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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for the week ending on March 31, 2003
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2003)

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Mar 31 Notes

Paes-Rikl moved one point ahead of Bryans to the #2 spot in the team rankings for this year in today's ATP rank lists [I thought they would move to #3 as I said earlier, but I forgot that they would both jump over Llodra-Santoro] .. LP moved up to #13 and Rikl to #10 in the individual ranks .. MB is at #5, as Mirnyi who will again be MB's partner moved two spots up to #4 with his title at Miami ..

The $10K satellite has started in Mumbai and it was a good today today as Rushmi, Sai, Sonal and Megha won their R1 matches .. Megha beat Ankita in a good match .. Will post the draw, as soon as I get hold of it.

Good news from the $15K Doha (Qatar) futures - Rishi Behl qualified in beating Vishal Punna in the Q2, and Jaco Mathew also qualified in .. Vishal then made the main draw as a luckyt loser, ending up with Rishi again in the firt round .. Mustafa Ghouse is the 6th seed there, with a field rather weak for a $15K thanks to the war concerns .. Here are the qualifying scores - [Q1] Rishi Behl d. Abdul Rehman Abdul Moumon (ALG) 60 61 .. [Q2] Rishi Behl d. #1 Vishal Punna, 75 61 .. [Q1] #2 Jaco Mathew - Bye .. [Q2]  d. Hicham Karmoussi (MAR), 16 76(0) 61 .. In the main draw, #6 Mustafa Ghouse vs (Q) Musaad Al Jazzaf (KUW) .. (Q) Jaco Mathew vs (Q) Yew Ming Si (MAS) .. Behl vs Punna ..

Mar 29 Note-2

Leander has a really good record in finals his career, but today proved to be an exception .. At the $3M Key Biscayne Masters, [F] #6 L.Paes/ D.Rikl l. #7 R.Federer/ M.Mirnyi, 57 36 .. The match started pretty well for LP-DR, as they broke the other guys in quick order to go up 2-0 .. The problem started at 4-3 when our guys got broken .. Then in the 12th game Federer/Mirnyi had them down 15-40 .. LP-DR saved two set points but fell at AD out .. In the second set they dropped serve in the 4th game to fall 1-3 and could not get back in the match after that .. It did not seem to be a cakewalk for RF-MM, as a few of the games went to deuces but they stayed ahead after the initial hiccup in the first set .. Still, another good outing for Paes and Rikl, as they move to the 3rd spot in team rankings with LP expected to move to top-15 in the next rank list.

At the Kolkata $15K "Exide" ITF futures, the titles went to the same caste of characters as last week .. Mlynarik put an end to Felder's run for his second consecutive title, and Mankad-Uppal stopped Kannan-Ramaswamyu easily for their second doubles title .. They all pick up 18 points each .. See the Kolkata futures page for all results.

The $10K ITF women's satellite in Mumbai starts Monday .. The entry list, qualifying draw, etc are at the  forum page .. I will have a results page also, soon.

Mar 29 Note-1

Good and bad news from Pattaya City .. Sanaa Bhambri lost the semfinal at the grade-1 juniors to Sheng-Nan Sun (CHN), 76(5) 26 26 this morning .. Sun is a very good player and so there is nothing really to feel too bad about, for the 15 yr old Sanaa .. Now she can focus on picking up another 30-40 points more in her point total and perhaps even qualifying for the junior grand slams this year itself - that would be terrific .. Now the good news - Somdev Dev Varman and Karan Rastogi won the doubles title there! .. They beat David North/ Fritz Wolmarans (RSA) 64 63 .. Congrats boys!! ..  It's great that different players have all got some good wins so far .. It helps the overall morale of the team .. Sanaa, Somdev and Karan leave with coach Vasudev Reddy tomorrow for Manila, where the next week's grade-1 is .. The rest of the team have already gone there, with a couple of parents.

Mar 28 Note-2

Spunky comeback by Paes-Rikl today to get revenge over the Bryan twins, and LP reaches his first masters final since Cincinnati in Aug 2001 .. [SF] #6 L.Paes/ D.Rikl d. #3 B.Bryan/ M.Bryan, 36 76(2) 64 .. I didn't follow the whole match, but LP-DR were in deep trouble at one point, at 36 02 and serving 0-30, in danger of falling to two breaks behind .. They started a comeback there .. They held, but were down 2-4 and 3-5 before forcing a late break in the 10th game, as the Bryans were serving for the match .. Took it to a tiebreaker and LP-DR were all over the Americans to go up 5-2 and win the final two points on serve to even it .. In the 3rd set, they went up in the 5th game by converting their first break chance and held on to that break till the end .. The Bryans did not go down meekly, however .. They fought till the end, taking our guys in the 10th game to three break points and 5 deuces .. Finally LP-DR coverted their 3rd match point to advance to the final ..  The win gives LP-DR 350 points each and their team race point tally for the year goes to 235, one point ahead of the Bryans for 3rd spot this year .. LP will move into the top-15 now .. They run into the 7th seeds, Roger Federer (SUI) and Max Mirnyi (BLR) in the title match tomorrow ..

Mar 28 Note-1

LP-DR doubles semifinal got postponed last night due to rain in Miami.  Rescheduled for the same time tonight.

Terrific news from Pattaya City today .. Sanaa Bhambri, who turned 15 only this month, pulled off another impressive win to reach her first grade-1 semifinal .. She beat the 10th seed and last week's winner, Montinee Tangphong (THA,32), 64 75 .. She was down 2-4 in the first set and 1-3 in the second - and came back both times .. Back-to-back top-35 wins for her, and that's yet another first for Indians .. Last week Isha reached the semi and now it is Sanaa flying our flag .. Sanaa gets 80 points which will raise her ranking from #92 to about #60 next week .. She now runs into a tough Chinese girl, #71 Sheng-Nan Sun ..  Somdev and Karan have reached the doubles final also ..

Here is a roundup of all the matches for Indians at Pattaya City so far.  Some had first round byes.

[Q2] #4 Rupesh Roy (IND,197) d. Syou Kinosita (JPN), 60 60
[Q3] #4 Rupesh Roy (IND,197) l. Stefan Kilchhofer (SUI,198), 46 26
[R1] (LL) Rupesh Roy (IND,197) l. Q Stefan Kilchhofer (SUI,198), 36 36
[R2] (LL) Lachlan Ferguson (AUS,117) d. #4 Somdev Dev Varman (IND,40) 63 64
[R2] Sun-Yong Kim (KOR,115) d. #6 Karan Rastogi (IND,71) 67(4) 63 62
[R2] Janusch Graf (SUI,180) (Q) d. #15 Chatwinder Singh (IND,112) 75 64
[R1] Rupesh Roy/ Chatwinder Singh  l. Joshua Goodall/ Nikki Peel (GBR), 26 36
[R2] Somdev K Dev Varman/ Karan Rastogi d. Matthew Brown (GBR) / Dmitry Ivanov (UZB), 75 62
[QF] Somdev K Dev Varman/ Karan Rastogi d. Ruben Gonzales (USA) / Chris Kwon (USA), 62 62
[SF] Somdev K Dev Varman/ Karan Rastogi d. Kevin Doh (NZL) / Hyun-Joon Suk (KOR), 62 63
[F]  Somdev K Dev Varman/ Karan Rastogi vs David North/ Fritz Wolmarans (RSA)

[R2] Daniella Dominikovic (AUS,180) d. #8 Isha Lakhani (IND,48), 62 63
[R2] #3 Sania Mirza (IND,33) d. Czarina Mae Arevalo (PHI,150), 60 60
[R3] #14 Yan Chong Chen(CHN,74) d. #3 Sania Mirza (IND,33), 61 46 63
[R2] #13 Sanaa Bhambri (IND,92) d. Jessica Engels (AUS,168), 61 61
[R3] #13 Sanaa Bhambri (IND,92) d. #1 Ryoko Fuda (JPN,10), 75 64
[QF] #13 Sanaa Bhambri (IND,92) d. #10 Montinee Tangphong (THA,32), 64 75
[SF] #13 Sanaa Bhambri (IND,92) vs Sheng-Nan Sun (CHN,71),
[R1] Marutha Devi (IND)/ I-Hsuan Hwang (TPE) l. Kelly De Beer (NED)/ Pasquale Jansma (NED), 57 26
[R1] Sanaa Bhambri/ Tara Iyer (IND) l. Yan Chong Chen/ Rui Du (CHN), 75 36 57
[R2] Pichaya Laosirichon (THA)/ Sania Mirza (IND) l. Shiho Tanaka (JPN)/ Katrina Tsang (USA), 36 26

Mar 27 Notes

The SF match for LP-DR today at Miami against the Bryans is scheduled as the featured night match, which should get underway around 9 pm [7.30 am Friday India] .. Come to the chatroom at the forum during the match to follow it point-by-point.

Vijay Kannan went down in three sets today at the India F5 futures QF, that ends the Indians' run in the singles .. See the Kolkata futures page for scores ..

Big upset win for the 15 year old Sanaa Bhambri over the top seed Ryoko Fuda (JPN,10), 75 64 to reach the QF .. Are you kidding me? -- that is the biggest upset by an Indian girl in the juniors EVER, as far as I know .. Wow! .. Such good news usually goes with bad news too - Sania got upset by Yanchong Chen (CHN,74), 61 46 63 .. Karan and Somdev are doing well in doubles, as they reached the SF today.

Mar 26 Notes

Leander and David Rikl continue to cook .. [QF] #6 D.Rikl/ L.Paes d. #2 J.Bjorkman/ T.Woodbridge, 76(6) 76(5) .. This is the second consecutive win over that pair for LP-DR, who had beaten them in a threesetter on the way to the Dubai title .. Now the 4th ranked LP-DR team face the 3rd ranked team of this year, the Bryan twins in the semifinal, in a repeat of the last event at Indian Wells where the Americans beat them 76 63 - so this is revenge time .. Lp-DR can go ahead in team ranking with a win .. The 225 points will move LP up 2-3 spots in doubles rankings, and a win tomorrow will put him inside the top-15 .. Things are looking very good with the Indo-Czech partnership.

At Kolkata, only Vijay Kannan was able to make the QF, as Kamala Kannan went down to last week's winner Mlynarik, and Harsh Mankad went down to Marcel Felder .. The Uruguayan was my dark horse pick for last week, as he was among the top juniors last year (ranked as high as #2 in the world, I believe) - after dropping the first set, HM made a comeback, winning the next set and leading by a break in the 3rd .. I don't know how he lost grip after that and dropped serve every time to lose the match .. See the Kolkata futures page for scores ..

At the Pattaya City ITF grade-1, 13th seed Sanaa Bhambri has also reached the 3rd round, along with Sania .. I believe there was no play today, due to rain.

Mar 25 Notes

I'm back after a two-day sojourn .. Good news from LP-Rikl at the $3M Miami Masters, as they have reached the quarterfinals .. [R1] #6 D.Rikl/ L.Paes d. Petr Pala (CZE)/ David Prinosil (GER)  36 62 76(5) .. [R2] #6 D.Rikl/ L.Paes d. Donald Johnson (USA)/ Rick Leach (USA) 64 76(2) .. They run into #2 Bjorkman-Woodbridge next .. The news was again not good from Mahesh .. [R1] Max Miryni (BLR)/ Roger Federer (SUI) d. Mahesh Bhupathi IND/ Tim Henman (GBR), 46 63 64 .. I believe MB will be playing with Max Mirnyi after the Davis Cup ..

I have added all the result so far from the "Exide" $15K ITF India F5 futures, at the Kolkata futures page .. Three Indians reached the second round today, with Kamala Kannan's big upset of the 4th seed coming as the surprise .. #5 Harsh Mankad, the only seeded Indian, moved on though he got some good resistence from Vinod Sridhar .. Vijay Kannan is again in the R2 .. Manoj Mahadevan played the very talented young qualifier, Marcel Felder (URU) tightly in a three-set loss .. HM will also have his Felder, I expect .. It's a pity that Rohan Bopanna and Sunil Kumar are not there .. Not sure why they are not playing, but I assume there is some odd reason for that - haven't heard from anybody about the reason behind them skipping this week.

In the junior circuit ITF grade-1 in Thailand, Sania Mirza reached the 3rd round, but the other three seeded Indians with R1 byes all went down - Isha, Somdev and Karan .. Details later.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on Mar 24 ..

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.