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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the weeks ending on Apr 04, 2005
(Previous week's notes) (Next 6 weeks' notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2005)

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Apr 4 Notes

Mustafa Ghouse and Scott Lipsy went down 36 36 to the 3rd seeds Mark Hilton and Jonathan Marray of GBR, at the $15K Bath futures doubles final in UK on saturday, but Mustafa has qualified into this week's $15K futures! .. Scores - [Q1] Bye .. [Q2] (3) M.Ghouse d. Jonathan Maskens (GBR) 62 62 .. [Q3] d. (9) Tom Rushby (GBR) 75 75 .. In the first round of the main draw, he faces Petar Popovic (SCG) ..

The Mumbai $10K has started today .. Sonal, Tara and Karishma qualified in, but Sanaa Bhambri went down in the firs round .. Check out the forum thread where our onsite fanclub friend, Neha, is giving the results and match reports .. I will start an archive page very soon.

At the $10K in Colombo Vishal Uppal and Jacco Mathew advanced to the second round .. Karan, Vijay, etc are to play on Tuesday.

harsh Mankad moved to a career-high #270 in singles rankings this week, with the 24 points for the title at Chennai two weeks back.  Congratulations, Harsh! .. HM will next be at the $25K+H Nottingham challenger in UK on the 18th, where he is about 5 out from the main draw .. Prakash is also expected to play the qualies there ..

Apr 3 Notes

A moment of silence for the Holy Father's passing.

Paes, Bhupathi, Sania, Mankad, Amritraj, etc are all off the tour this coming week .. The main event of the week is the ITF $10K women's event at the Practennis courts in Andheri, Mumbai, where Rushmi, Ankita, Sanaa, Isha, Megha, Tara, Sai, etc will be playing, and the $10K ITF men'e event in Colombo where several Indians including Karan Rastogi will be playing.  The junior team will be at the ITF grade-1 Japan Open juniors in Nagoya.

Shikha Uberoi reached the QF of the $25K Augusta challenger yesterday with a 61 76(10) win over Lisa Staciute (LTU,266) but then fell in the QF later in the day to one of the most talented upcoming youngsters, 15 year old Viktoriya Azarenka of Belarus who is the current world junior #1 .. I have not seen the score of the QF loss.

Second seeded Mustafa Ghouse and Scott Lipsky (USA) reached the final of the $15K Bath futures in GBR, with a 75 36 63 win over the Slovakian pair, Michel Varsanyi and Igor Zelenay .. They play the 3rd seeded British pair, Mark Hilton and Jonathan Marray today.

At the $15K+H in Bangalore, Simon Greul (GER,226) won the title over Ivan Cerovic yesterday, after Ivan advanced to the final earlier in the postponed SF, with a two tiebreaker upset win over the top seed Aisam Qureshi (PAK) .. See the Bangalore futures page.

Very good news from Manila today, as Vivek Shokeen and Sanam K Singh won a big doubles title .. Here are all their scores .. [R1] (1) V.Shokeen/ S.L.Singh BYE .. [R2] d. Edward Corrie (GBR)/ Chris Eaton (GBR), 46 76(5) 63 .. [QF] d. (7) Miles Blake (GBR)/ Samuel Groth (AUS), 63 62 Ret .. [SF] d. (5) Kristofer Wachter (AUT)/ Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT), 46 64 64 .. [F] d. Hsin-Han Lee (TPE)/ Chris Llewellyn (GBR), 67(6) 61 64 .. Those were some very good teams they beat this week .. The title gives them 100 doubles points (+85 in the best-6 for Vivek and +80 in the best-6 for Sanam; which are divided by 4 and added to the singles points for their world junior ranks) .. Including the +30 for reaching the singles QF, Vivek picked up 51.25 points this week to raise his point total to 415 and ranking to about #36 in the world juniors, up about 10 spots from last week .. So, a better week after two poor weeks, for at least Vivek .. San will move some 10-12 spots up to bear #95 again .. On the girls' side, I finally found the the one delayed score - the 13th seeded Sandhya Nagaraj had lost the PQF to the 7th seed Amina Rakhim (KAZ,52), 26 26 .. The kids go to the prestigious ITF grade-1 Japan Open in Nagoya this week, and I believe Jeevan will join them, if he has recovered from the small injury that kept him out of the Thai and Philippines grade-1 events.

At the Asian zone-1 u14 ITF tournament in Delhi, Christopher Marquis went down today in the semis 16 06 to the seocnd seed Tsung-Hua Yang (TPE), ending a pretty disheartening performance by the Indian kids .. To have only one kid among the 8 semifinalists in the two draws at a home event with only a region in Asia participating, is quite tough to take - but with the players moving to different age catergories quite often and the rankings being a bit unreliable at that age, our performance often goes up and down .. I was actually a bit more troubled by some of the scorelines in the losses (see the forum thread on the Delhi ITF u14, where I have posted all the scores) .. I would like to see out players being able to at least make a big fight, even if they lose .. Anyway, I have been saying for a while though, that I am particularly concerned about the girls side wherein for about three yeras or so we have just not noticed too many players who is a sure major-fire-in-the-belly I-am- ready-to- go-after- at-least- any-asian type player in the 13-16 age range.. That is, since the time when Sania, Isha, Ankita, Sanaa, Tara etc emerged .. The types who can at least occasionally beat a top-50 junior player in the world .. We should not be having such lets-ups in the pipeline .. Still waiting for some good news on a whole bunch of the next line of girls I have been keeping an eye on .. Come on girls; you can do it! -- Work hard and GO FOR IT !! .. Is there anything that we fans can do to somehow get you kids some help from anywhere, or to put some pressure on the right people, if that is what is missing? .. On the boys' side, things are a little better, as we have had some Rupeshs, Jeevans and Viveks emerging every year .. Sameer Paranjpe of Maharashtra did well and reached the final today at Delhi in doubles in the company of David Agung Susanto (INA) .. They upset the top seeds earlier and the 3rd seeds today in this ..

Apr 1 Notes

Today turned out to be a bad one at the office for Prakash Amritraj in singles and for Mankad and Sipaeya in doubles at the Bangalore futures .. Prakash lost 67(4) 16 to the tough third seed Simon Greul (GER,226) in a match where Prakash even led 4-1 in the first set before the tables got turned .. It appears from multiple reports that Prakash was just not playing (or was forced not to play) his natural game up near the net .. A few errors from PA added to the problems too - but then, that happens when one has to try find ways to beat a solid guy and is forced to go for some of the lower percentage shots .. Greul is way too good a player though; the only Indian to have troubled him and beat him during the many events he has played in India recently is Karan Rastogi (which actually shows how good Karan is becoming!) .. Rain played spoilsport and the matches started only by 7 pm .. The other semi between Ivan Cerovic and Aisam Qureshi is postponed  to Saturday .. The heavy conditions after the rain affected Prakash, and it seems to have not helped the doubles pair either, as the second seeds Mankad-Sipaeya could not do a whole lot against the top seeds Hemmes and Smit .. See the Bangalore futures page for all the scores.

At the $25K challenger in August, Georgia, the whole of thursday and friday ended up effectively rained out - and they have not even completed any matches in the second round yet! .. Not sure if they would even complete this challenger or cancel it or something; so there is no update on Shikha's R2 match.

Mustafa Ghouse continues his fine show in doubles .. He has reached a doubles semifinal with yet another partner, though again a very good one - Scott Lipsky of USA .. Mustafa seems to be respected enough, for all these good players to be there to partner him .. At the $15K British futures in Bath, the second seeded pair won the QF over Tobias Clemens and Alexander Flock of Germany,  36 61 64.

Top seed Vivek Shokeen's run at the tough ITF grade-1 Mitsubishi-Lancer junior international in Manila came to an end in sweltering heat today, when he was upset in a 2.5 hour match by unseeded Samuel Groth (AUS,161), 62 67(4) 76(2) .. Groth had upset the 9th seed and the 10th seed earlier in easy matches and seems to be a much better player than his ranking suggests (but of course, the junior rankings, which are effectively reset at the beginning of the year when the 18 year olds leave the list, becomes reasonably reliable only by about late June) .. The Filippino newspapers report that Groth fired in 24 aces at Shokeen in a "great baseline battle" .. That is a touogh match, but you can't complain when a boy like Vivek puts that much of fight into a match before bowing out .. As the 7th seed Amina Rakhim reportedly played the singles QF today, it looks as though 13th seed Sandhya Nagaraj had fallen to Amina on Thursday in the PQF .. I am awaiting the doubles scores for Vivek and Sanam.

There is a big u14 event that has been in progress in Delhi since Thursday .. The ITF Asian zone-1 u14 championship tournament 1 .. Yuki Bhambri had an upset of a seed to reach the QF .. Good show by Indians in the first two rounds, as 8 of them made the second round in girls and boys' draws .. Three Indian boys (3rd seed Christopher Marquis, seeded Mansigh Athare and unseeded Yuki) and two girls (5th seed Sweta Solanki and 8th seed Janaki Rao) made the QFs .. I have posted the draws in the forum thread on the ITF Delhi u14 tournament thread.

May 31 Notes

Yesterday was not a good day for Mahesh and Woodbridge, as the 3rd seeds jhust could not get over the hump against the 3rd seeds at the Miami masters, in a 46 67(8) loss .. The real dram was mostly at the end of the second set when MB-TW weere up a break and Woodbridge weas serving for the set .. They dropped serve there .. Had more chances in t he 12th game with two set points on Bjorkman's serve, but they too went unused .. Then in the tiebreaker, MB-TW fell behind 1-5 and 2-6 but saved four match points in a row and take a 7-6 lead, only to see that also go up in smoke in the end .. One of those days, I guess ...

Good news again from the $15K+H "KSLTA" ITF futures in Bangalore, as Indians are taking turns to do well .. Prakash Amritraj reached the semifinal this time, following on Karan and Vinod making semis in the first week at Kolkata (Vinod winning the title), and then Karan and Harsh making semis last week (Harsh winning it) .. In doubles also we have different teams doing well .. Vishal  Uppal and Ajay Ramaswami won the title at Kolkata, and then Rohan Bopanna and Vijay Kannan won it last week at Chennai .. But this time it is Harsh Mankad and Sunil Sipaeya who have reached the final .. This is all good work, by the Indians .. Prakash won a smart 63 64 match over jasper Smit today to make the semis, where he will run into the 3rd seed Simon Greul, never an easy foe to face .. See the Bangalore futures page for the results.

At the $25K Augusta challenger in the USA, #134 Shikha Uberoi won the first round yesterday against Christina Wheeler (AUS,301) by a 75 75 scores .. #298 Neha Uberoi went down 26 46 to Tatiana Poutchek (BLR,226) .. Shikha was to face Lisa Stanciute (LTU,266) in the second round today (thursday), but the whole day's play was washed out by rain there, I believe .. In doubles yesterday, the Uberoi sisters, who had a wildcard entry, went down in a tough one - 64 57 16 to Liga Dekmeijere and Anzela Zguna of Latvia ..

Mustafa Ghouse is at the $15K Britain F5 futures in Bath .. He lost 16 36 in the first round to the British wildcard Faris Khatib though .. I am rather puzzled about whatever has happened to Mustafa's singles game .. He continues to cook in doubles though .. Seeded second, Mustafa and Scott Lipsky (USA) won the first rouond today, 76(4) 62 over Lee Childs and Joshua Goodall of GBR.

Finally some good news from the Indian juniors who are on the asian ITF grade-1 circuit tour .. At the Mitsubishi Lancer ITF in Manila, Vivek Shokeen has reached the QF ..Here are the scores for this week .. [R1] Madura Ranganathan (IND,229) d. Kristina Ufimtseva (RUS,272), 64 76(1) .. [R2] l. (8) I-Hsuan Hwang (TPE,66), 06 16 .. Vivek, Sanam, and Sandhya had first round byes .. [R2] (13) Sanam K. Singh (IND,109) l. Charl Wolmarans (RSA,306) 62 57 16 .. [R2] (13) Sandhya Nagaraj (IND,104) d. (Q) Michelle Pang (GUM,810), 60 60 .. [R3] vs (7) Amina Rakhim (KAZ,52) [I have not found the score yet for this match] ..[R2] (1) Vivek Shokeen (IND,46) d. (WC) Michael Adrian Basco (PHI,920), 61 61 .. [R3] d. Jiri Kosler (CZE,124), 46 61 64 .. [QF] vs Samuel Groth (AUS,161) .. The QF gives 17 year old Vivek Shokeen 60 ITF points, raising his best-6 total by 30 more points, which is enough to take his rank up to about #38 as the highest ranked Indian junior, just moving ahead of #43 Jeevan who is a year younger and had to skip these evnts due to a small injury (he will be back next week at Japan, I believe) .. In addition, Vivek and Sanam have also reached the doubles QF there.

Mar 30 Notes

The 5th seeds Mahesh and Woodbridge moved into the QF at the Miami Masters, with an easy 63 64 win over Travis Parrott and Graydon Oliver of USA .. They play the QF this afternoon against old friends, the 3rd seeds Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi ..

Leander and Zimonjic are off for next week but have entered the list for the Monte Carlo masters in the week after, starting on Apr 11th .. Not sure why, but Mahesh and Woodbridge have not entered that tournament.

Excellent work by Neha Uberoi (USA) at the qualies for the $25K Augusta challenger .. #298 Neha was seeded 6th and qualified into the main draw with a 64 64 win over Amanda Johnson (USA,810) and then a blitzkrieg 61 61 win over the 9th seed Jaslyn Hewitt (AUS,312) .. Due to rains, the two-round qualies wer all delayed for a couple of days and they played most of both rounds only yesterday .. In the main draw today, Neha faces Tatiana Poutchek (BLR,226) .. Shikha Uberoi is the 4th seed in the main draw, and she plays Christina Wheeler (AUS,301) today .. Shikha and Neha also got a wildcard to the douobles main draw  .. Their opponents are the Latvian pair, Liga Dekmeijere and Anzela Zguna.

The $15K+H in Bangalore has not gone according to the script so far, as only one Indian, Prakash Amritraj remains in the QF, and three of the semifinalists last week on clay bit the plexipave (oops, dust) this week ..  Mankad went down in a 36 67(5) loss to Denis Istomin, who has now beaten him twice this year - both times playing very good tennis, reportedly .. Mankad took some time to get going in the match, after the move from the slippery surface last week to a much faster surface this week.  By the time he got into the match it was too late .. I suppose the 11 match win streak had to end somewhere .. Also going down in the R1 were the semifinalists from last week 2nd seed jamie Delgado and young Karan Rastogi .. In the second round today, Rohan Bopanna could not do anything much against the 3rd seed Simon Greul, and Vishal Uppal (who had got a retirement from Vijay Kannan yesterday) went down against top seed Aisam Qureshi .. Vinod Sridhar put up a fight in the second set but he too lost today .. That leaves us with Prakash, who seems to be in ominous form this week after a week of rest .. When he is healthy and his aggerssion works, he strangles people quite fast .. He had a very good straight sets win over Pakistan's Aqueel Khan yesterday and had an impressive 60 63 bomb attack of Nick Monroe (USA) today .. Prakash runs into Jasper Smit (NED) next ..See the Bangalore futures page for all the scores.

The Indian juniors, Vivek Shokeen, Sanam Singh, Sadhya Nagaraj and Madura Ranganathan are at the grade-1 ITF juniors in Manila this week .. Hopefully they would all finally get going .. I have hardly reported their scores, because nobody has won even two rounds in the last two weeks at Malaysia and Thailand .. On top of it, the highest ranked junior,  Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, injured his toes on the very first point he played at Malaysia and had to return to India .. I believe he will go back out after a 3 week rest to Japan .. Looking for nice news this week from Manila.

Mar 29 Notes

Imran Mirza tells me that Sania Mirza withdrew from the Dinan challenger next week only as a precautionary thing, as she felt she could use a bit more rest to make sure that she won't be playing too much as the ankle slowly heals.  It is good to be careful in these things .. That would give her a good break of at least 3-4 weeks, which is sorely needed before the Fed Cup and all that .. Hopefully she will be physically 100% by then, but one week at a time right now! .. Also, she needs to get the ankle taken care of, before she can do serious training - it has been a while since she has been able to do serious lower body training either because of that .. Good plan, I say!

Shikha Uberoi, seeded 4th, is drawn against a qualifier to be determined, at the $25K Augusta Challenger in Georgia, USA.

Mar 28 Notes

Mahesh and Woodbridge advanced at the Miami masters yesterday with a 76(3) 62 win over Jiri Novak and David Rikl of CZE, but Leander and Zimonjic had a tough loss in a 2 hour 45 minute match against Jose Acasuso of Argentina and Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador, going down in a three-stter, 67(7) 76(8) 36 ..  Very close match which ended with 119 points to LP-NZ and 122 points to the winners .. Mahesh and Woodbridge play the second round tomorrow against the American pair, Graydon Oliver and Travis Parrot .. That match is scheduled for 11 am there.

At the $15K+H "KSLTA" Bangalore ITF futures, only doubles matches were done in the main draw, with one good upset by (who else) Karan Rastogi and Ashutosh Singh who beat a pretty darn good Pakistani pair, Aisam Qureshi and Aqeel Khan (who had even beaten Paradorn Srichaph an and Danai Udomchoke in Pakistan's big win over Thailand recently in Lahore) .. A 76(7) 64 upset for our boys .. Heck, at least they managed to beat the Pakistanis, unlike the spineless show that our "world beater" cricketers had today .. Mankad-Sunil and Ajay-Vishal were the other two pairs to make QFs in doubles .. Earlier in the day the qualifying final round was conpleted with only one Indian, P.ravishankar advancing to the main draw .. The field is tougher than even at Chennai  .. Harsh as the 5th seed and Prakash as the 7th seed are the only Indian seeds .. QWuite a few interesting matchups in the first round .. Take a look at the Bangalore futures page .. It does not look like we will have much direct coverage and match reports from there, unlike last week at Chennai.

I still have not seen the main draw for the $25K challenger in Augusta (Georgia, USA), where Shikha Uberoi  is playing .. Neha Uberoi (USA,298) is the 6th seed in the qualies and was drawn against Amanda Johnson (USA,810) .. Not sure if all the matches got done yesterday and I am still awaiting today's scores as well .. Also in action is Sunitha Rao (USA) this week, who is at the $25K Poza Rica challenger in Mexico .. #179 SR is seeded 7th and plays Clarissa Fernandez (MEX,217).

The ITF lists Sania Mirza to have withdrawn today from the $75K Dinan challenger in France next week .. Will find out what is up, but I assume she decided to take a bit more rest to get healthy and bring the ankle back to 100% .. That challenger did not offer a whole lot of points and she had entered mainly to get some clay practice ..


.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on Mar 28 ..


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