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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the week ending on Feb 21, 2005
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2005)

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Feb 21 Notes

LP and MB will both play by only wednesday at the Dubai Open ATP, I believe.

Neha had another excellent win at the qualies for the Tier-III Acvapulco WTA, but she then fell in the final round .. [Q2] Neha Uberoi (USA,291) d. Ruxandra Dragomir-Ilie (ROM,318) 76 36 63 .. [Q3] l. Julie Ditty (USA, 258) 36 36 .. The win against Ruxandra Dragomir is noteworthy, as she is a former top-20 players on a comeback trail, and still a much better player than her ranking would say ..

At the $25K Bendigo challenger in Australia, Rushmi Chakravarthi (IND,357) is drawn to face Adriana Szili (AUS,509) .. Sai Jayalakshmy (IND,571), seeded 3rd in the qualies, won the Q2 round with a 76(5) 26 63 over Bianca Acquistapace (AUS,720) .. The final round is against the 5th seed Arpi Kojian (USA,636).

At the $50K British satellites, Harsh Mankad and Eric Butorac (USA) made sure that they would be the circuit toppers in doubles with their 8th consecutive doubles win today, in the QF round of the masters leg in Sheffield, UK.  They won easily 60 64 over Ervin Eleskovich (SWE) and Christopher Koderisch (GER) .. That gives them 40 circuit points each .. They have 41 ATP points each as well, including 8 bonus each for being the circuit toppers as well .. Harsh, seeded 6th, plays the singles R2 tomorrow, after a first round bye.

Feb 20 Notes

Finally LP and MB are both in action this coming week ..At the Dubai ATP, [R1] (3) M.Bhupathi/ T.Woodbridge vs Simon Aspelin (SWE)/ Todd Perry (AUS) .. They are in the top half of the draw with the top seeds Knowles-Nestor .. Bhupathi-Santoro won the title last year there; so Mahesh has some points to defend .. Leander gets back to action after a few weeks off following the fall and injury at Sydney the week before the Australian Open .. [R1] L.Paes/ N.Zimonjic vs Tomas Berdych (CZE)/ Nikolas Kiefer (GER) .. They are in the bottom half of the draw and may run into the 2nd seeds Black-Ullyett, the AO winners, in the R2.

In the qualifying rounds for the $380K Scottsdale ATP qualies in Arizona (USA), Prakash Amritraj had an excellent upset win in the Q2 today, but he could not jump past the final hurdle like last week at the Joplin challenger qualies .. [Q2] P.Amritraj (IND,355) d. (3) Kristian Pless (DEN,204), 75 63 .. [Q3] l. Michael Kohlmann (GER,303) 67(4) 64 26  .. Ooh, a good fight in the loss also .. Prakash has pulled off a couple of very good wins in the last two weekends .. Good to see him getting back to some good form ..

In the qualifying rounds of the $180K Tier III Abierto Mexicano tournament in Acapulco, Neha Uberoi (USA,291) had a big upset win today over Edina Gallovits (ROM,178) 64 76(5) .. In the Q2 round, Neha faces former top player (on a comeback) Ruxandra Dragomir-Ilie (ROM,318), who upset the 4th seed Conchita Martinez-Granados in the Q1 today.

The masters leg of the British satellites start for Harsh Mankad at Sheffield tomorrow .. He is seeded 6tha nd has a bue in the first round .. In the R2 on Tuesday, he plays the winner of the match between Chris Lewis and Fredrico Torresi .. In doubles, Mankad and Butorac are seeded tops - they play Ervin Eleskovich (SWE) and Christopher Koderisch (GER) tomorrow in the QF.

At the $25K Bendigo challenger qualies in Australia (grasscourts), [Q1] (3) S.Jayaram-Jayalakshmy (IND,571) d. (WC) Bojana Bobusic (AUS,NR), 36 62 76(7) .. Sai plays the Q2 against Bianca Acquistapace (AUS,720) .. Rushmi Chakravarthi is in the main draw list there, but I have not seen the main draw yet.

At the $25K+H Luebek challenger (indoor carpet) in Germany, Musfa Gouse is seeded 3rd in doubles with Daniel Kiernan (GBR) .. Theif rist round is against the German wildcards, Dennis Peschek and Thomas Schreyer ..

Feb 19 Notes

Sorry to go missing for a couple of days .. Not a whole lot of people playing this week; so I decided to goof off .. Actually some good and bad news .. Harsh Mankad and Eric Butorac continued their unbeaten run from last week by winning the doubles title at the 3rd leg of the British satellites ..  They beat the 3rd seeds Auckland/Klaasen in the SF, 63 63 and then once again pulled a tough comeback like in last week's final, 67(3) 63 76(8) over the 4th seeds Flavio Cipolla and Alessandro Motti of Italy .. Hm and EB are actually combining very well as a team, reportedly .. Mankad however went down in the QF of singles to Mathew Smith (GBR) who went on to also upset the 2nd and 5th seeds to win the title .. Scores :  [QF] (3) H.Mankad l. M.Smith, 67(5) 16 .. HM had played two three setters for 5 hours the previous day and just dod not get over the hump against Smith who played terrific tennis according to Florian .. The circuit is now wide open, with 6 different players having reached the finals so far .. Mankad and Bloomfield the first week, Childs and Koderisch in the second week, and Auckland and Smith in the 3rd .. Except for Chils at 37 points, the next 5 players are all between 31 and 24 .. HM should be the 6th seed in the masters week, but anybody who wins two rounds or more in the next week will make 20+ points ..  The finalists this week will almost surely end up with the bonus points for finishing at the top two spots in the circuit too .. In doubles Mankad and Butorac lead the table and they should be coming out with 40 to 45 points from there .. Not a big deal for Harsh, but enough to push him back up near top-175.

Prakash Amritraj is at the $380K Scottsdale ATP qualies in Arizona, USA .. He advanced in the Q1 today, 63 36 64 over Travis Rettenmeier (USA,434) in the first round .. He had beaten Travis last week also in the Q1 at the Joplin challenger .. Rain had delayed all the matches well into the afternoon today, and I am not sure if Kash's Q2 match got done at all today - they had originally planned to do two rounds ..  The Q2 is against the 5th seed Kristian Pless (DEN,204) .. No scores have come my way so far.

At the $25K+H Luebeck challenger in Germany, Mustafa Ghouse was in the qualifying draw .. Played a terrific match but went down 46 76(6) 57 to the 6th seed Martin Stepanek (CZE,427) ..

Feb 16 Notes

Good going at the British sattellite .. Harsh Mankad pulled off a tough one today to reach the QF .. 67(2) 64 76(2) win over Ervin Eleskovich (SWE,689) .. He is now up to 24 circuit points and he is keeping the top-4 spot within the satellite so far .. Here is the onsite fanclub member match report from Florian in our forum .. Florian has also posted pictures from the match .. Harsh looks quite toned and fit, as many in the forum have noticed .. Harsh and Eric Butorac came back later and won a tough three-setter to reach the doubles SF as well .. 46 76(2) 60 win where they saved two match points in the second set and turned the tables on Jonathan Marray and Mark Hilton .. Up next for Harsh is Mathew Smith, who is quite a talented 20 year old who has wins over those like Vliegen, Ascione, Rajeev Ram etc in the last year .. Smith upset the 7th Jonatha Marray to reach the QF .. In the doubles smifinal tomorrow, Harsh and Butorac play the 3rd seeds James Auckland (GBR) and Raven Klaasen (RSA) ..

There was a rather odd PTI news report today about a minister in Kolkata saying that Serena Williams will be coming to the Tier-III Sunfeast Open in Kolkata in september .. I would not have commented, but this news item is in every newspaper today .. I wonder what that is all about .. If the minister has come up with some hge apperance money, one could possibly make it happen, but he was also talking about "writing to" Mani Shankar Aiyar to get the central minister to support Oil company sponsorship for the event .. That looks very odd to me .. I am sure Globosport will put together a great event .. Mahesh and Globosport weren't reported to have said anything about Serena; so I would leave this Serena talk as some sort of hype from Kolkata for now .. Would be great if it happens, but Serena normally does not play Tier-II 170K events .. If the WB government can come up with the Serena kind of money, the event probably shouldn't be a $170K event anyway! .. But I am looking forward to the Kolkata WTA which will be at the Netaji indoor stadium .. Who needs Serena when Sania is there, right? :-)

Feb 15 Notes

Looks like the only player in action this week is Harsh Mankad .. Seeded 4th, he started well today at the 3rd leg of the UK satellites with a 75 62 win over Flavio Cipolla (ITA,543) .. HM had a little lapse in the 10th game of the first set, when it became 5-5 on his serve, but then went on to win 8 of the next 10 games to finish it off well .. Up next is Ervin Eleskovic (SWE,689) in the second round on wednesday morning .. HM and Butorac are seeded second in doubles and had a first round bye - they play the QF against Mark Hilton and Jonathan Marray tomorrow evening .. The fanclub is taking turns to go and report HM's matches .. Last week Samarth Sinha had hosted Mankad and reported on all his matches .. This week, the biggest fan of Indian tennis, of the "my passport is German, but my heart is Indian" fame, Florian Beuchting is up there in Cardiff watching Harsh's matches.  Check out the Mankad thread in our forum for all the fanfare.

Following the Chinese players with an eye on the upcoming Davis Cup, their #1 Peng Sun went down in the final qualies of teh Joplin challenger yesterday to Rajeev Ram who has erached the second round in the main draw with a win today .. The one who qualified in was Yu Wang Junior, the Chinese #2 .. Man, these two Chinese guys are really annoying me, taking turns at looking pretty damn good :-) ..  Yu Wang went down 36 36 today to Danai Udomchoke of Thailand though .. But the Chinese are doing quite well.

There were reports in the Indian newspapers today that the big $600K Tier-II Doha WTA had announced a wildcard to Sania .. Well, due to injury Sania would have to decline that .. I am not sure if the rules would allow her taking a wildcard anyway though -- she was in the entry list for a $50K challenger in Minnesota for next week which she had entered before the Hyderabad WTA .. She had withdrawn only this monday and if I am not mistaken, both WTA and ITF rules do not allow for one to withdraw from an event and take a wildcard at another with one week to go .. Anyway, she knows she needs to take rest .. She might still play the Dubai WTA the week after next, though if the ankles are not fine, she should skip that too!

Feb 14 Notes

Sania is ranked #99 in the latest WTA rankings released just now! .. How about that ???

Prakash Amritraj fell at the final hurdle in the Q3 today at the Joplin challenger qualies - to #362 Paul Logtens (NED) by a score of 36 57 .. Oh well ..

Nothing much else in the news today .. More later.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on Feb 14 ..

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