Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the week ending on Jan 23, 2006
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Jan 23 Note-2
Good job by Prakash Amritraj at the $50K Waikoloa Challenger in Hawaii
.. He qualified in with a good 62 76(3) win over the 5th seed Ti Chen (TPE,334)
.. In the main draw, Prakash got nothing easy - he faces Jeff Morrison (USA,153)
in the first round .. PA is also playing doubles - with Eric Taino (USA) ..
They play Hiroki Fukaumi and Hijiri Kaneko of Japan .. Prakash has 6 points
falling off next week, but with 3 points for qualifying in and 4 points for
a win at the AO qualies, he has defended those points and will keep his rank
at a nice #255 or so .. Hopefully he will go deep in the draw at Hawaii and
do some damage!
The $10K women's ITF has started at Delhi .. Rushmi, Ankita and Isha are
the top three seeds .. 7th seed Sai fell 61 26 26 to a junior player, Julia
Glushko (ISR) - Sai was unfortunate to be affected by a neck sprain after
the first set, it seems .. I will start a page and post all the scores soon.
Jan 23 Note-1
For a quick round up -- as you would know by now, Sania lost the R2 against
Michaela Krajicek, and also lost the first rounds of doubles and mixed doubles
at the AO .. She would need to go back and fix up a few kinks in her game
and get back her winning ways and confidence .. No big deal, if you ask me
- she should not listen to anybody who says she should turn into a "cautious
and calculating" player - that would take away her bread and butter abilities
which developed mostly due to her own agressive stroke play and hitting low
percentage shots for ever and making them much more higher-percentage than
it would be for almost any other player out there .. This is a long discussion
and it is not simple to write quickly, but you would see more in our sania
forum .. Basically she needs to stay with what got her here and keep working
on improving the accuracy of her "instincts" .. Not saying that she should
not use more strategies/tactics on court - just that they needs to be developed
as part of her instincts .. If it takes a bit longer for her to reach top-5
because of that, so be it.
At the AO, 7th seeds Leander and Martin Damm are in the QFs of doubles after
a win today against the 11th seeds Mahesh and Wesley Moodie (who finally
showed some good form as a pair, as their R2 win over Llodra-Clement would
show .. In the juniors, Sandhya Nagaraj and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan lost hard-fought
first round matches but Sanaa Bhambri disappointed a little in her first
round loss .. Sanam Singh fired nine aces and hit 35 winners in taking care
of his R1 opponent - he is looking as good as advertised! ..
Harsh Mankad is at the Wrexham challenger in UK, playing the R1 against wildcard
Jamie Baker (GBR) .. He is playing doubles with Kristian Pless (DEN), on
Tuesday, but his R1 singles is on wednesday .. Prakash Amritraj missed cut
by a whisker at the Waikoloa challenger in Hawaii and is the top seedin the
qualies .. After a Q1 bye, he easily beat Adam Thompson (NZL,801) 62 60 and
plays the 5th seed Ti Chen (TPE) in the Q3 today ..
In other news, 17 year old 5th seed Tejesvi Rao won the grade-3
ITF at Kolkata last week, which is his first ITF singles title, upsetting
2nd seed Sumit Prakash Gupta in the semi and then the 3rd seed Anikanov of
UZB (who had upset top seed Rupesh Roy in the other semi) .. Congrats ..
Unfortunately, no girls managed to reach even the semifinals there :( .. See the results at the
Kolkata juniors page ..
Jan 17 Note-2
Leander's doubles match at the Australain is scheduled for wednesday (and it is already late wednesday there)
There were no big upsets at the Kolkata ITF grade-3 juniors today, as the first
round was completed .. See the results at the
Kolkata juniors page..
Some nice news to report about a group of our u14 juniors who were in Australia
last week, taking part in th u14 nationals there .. This was based on a program
between the Asian Tennis Federation and the TennisAustralia to take the top
16 players in the Asian Juniors u14 (which was held last month) to Australia
.. I had forgotten to talk about the nice work by Indian kids at that event
where Adnya Naik won the top spot among girls, with Sudanwa Sitaram finishing
#2 (see sameer's forum posts
for links to AITA articles etc) .. Anyway, with 4 Indian boys (Sudanwa, Mansingh
Athare, Sai Paranjpe and Ronak Manuja) finishing in the top-8 in the Asian
14s, we had 5 of the 16 that ATF took to Australia .. Adnya Naik did
very well to finish with a QF at the Gosford Australian u14 Nationals ..
In fact Sudanwa and Mansigh reached the final16 also .. Only 4 players from
the Asian team of 16 managed to get to the final16 stages and we had three
of them - and it is even nicer to see, as none of our players were seeded
.. See the scores and details for our players in my
in the forum .. Good to see our kids getting a chance to go abroad and play
well against some decent competition .. I must say though that Australia
is not really doing all that great in junior tennis, compared to Europe,
South America and USA though .. We still need to do more to find a way to
send out kids to Europe at the age 13 and 14 ..
Speaking of that, I just typed a few
in th forum about the need to do something to get our girls junior tennis
moving again .. The pipeline has really been dry for over 3 years now and
it is a very bad situation .. So I was hoping to find those just
over 14 years of age like Ashwarya Shrivastava and Rushmi Teltumbde playing
the ongoing ITF circuit in India .. They could well have some
reasons, and I don't want to sound critical of just them alone, but generally
I have seen a lot of our girls missing the opportunities to play ITFs early enough,
over the last few years .. Everyone needs to remember that Sania took a bus
to Pakistan when she was just 13 to go find an event to play .. Girls do
need to get going on the ITF circuit when they are 14 or just before that,
so that they get the proper idea about the physical standards of international
tennis and be ready by the time they are 17 .. I thought I would repeat some
of these things .. It is nice to know of our having produced a Sania (and
Ankita, Isha, Sanaa, too), but we are hardly seeing much lately on the girls'
side, though we continue to bring up a couple of top-50 or top-25 juniors
every year on the boys side .. Something needs to be done URGENTLY on this
matter to prime the pump .. Perhaps I am over-reacting, and somebody like a Poojashree or Sweta
Solanki from the u15 levels would make me feel fine soon (like, this week
at Kolkata, I hope) ..
Jan 17 Note-1
Very good start by Sania at the AO!!! .. [R1] (32) Sania Mirza (IND,32) d. Victoria Azarenka (BLR,156), 76(6) 62
.. The match had enough of the drama that is typical of Sania's matches ..
You can see some of the details in the match progress reports
in the forum .. Sania got a break in the 8th game and was srving for the
set, but then proceeded to lose 3 in a row, and found Azarenka serving for
the set .. Wouldn't you expect that Sania would break back? .. Yes, she did
.. Then she was up 4-1 in the tiebreaker, soon falling back to 5-5 .. She
finally converted her third set pt and took the set .. The second set was
basically a breeze ..
Now she faces Michaela Krajicek in the second round ..
The doubles draw has come out and Sania is playing with the former world
#1, Corina Morariu (USA,11), a terrific partner .. She has partnered Lindsey
Davenport (they were the runner-up at the AO doubles last year) .. A former
Wimbledon doubles champion, Morariu made news with her long time away with
Leukemia, remissions and chemotherapy, before making a big comeback a couple
of years back .. SM and CM face the 14th seeds Kuznetsova and Mauresmo in
the first round.
Sanam, Jeevan and Sandhya were at the grade-1 Nottinghill ITF juniors in Australia
this week .. Sanam was seeded 3rd and Jeevan 6th .. Sanam (probably jetlagged
after he flew in quickly after his title at Delhi) was upset in the first
round but Jeevan is in the PQF with two wins .. Sandhya had a tough loss
too, though against a top player .. See my
post in the forum for scores ..
Jan 16 Notes
Nothing much going on for a couple of days .. Sania's first round match at
the AO against Azarenka is scheduled for Tuesday .. Third match on show court
2 after two singles matches - so it should be around 4.30 pm (11 am India,
12.30 am New York), +/- half hour .. Time for a
chat session ..
The grade-3 junior ITF event has started in Kolkata at the DKS clay courts
.. Sanam, Jeevan (and Sanaa too?) have gone to Australia for the junior events
around the AO, and so the field is a bit easier this time, with Rupesh, Sumit,
Poojashree etc leading the Indian presence .. The second seed Glushko got
upser and wasted a chance to finally do something in Sanaa's absence (I am
sure everybody on the girls' side would have pooled money to buy her a ticket
to get the heck away to Australia or something!) .. See the
page for scores. A few first round matches are set for Tuesday.
.. Previous notes are at
for the weeks ending on Jan 16, 2006 ..
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