weeks based on this .. Pretty good show by the youngster .. Greul on the other hand finished his 6th week in India starting from November when he played 4 weeks of satellite .. His record in that period is a sizzling 30-1 in matches .. He picked up 36 more points from two futures weeks to add to the 45 from the satellites - the 81 points were good enough to bring him up from near 400, back to top-250 .. Amazing stuff ..

Mustaf Ghouse was at the Wrexham challenger qualies in UK this weekend .. He lost in the first round in a tough one to a wildcard, Dominic Inglot (GBR), 76(6) 16 26 .. Oh well ..

At the Grade-3 in Bangladesh this week, 16 yr old Tejesvi Rao (IND,230) reached the final in a rgood run that included an upset of the second seed Siributwong Kirati (THA,139) in a 57 64 63 comeback semifinal win .. He went down to Aidil Faisal (INA) who had upset the top seed Huai-En-Chang (TPE,73) earlier .. Tejesvi and Sumit Gupta were also runners-up in the doubles final .. Thats is good enough to move tejesvi into the top-175 of junior ranks ..  GOod job by the young boy .. On the girls' side, the second seed GK Shweta went down in the semifinal.

The juniors congregate at Kolkata in the coming week, for the grade-3 event on the DKS clay courts that kicks off the three-week Indian swing .. The following two weeks events are the grade-2 at Delhi and the grade-3 at Chandigarh .. All the top Indians juniors are expected - Rupesh, Jeevan, Sanam, Vivek, Sumit, Tejesvi etc on the boys and Madura, Sandhya, Punam, Shweta, etc on the girls' side .. Tara Iyer (IND,109), in the US, will be missing .. I was hoping to see Rupesh at the Australian Open, where he would have made the entry with his #54 rank, but no such luck .. I am not sure why he was not sent .. Punam Reddy (IND,131) was the only one who went.

Jan 21 Notes

Oh well, what can I say - I had to go somewhere in the last minute and ended up missing all of Sania's match .. Damn damn .. If you happened to be one of the unfortunate few who missed seeing Sania, here is a report of the details of Sania's match .. Or you can go to the Australain Open thread in our forum and find all kinds of details and opinions by fanclub folks who saw the match ..

Basically, the problem was that Serena started the match serving her very best, probably the best we have seen from her in a while (she had 12 aces in the match!) .. When Serena comes redy to play like that, it is tough on anybody, let alone an 18 year old who is playing her first grand slam .. Sania took a while to handle the pace from Serena ... It became a totally different match after Sania held serve once .. The second set saw some really incredible play from Sania .. She made Serena work hard, taking her to a few break pooints .. After she dropped serve at 3-3, Sania showed tremendous fight, coming up with some superlative play to save two match points (everyone talking about a running forhand, etc), to push it farther .. At 4-5 she could not come up with a break on Serena and it was over .. In fact, Serena was suffienctly impressed with what Sania offerred and gave her an unusually longer pep talk at the net after the match .. Again, even in loss Sania showed everybody a glimpse of what is to come in the future .. Work on some variation in the serve, get a bit more patience in the game occasionally and improve the court mobility a bit, and she is bound to go places!

Key stats:  27 pts won by Serena to 13 by Sania in the first set .. This turned around to a very close 33-29 point advantage to Sania .. Take out the ace advantage Serena had in the second set, and we see that Sania actually won more points on points that weree actually played .. I say, WOW! .. Sania had 2 aces, one each in each set and cranked up her serve to 111 mph (178 kph) which is really quite a high level of serving .. Serena served up to 197 kph (123 mph!) which is great even by her standards .. Serena was 3 of 5 in break attempts, Sania was 0 of 3 ..  Basically the match was closer than the scoreline indficates .. 56 minutes.

In other matches, Mahesh and Woodbridge moved on to the second set with a 64 46 62 win over Igor Andreev and Nikolai Davydenko .. They face Albert Costa and Rafael Nadal of Spain in the third round.

Great news from Delhi ... Sunil Kumar Sipaeya reached the final of the $15K futures with an easy 64 61 win over Dennis Istomin (UZB) .. When Sunil gets into a grrove like this, he has shown that he can beat anybody .. Come on man, let us beat Greul and take the tile .. By my count, Sunil KUmar will edge ahead of Harsh Mankad in two weeks as the Indian #1, at least for a brief period - depending on how Harsh does in the British satellites that he gous to for a month now .. It would be very nice to see the 21 year old coming to the top of the list in India .. He is still one of our bright hopes, though many seems to have forgotten Sunil Kumar who created so much news once, winning the national championship at age 16 .. Go SKS! .. Harsh Mankad and Ajay Ramaswami easily won the doubles final today ..

Jan 20 Notes

Sania's match start time on Friday will be quite a bit later than expected as the men's singles matcg between Gaudio and Hrbaty is a barnburner at 67 76 76 02, having gone over three hours already .. Sania's match is the 3rd match there; so it may be at least 4.30 pm when it starts (that is 11 am India, 5.30 am London, 12.30 am New York) .. Come to out chatroom for scores during Sania's match!

Great news today from Delhi, as Sunil Kumar Sipaeya upset the top seed Sherwood to reach the semifinal at the $15K .. Fantastic win by Sunil!! .. Ajay went down to Greul .. Harsh and Ajay are in the doubles final ..
See the Delhi $15K page for all the scores .. More later

Jan 19 Note-2

Forgot to mention in the middle of all the sania news, that Mahesh and Woodbridge advanced wednesday evening to the second round of dooubles with a not-so-easy win, 75 75 over the Aussie pair, Chris Guccione and Nathan Healey .. One late break each in each set in an 80 minute match ..  They play the second round against Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko of Russia ..

Too many newspaper articles on Sania to list here - I am sure you all have seen the incredible coverage in the Indian newspapers (unless you have been sleeping under a rock somewhere :-)) .. Sania plays Serena Williams on Friday at about 2.30 pm on the big Vodafone Arena .. Also, MB-TW play doubles at around the same time ..

At the $15K Delhi futures, most Indians went down today, and now 6th seed Sunil Kumar and unseeded Ajay ramaswami are the only ones in the QF .. They run into the two hottest players, top seed Sherwood and the second seed Greul respectively .. See 
the Delhi $15K page for all the scores ..

At the grade-3 junior ITF in Bangladesh, 16 year old 7th seed Tejesvi Rao has reached the semifinal .. 3rd seed Sumit Prakash Gupta, who had done well last two weeks, retired in the first round though .. On the girls' side, the 2nd seed Shweta Kakhandki is in the semis after beating the 6th seed, but 3rd seed Sandri Gangothri was upset by the 7th seed in the QF .. Sumit and Tejesvi finished runner up in doubles, as well.

Jun 19 Note-1

Nirupama Sanjeev had predicted today while talking to the Times of India that Sania could beat Petra Mandula, but I don't think anybody in their wildest dreams could predict that the Hyderabadi would go out and completely crush, chew and spit out a top-100 player in 50 minutes flat .. But this girl does what nobody before her has done, and Sania just became the first Indian woman (heck, what woman - she is still out little girl!) to reach the 3rd round of a grand slam .. [R2] Sania Mirza (IND,166) d. Petra Mandula (HUN,84), 62 61 .. She won 10 of the last 11 games, by the way .. That is a total shellack job of the highest quality! .. This is the first time since 1998 (when Leander reached his only 3rd round in a grand slam, at the US Open) that any Indian is reaching the final-32 of a GS event .. Sania gets 66 points, including 8 bonus in this round and 2 in the last .. That would take her point total to 266 and her ranking to about #129 or so .. Up next is possibly Serena Williams .. Bring on the Compton Comet .. I am sure the Hyderabadi Hydrogen Bomb will be ready!

Here is how the match went -

[Set-1] Sania had three break chances at 30-40 and ADs out in the 4th game .. She made an error on the second but broke Petra in the third BP .. But a couple of mistake by Sania made it a 30-40 point on her serve in the very next game, where Petra came up with a winner .. 3-2 on serve again .. Way too many mistakes by both players, with SM having 8 unforced errors and Petra doing worse with 11 of them .. Sania again had a double break point in the 6th game, forcing the break at 30-40 to go up 4-2 ..  The problem was that Sania just could not seem to hit her first serve at all, hitting only 2 of her first 17 first serves in her first three service games .. She finally hit 5 first serves in the next game and stayed alive, saving one break chance .. 5-2 up .. Then she tightened the noose with two winners and had Petra down 0-40 in the next game .. Converted her first set point itself! ... 6-2 !!

[Set-2] Sania had an ace while holding serve to 1-0 .. In the second game, Sania let go off two BPs, but she converted the third for a 2-0 lead .. Basically she figured out, it seemed, that all she had to do was to play steady and force Petra into more and more mistakes .. She was up 3-0 quickly, one break up ..  Petra held serve in the 4th game, but Sania again had her down at 0-40 in the 6th game, going up to 5-1 in the second BP .. Now it was all Sania, as she came up with the goods in the next game to finish it off ..

[Stats]:  Sania converted 5 of 11 break points and Petra did 1 of 2 .. 10 winners and 13 unforced errors from Sania, with 11 winnersd and 40 errors from Petra .. I am sure many of those errors from Petra were actually forced by Sania .. It is not easy to handle a girl who strats blkugeoning you with her forehand which is one of the best in the women's circuit, from what we hear .. Sania hit 13  of 24 in first serve sin the second set after a very poor start of 2 of 17 early in the first set .. Two aces by Sania, one of them at her highest speed of 176 kph (110 mph) today .. 4 double faults .. 1 ace and 6 double faults by PM .. The first set took 29 minutes and the second was over in a mere 21 minutes ..

Go Sania !!! .. I am numb from all the excitement !!!

Jan 18 Notes

Sania's second round match is about to start (it's wednesday in Australia) in half hour, at about 12.45 pm in Melbourne (7.15 am India, 1.45 am London, 8.45 pm  New York)  .. Come to out chatroom for scores! ...

Later in the evening, at about 4 pm, Mahesh and Woodbridge play their first round against Chris Guccione and Nathan Healey of Australia .

Bad news today from the AO, as the doubles draw came out, with no Leander Paes in it .. I suppose he did not feel well enough to play .. Zimonjic will play with Wesley Moodie .. Mahesh and Woodbridge are the 3rd seeds, in the lower quarter of the upper half, with a potential QF against the 5th seeds Black-Ullyett.

More bad news, this from Delhi, as both Harsh Mankad and Karan Rastogi went down in the first round of the Delhi $15K, losing to Uzbeks ranked quite low, HM in two tiebreaker sets and Karan in three sets .. Not sure what happened to them both, but the losses were very unexpected .. ArunPrakash Rajagopalan had a nice upset win .. Good to see Jeevan and Arun in the second round, along with Sunil, Vijay, Ajay, Vinod, Vishal and Vivek .. 
the Delhi $15K page ..

Jan 17 Note-2

Sania's next round opponent will be Petra Mandula (HUN,84) who upset #37 Flavio Pennetta .. As Sania said in an interview (and rightly pointed out even befgore that by Daniel in our forum), Petra is known for the best drop shots in the business .. Sania needs to be ready for some good court coverage and also in trying to move around her opponent, who is supposedly not too mobile herself? .. The match will be on wednesday - the schedule time not known yet .. Meanwhile, here is the article from the Australian Open by Nirmal Sekhar of The Hindu .. Good to see that we have a good correspondent down there to follow Sania ..  Accortding to what Sania said to S.Kannan of the Hindustan Times, her parents are not with her - which is unusual because one of them is always there with her .. Both Imran and Naseema Mirza are on their Haj trip to Mecca - and it is clear that prayers have not gone unanswered so far! ..

here are a couple of pictures of Sania at the AO (courtesy AP):

Sania at the AO 2005 first round .. Sania at the AO 2005 first round

No update yet on whether Leander's injury has healed enough for him to play at the AO .. I think he will have to decide pretty much within a day or so if he is playing .. As we know now, there is no fracture or ligament tears on his ankle - just soft tissue damage and some swelling .. Hopefully he is good enough by now and can play doubles.

At the $15K in Delhi, there was some bad news .. Prakash Amritraj withdrew due to some shoulder pain .. Damn, PA just cannot seem to get going these days .. Hopefully it is nothing serious, but anything connected to shoulder is always very worrisome, especially in the case of hard servers like Kash .. The best win today was by 16 year old Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, a big future hope for us .. Jeevan beat wildcard Navdeep Singh in an easy 63 63 match .. Navdeep was a top-100 quality junior player last year, and is quite a good player .. It is a good indication of h ow far the y oung kid Jeevan has come .. Remember that Jeevan had finished just outside the top-10 in the Pakistan satellites and picked up three ATP points a few months back .. He now has one more .. Vijay Kannan, Sunil Kumar won today .. I still hvae not seen the draw, but some results and matchups are at the Delhi $15K page ..

In other news, I have posted the entry list for the Hyderbad Open WTA, coming up in three weeks time (Feb 7th), at this forum thread .. Pretty good entry list, led by Tammi Tanasugarn of Thailand .. We are still awaiting news on whether a Gold exempt player can come down on a wildcard .. There was some news that Jelena Dokic was a possibility .. That would be great, but the tournament should be in good shape with a lot of the top Asian players all showing up hungry for wins .. The entry closed three weeks back and Shikha's and Sania's ranks of #159 and #169 at that time placed them just outside the direct entry, at #5th and #9th in the witing list .. Both would of course get wildcards if needed, but it would be good if the cut moves down a bit and at least one of the two would not need a wildcard ..

Jan 17 Note-1

Yes folks, we have an Indian winning a round in back to back grand slams .. At the US Open it was India-born Shikha who made news, and now at the Australian Open, it is Sania who has done the job .. [R1] (WC) Sania Mirza (IND,166) d. (WC) Cindy Watson (AUS,285), 36 63 60 .. And with that we have most probably got a woman player in the world top-150 for the first time in over 8 years since Niru did it in 1996 .. For a whole while at today's match, it did not look like we would see that, with Sania playing an error-filled match .. That she could make nearly 45 errors and still win a match talks about her abilities to WIN a match .. That is what Sania is - a winner! ... Big congratulations go to the 18 year old ..

Here is how the match went .. [Set-1] Sania had a break point at 30-40 in the first game .. CW held after three deuces .. Sania saved double BPs and then one more in game 2, but dropped serve .. 0-2 .. Up 40-0 on CW's serve quickly with two winners .. Broke her at 15-40 .. She held serve at love to even it at 2-2, winning 8 of 9 points in a row out there .. Trouble started at 3-4, as she started making one unforced error after another .. In fact, she had 11 winners to 9 UEs at one point.  We blinked and she had committed 7 unforced errors in a row and had dropped serve at 15-40 in the 8th game .. 3-5 .. She had a break point at 30-40 in the 9th game.  Cindy held on and came up with a winner at set point after that .. Sania again dropped servge immediately, with more unforced errors, and it was 0-2 soon in the second set .. [Set-2]  Sania had a break point on Watson's serve at 1-2 but could not convert it. Then she finally got even on the next break point at AD out to even it at 2-2 .. Three more errors saw Sania dropping serve once again at 2-3 .. Sania came in strongly at 3-3 with a couple of winners to force a break again and make it 3-3 .. She held serve easily and continued to put pressure on Watson's serve, earning another break at 30-40 .. Now Sania was back in business at 5-3 .. She made sure of not making mistakes (now Cindy had become very mistake-prone) ... 3-6 6-3 .. [Set-3]  Sania started well, immediately breaking Watson at 15-40 .. She continued to make some mistakes but helped by errors from Watson also, she stayed ahead, going up to 4-0 quickly ..  Now it was a whitewash ... Sania kept on winning the games even though Cindy was taking some points .. Basically SM won 10 games in a row to finish it off in style .. Actually she served an ace, the only one of the match from either player, in the final game! ... Stats:  Sania cranked up her serve up to 175 kmph (110 mph) and had an average speed of 154 kmph .. 32 winners and 43 unforced errors to 19 winners and 36 UEs by Cindy .. 7 of 12 break points by Sania and 4 of 13 by Watson .. The match took an hour and 28 minutes ..

Sania awaits the winner of the match between Petra Mandula (HUN,84) and the 30th seed Flavio Pennetta (ITA,37), that match starting right now .. The second round will be on wednesday .. She now rises in ranking from #166 to about #144 or so, with 34 extra points to take her total to 234

Time for some celebration ... I will go drink some chai .. Damn, I have followed this girl here for years, even from the early days when whe was winning grade-5 junior events in pakistan as a 13 year old and nobody knew her .. Feels great to see things come together like this and our hopes slowly coming true .. Go Sania, Go ..

Jan 16 Notes

OK, it is the big day soon, as our own Sania Mirza makes her entrance to her first grand slam event .. We are all set to congregate in the chatroom and have a ton of fun during her match against Cindy Watson on Monday in the Australian Open main draw (and it is already Monday in AUS) .. The match starts in an hour, at 11 am there (5.30 am India, 12 midnight London, 7 pm New York) .. Come on in and join us!

So who is Cindy Watson, you ask? .. Well, the Aussie lady is not at all a bad player, and this match is really not a gimme, despite her lower rank of #285 .. 26 year old Cindy was ranked as high as #131 just a couple of years back .. Cindy had even reached the 3rd round of the AO three years back, though she has not gone past the first round in other attempts there .. She lost to Neha Uberoi in a $10K in the US last May and also to Sunitha Rao in a three-setter at the Rockhampton challenger semis three months back in Australia .. Let us hope Sania comes ready to play, like she always does, and that she does not let the weight of the occasion bother her .. Cindy is a very experienced player and that is the advantage she has .. Sania can pick up 34 points for a win against Cindy, which would bring her up inside #145 in the WTA rankings .. Go Sania, Go !!!!!!

Today's newspaper reports in the Hindustan Times and the Telegraph mention that Sania had an ankle injury a few days back, which I was not aware of .. Anyway, she says that she is fine now ..

The qualifying rounds got done today at the $15K Delhi futures and in a pleasant surprise, all eight qualifiers are Indians!! .. J.Vishnu Vardhan, R. Arun Prakash, Divij Sharan, Sanam Singh, Jeevan.N, Aditya Madkekar, Yannick Nelord, and Rahil Makharia .. The best was the straight sets upset of the top seed in the qualies Andrei Stoliarov (RUS,439) by young Vishnu Vardhan .. 7 of the opponents were foreigners, including 4 Iranians, a French and a Malaysian ..  Three of the wins were in tough three-setters too .. So, this was indeed a good day for Indians ..
Very nice to see our 2003 Asian Junior champion ArunPrakash playing there .. he has spent a year doing some train ing in the US, and had also missed a couple of events due to injury etc .. He had a 60 61 Q3 win as well .. The main draw is all set to start tomorrow and Tuesday .. Prakash Amritraj plays Ajay Ramaswami in an interesting first round .. Harsh Mankad, thanks to his higher rank from last week is the highest seeded Indian at #3 .. HM, PA, SKS, KR, Vijay Kannan, Vishal Uppal, Vinod Sridhar, Ajay Ramaswami, Vivek Shokeen, Kamala Kannan, etc are also in the main draw .. I will post the draw, as soon as I find it.

Jan 15 Notes

Leander is off his crutches today, according to Dr. Vece Paes.  The X-ray and MRI were negative on any serious injury, but some ligament damage etc are there .. Nothing much of concern .. He has not decided on the Australian Open yet, but in a day or two he will see how it feels and will make a decision .. It would appear difficult for him to get anywhere near 100% in another 3 or  4 days when he will have to play doubles .. Bad timing, as it happened just before the AO, but otherwise, this sounds like nothing to worry about .. Phew ..

Great news from Sydney today, as Mahesh Bhupathi and Todd Woodbridge took care of business easily and picked up their first title for the year ..  63 63 win over a very good team - Clement and Llodra.  They look ominously good together and will go into the AO as among the favorites to win the title .. Today's title was Mahesh's 37th in his ATP event career .. Congratulations, Hesh!

At the Australian Open, Monday's schedule shows Sania Mirza playing her first round against Cindy Watson bright and early in the first match on court 6 at 11 am .. That would be 5.30 am in India, 12 midnight in London and 4 pm Sunday in Los Angeles .. We will be meeting in our chatroom to follow the match, of course .. The fanclub is all excited about seeing an (IND) next to a name in a grand slam singles main draw after a long time!! .. GO SANIA!!

At the $15K Mumbai futures, Simon Greul, who was playing his 7th match in a row (starting from the qualies), won another 3-set comeback to get past David Sherwood and take the title .. Greul has been virtually unbetable in India .. See the Mumbai futures page for all the scores.

At the $10K in Dubai, 5th seeded Sanaa Bhambri went down today in the semifinal to the 3rd seed Sandra Klemenschits (GER,466) in an up-and-down match 26 62 26 ..

Sumit Prakash Gupta was the 5th seed and reached the semifinal at the grade-3 ITF juniors in Bangladesh this week, but our girls, top seed Sandri Gangothri and second seed GK Shweta could not do much and did not go past the QF .. Glad to see Sumit doing OK for two weeks there, but quite disappointed that the girls could not do more .. Hopefully more top Indian juniors would be playing the ITF events once the Indian events start after one more grade-3 in Bangladesh.

Jan 14 Notes

No update on Leander's injury yet .. I will try to find out some details soon .. Meanwhile, Mahesh and Tood had an easy time against melzer and Mirnyi in a straight sets semifinal at the Sydney ATP, and they have reached the final, which will be on saturday against a good pair - Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra (FRA).

At the Mumbai $15K, bad news today, as Karan Rastogi put up a massive fight but fell a little short in upsetting the second seed Simon Greul (GER,294), 64 57 46 .. The top seed David Sherwood (GBR,285) showed that his win over Mankad was no fluke, by taking out Prakash also - this time in straight sets 62 64 .. So, no Indians in the final .. The doubles title went to Ghouse-Uppal in a thriller 64 36 76(7) win over Mankad and Ramaswami.

Nice run by young Sanaa Bhambri at the $10K in Dubai .. [QF] (5) Sanaaa Bhambri (IND,569) d. Galyna Kossyk (UKR,1268), 63 64 .. That brings up a semifinal against the third seed Sandra Klemenschits (GER,466) .. In doubles, the second seeded Sanaa and Rushmi Chakravarthi went down in the semifinal .. After an R1 bye, they beat Stamatia Fafaliou (GRE) and Sayaka Yoshino (JPN) and then lost to the 3rd seed Kristina Grigorian (RUS)/ Oxana Lyubtsova (UKR), 46 36

Jan 13 Notes

Some really bad news to report -- Leander Paes got injured (twisted ankle?) after a fall while returning serve in the doubles match at the Sydney ATP today and had to be wheelchaired off .. This was in the quareterfinal against Mahesh and Woodbridge, while leading 3-1 in the first set .. No further details yet .. Hope it is something minor and he can play next week at the AO .. Earlier, LP-Zimo had beaten Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Lopez of Spain, 16 64 63 .. MB and Woody had beaten Mardy Fish and Brian MacPhie of USA, 62 63, in the first round .. They play Jurgen Melzer (GER) and Max Mirnyi (BEL) in the semifinal ..

At the Australian Open qualies, two rounds have got completed .. Shikha Uberoi (IND/USA,159) upset the 23rd seed Lioudmila Skavronskaia (RUS,149), 61 64 yesterday but went down today in the Q2 to Teryn Ashley (USA,162) 36 36 .. Sunitha Rao (USA,187) pulled a comeback against Stephanie Gehrlein (GER,210) 36 62 62 and then pulled a big upset over the 11th seed Tiantian Sun (CHN,135) 63 62 .. Wins against Chinese girls have been so rare, I should give special kudos to Sunitha for this win! .. She now runs into Meilen Tu (USA,203) in the final round of the qualies.

Sania Mirza (IND,169) has got a good draw at the Australian Open main draw, facing another wildcard, Cindy Watson (AUS,294) .. She is in the draw with a potential third round against the 7th seed Serena Williams, if she can get past Cindy and then the winner of the Penneta-vs-Mandula match .. Go Sania!!

At the Mumbai futures, Karan Rastogi showed once again that he is ready to take on the bigger boys, with a 63 64 upset of the 6th seed Sunil Kumar Sipaeya .. Prakash Amritraj beat unseeded Ouvarov easily to reach the semifinal .. Harsh Mankad allowed a rare comeback win today, as he went down 61 46 36 to the top seed David Sherwood (GBR,285) and Vishal Uppal went down to the second seed Simon Greul (GER,294) .. Hope Karan can get past Greul and Prakash can upset Sherwood tomorrow.

A couple of Indina men are at the $10K in Dubai .. Vishal Punna (IND) went down in the R1 against Ervin Eleskovic (SWE,692), 67(8) 16 and Jaco Mathew lost a tough one against the 7th seed Alexander Hartman (SWE,494) 26 64 63 .. Jaco and Woong-Sun Jun (KOR) upset the 3rd seeded Eleskovic-Hartman, 64 62 in doubles to reach the QF though.

Also in Dubai are some of our women .. In the second round of the $10K, 5th seeded Sanaa Bhambri (IND,569) beat Anum Saeed (PAK) 60 60  to reach the QF but Galyna Kossyk (UKR,1268) upset the second seed Rushmi Chakravarthi (IND,340) 76(4) 26 62 and Andra Savu (ROM,1107) upset the 7th seeded Punam Reddy (IND,575) 64 67(4) 64 ..

Jan 12 Notes

The Mumbai futures saw five Indians make the QF today .. Great work by Karan, Sunil etc so far .. See the Mumbai futures page .. I am still traveling - more updates and details from later tonight or tomorrow ..

Jan 11 Notes

The Mumbai futures have started at the MSLTA courts, and the field is perhaps the toughest I have ever seen in India, with Prakash and Harsh seeded as low as 3rd and 5th, and those like 2nd seed Simon Greul and 7th seed Andrei Stoliarov having to qualify in as they had missed the entry deadline .. It was rather weird to see even Ajay Ramaswami, who has recently played very well, having to play the qualies, unable to get a WC .. Prakash, who also had missed the entry deadline, had to us up one wildcard unfortunately .. Anyway, all is fine, as Ajay qualified in, along with Vinod, Vivek, Sanam and Amod Wakalkar .. Harsh, Vijay, Karan, etc had direct entry .. Vijay has a tough draw, facing Greul in the first round .. See the draws in the Mumbai futures page.

Jan 10 Notes

Sorry to disappear once again -- too much of travel lately .. The weekend did not go perfectly for LP and MB, with LP-Zimo falling in the SF and MB-JB falling in the final of doubles at Chennai, both of them falling to the same surprising singles-pair, Yen-Hsun Lu and Rainer Schuettler in close three-setters .. Moya won the singles title, once again beating Srichaphan in a repeat final from last year, once again in a tough three-setter ..

Sania fell to Cara Black, a former top-50 player, in the Q2 at the Tier-5 WTA in Hobart, Australia .. Up nest is the Australian Open for Shikha and Sania ..

The Mumbai futures starts today .. Later, with news.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on Jan 10 ..

I am getting some inquiries from US college coaches who are interested in Indian junior players .. I would like to be able to contact Indian players (some of the coaches are inquiring about specific names) .. If any of the junior players are reading this, please contact me .. Or if any of the other readers know the contact emails/address for any junior playera, let me know .. Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan