Notes for the week ending on Feb 24, 2003
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Feb 24 Note-1
Leander Paes and David Rikl will be playing Rainer Schuettler and Mikhail Youzhny today at evening at the Dubai ATP .. MB-MM are not in the schedule for today.
Rushmi Chakravarthi is in the main draw of the $25K Bendigo challenger in Australia .. She faces a talented young girl who qualified in, Ilke Gers of NZL
Here are the matchups for Indians at the $10K New Zealand F1 futures at Christchurch .. 7th Seed Mustafa Ghouse (518) vs Peng Sun(CHN,625) .. Sunil-Kumar Sipaeya (535) vs Mark Hlawaty (AUS,635) .. Ajay Ramaswami (618) vs (wc) Robbie Cheyne (NZL,1041) .. In doubles, S.K.Sipaeya/ R.Sridhar vs Wesley Whitehouse (RSA)/ Johan Du Randt (RSA) .. M.Ghouse/ A.Ramaswami vs #3 Mark Nielsen (NZL)/ Bernard Parun (GER) ..
Feb 23 Notes
Count one more satellite title for Sania .. She beat Franziska Etzel (GER) 63 63 in the final today at the ITF $10K Benin City satellite, to pick up her 4th satellite title (the others were at Hyderabad and two at Manila, all within the last 5 months or so) .. She is actually 22-1 in the last 23 satellite matches now .. The 6 points will take her point total to 31.75 and her ranking (in two weeks) up by over 40 spots from the current #488 .. Good job, Sania! .. She will stay in Nigeria for one more satellite this week, at Benin City itself.
At the $10K New Zealand F1 qualies final round, Rishi Sridhar lost to Matt Daly (USA,1185), 26 26 .. He had beaten Scott Eaton (AUS,1331), 76(8) 64, earlier after a first round bye .. 16th seed Jaco Mathew lost in the second round of qualies, to Darren Emery (GBR), 16 63 76(2) .. Now we await the main draw for the three Indians in it.
Feb 22 Note-2
Leander and Mahesh are both in the doubles draw for next week at the $1M Dubai Duty Free Open ATP .. Mahesh gets back to the company of last year's partner Max Mirnyi, and they are the top seeds .. I assume this is a temporary thing, as we have seen nothing about them partnering again this year .. They play the wildcards Karim Alami (MAR)/ Adrian Voinea (ROM) .. #3 Johnson/Palmer is with MB-MM in the top half .. In the bottom half of the draw, Leander and David Rikl are unseeded and they play Rainer Schuettler (GER) and Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) .. #4 Damm-Suk and #2 Bjorkman-Woodbridge are the potential QF and SF teams for them.
A whole truckload of Indians are out there in New Zealand for the $10K futures series there .. For the F1, Sunil Kumar, Ajay Ramaswamy and Mustafa Ghouse are in the main draw entry list .. #848 Rishi Sridhar is the 10th seed in the qualies with a Q1 bye in the three round qualies - he may have to get past a tough 3rd seed Oscar Johansson (SWE,698) to qualify though .. #961 Jaco Mathew is the 16th seed, also with a Q1 bye .. Relatively tough field for a $10K series .. No scores yet .. [source: Tennis New Zealand]
Feb 22 Note-1
Megha vakharia went down in the final 46 46 to Da-Jung Hong at the the Bangalore satellite .. Good run by Megha, despite the loss - according to The Hindu, Megha will be comeing to the US on a tennic scholarship at the University of Mississippi .. Pretty good choice of university by Megs - they are ranked #40 right now and play in one of the best conferences, the South Eastern Conference (SEC) .. She will have a chance to challenge for one of the top spots in the team soon, and get to play some tough EC players in conference ties .. I think she comes to the US after a few months for the fall semester though .. Rushmi and Sai won the doubles title at Bangalore.
At the Benin City $10K in Nigeria, Sania has a reached the final with a 61 60 murder of Susanne Aigner (AUT,727) .. I didn't think that Austrian player would be that easy for Sania, but when SM gets into a flow she can just run through people I guess .. She beat Michelle Snyman in the QFs - have not seen the score yet for that.
No sign of Rohan Bopanna at the Dubai qualies .. He had said earlier that he would be going there .. The qualifying draw closed at a high #275 and he couldn't have made it in without a wildcard anyway .. Didn't see anything about a wildcard for him there .. Ivanisevic got a WC for the main draw, as they announced yesterday, but they had not announced whom the other two main draw WCs would be going to.
Feb 21 Notes
Good going for the 18 year old from Mumbai .. Megha Vakharia came through against Youlia Vorobieva (RUS) today, 46 75 64 in a tough match to reach the final .. Youlia (Julia) had beaten 3rd seed Sai and 7th seed Sonal earlier .. This is the first final since winning the Lagos $10K in Nigeria last September for Megs (as Megha is called in our forum) .. The player field is better at Bangalore and Megs seems to be in fine form .. She pays Da-Jung Hong, a 17 year old from Korea who was the best in Asia in 2001 when she was ranked in the top-40 as a young 15 year old .. Da-Jung is the 4th seed and also pulled a comeback against the strapping Uzbek player, Akgul Amanmuradova .. Rushmi-Sai beat Shruti-Sheetal to reach the doubles final also .. See the Bangalore satellite page.
At the Nigeria $10K in Benin City, Sania Mirza is in the QF.. The matches seem to be running a bit behind schedule over there .. She beat a qualifier, Marielle Weihs (AUT), 75 76(6) in a tugh first rounder but had a much more fluent 60 63 win in the second round today against Magy Aziz (EGY) to reach the QF .. Sania, seeded #1 in doubles also in the company of Szusanna Babos (AUT), won the R1 against Franziska Etzel (GER) and Christine Obermoser (AUT), 36 62 76(5) and then had to give a walkover in the QF with her partner Babos down with a throat infection.
Feb 20 Note-2
Still not getting a great feeling about this partnership, but hopefully they will start fully clicking soon - at the Memphis ATP, [QF] #3 M.Bhupathi/ J.Eagle l. (wc) J.Blake/ J.Gimelstob .. Those were a couple of tough guys they played today though.
As he was left with time this week after an early ouster at the Brownsville futures, Harsh Mankad played a wildcard tournament at Harlingen, Texas for next week's futures .. He was not yet in the draw for next week and could possibly have to play qualies, so he decided to play this one .. Big draw of 64 and he won 6 rounds to win the tournamen! .. Not bad, because he gets three days rest now and is all set to play the next week's futures at Harlingen in the main draw with a wildcard.
Feb 20 Note-1
Mahesh and Joshua Eagle play the Memphis QF tonight against James Blake and Justin Gimelstob ..
At the $10K ITF "Reliance" satellites in Bangalore, 18 yr old Megha Vakharia reached the semifinal with a good win over Montinee Tangphong (THA), but the 3rd seed Sai Jayalakshmy went down to Joulia Vorobieva (RUS) .. Good to see Megha doing well again .. Actually this is the first time that she has reached a QF or better in an Indian satellite since the satellite circuit masters final in India in July 2001 as a 16 year old .. She had a year of slow results after that and started doing well again only late last year with a title and a QF in Nigeria (Lagos 1& 2) in September .. She had not done well in the Indian events for a long time till now though! .. Megha turns 19 in August, and it's nice to see her results .. She plays Joulia next .. All four semifinalists are now under 18 or 19! .. Actually all except 26 year old Sai in the QF were 19 or under .. See the Bangalore satellite page; Rushmi and Sai have reached the doubles SF too.
By the way, forgot to mention earlier that this event in Bangalore is sponsored by RELIANCE .. I may have missed noticing it, but this is the first time I have seen them as a tennis event title sponsor .. That's good.
The official draws from Brownsville says Harsh Mankad and Jay Gooding (AUS) retired in the doubles R1 due to "Gooding- ill." .. So, HM is alright.
Feb 19 Notes
Not much news today .. MB plays the doubles QF tomorrow at Memphis .. Sania has won one round each in singles and doubles at the Nigeria $10K satellite (I have seen different scores reported so far - will wait for score confirmation, but she won) .. At Bangalore, Megha had the big upset of the top seed Rushmi today .. sai is also in the QF, but Isha fell, as did the venkatraman sisters .. See the Bangalore satellite page.
Feb 18 Note-2
Pretty routine win for Mahesh today at the $670K Kroger St.Jude ATP in Memphis, Tennessee .. [R1] #3 M.Bhupathi/ J.Eagle d. J-L.DeJager/ H-T.Lee, 64 63 .. So Hyung-Taik Lee's doubles run ends there .. In the QF, Hesh and Eagle play James Blake and Justin Gimelstob who are wildcards .. The match will be probably on Thursday.
At the $15K USA F4 in Brownsville, TX, Harsh Mankad and Jay Gooding retired at 4-6 in the first set against the top seeds .. Darn .. I don't know what's up .. I hope HM is not injured or anything.
At the Bangalore satellite, Isha Lakhani had an easy 63 60 win over Samrita Sekar, who had a good run last week .. Isha goes against qualifier Vesnina next, as the Russian upset the second seed .. Rushmi and Sai moved on .. Sai was reportedly grieving due to the loss of her grandfather the day before (sorry to hear that) .. She was off and on, understandably, but she did enough to win .. Megha faces Rushmi next .. The Venkatraman sisters are also in the second round, as is Geeta Manohar who had a good win in the first round .. Sheetal and Sonal fell though .. See the Bangalore satellite page.
Feb 18 Note-1
In the doubles first round at the $800K ABN Amro ATP in Rotterdam, Netherlands this afternoon, [R1] L.Paes/ D.Rikl l. #1 J.Bjorkman/ T.Woodbridge, 67(4) 57 .. Considering the team they were playing, not a bad match at all from Lee and David - I am very positive about this partnership for this year .. Later today, MB-Eagle play the doubles R1 at Elvis' homewtown, Memphis.
In the doubles draw at Brownsville, Texas, Harsh Mankad is playing with Jay Gooding (AUS) .. The draw goddess continues to be after Harsh, as they got drawn against the top seeds, the tough American pair of Tripp Phillips and Ryan Sachire.
Prakash Amritraj came back from the late night match at San Jose and played two more college matches over the weekend, winning them both for USC, to take his season record to 8-1 .. He has not dropped a set in the last 7 matches or so, almost all of them against ranked college opponents .. In other college news, Rohan Gajjar is 6-0 so far at the University of Arkanas - good start, though at the #5 spot and without any matches aginst ranked opponents yet.
Bangalore satellite news later .. Also awaiting news from Nigeria on how Sania is doing ..
Feb 17 Notes
Not much to report today .. LP-Rikl play at Rotterdam R1 and MB-Eagle play at the Memphis R1 tomorrow .. No news from Nigeria on Sania at the satellite yet .. No big surprises in the few R1 matches at the Bangalore satellite today, except for the 6th seed Radhika getting upset .. That's about it.
.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on Feb 17 ..
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 player, let me know .. I would like to have a mailing list where I can post general announcements and inquiries from the coaches too .. Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan.