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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for week ending on May 3, 1999

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May 3 Note-1

I will post the Hamburg Super 9 doubles draw soon .. Some good teams are there - Knowles/Nestor are the second seeds behind LP-MB .. A doubles note from the weekend, The Woodies were in the final of the small $325K Altanta tournament, but lost to Galbraith-Gimelstob .. The Woodies will come back up to #3, I believe.

The 3rd leg of the women's satellites started today at New Delhi - I have started the Delhi satellite page with the seeds list and some matchups .. It's frighteningly hot in Delhi, but they will play the matches, starting as early as 8 am ! .. There has been one upset already today - the 8th seed Harsimran got upset by Nikita Bhardwaj in a clash of two teenagers .. The top six seeds have first round byes, and the 7th seed SK Tara is playing only tomorrow .. Anna Nefedova won today .. By the way, the top seed this time is Radhika Tulpule ! .. I guess that's what you call "doing it in style" - she was unseeded in the first two legs and now she is the top seed as the 3rd leg's seeding are based on the points from the first two legs - with a title and a QF, she tops the list now (I have added the point list standings after two legs, based on what I think is the point table used, in the Bangalore satellites page - take a look) .. Interestingly 3 teenagers, Radhika, Shruti and Sheetal are in the top-5 ..

May 2 Notes

I have not seen the doubles draw at the Hamburg super 9 yet .. Our dudes will be the top seeds and will once again have a first round bye .. I hate byes .. It is better to get an easy first game and get going at a place, rather than face some good team in the second round and get shocked like last week .. LP and MB would prefer the extra two days rest though! .. They won't be playing till wednesday or Thursday.

So how about Shruti getting her second satellite title ? .. Make that two 17 yr olds winning the first two legs .. The way she completely took out Rushmi in the final two sets in the 36 60 60 final is impressive .. The newspaper reports say that she did everything right, and seemed to not want to lose focus at any point - all good signs .. She has now won 9 of the last 10 satellite matches (October satellite masters and this - the one loss was to Harsimran Kaur last week) .. Shruti beat Rushmi and Sai in the semi and final at Delhi in October, and beat Sai and Rushmi once again here .. I had heard some "rumors" that Shruti lucked out a bit in October because Sai had a stomach upset in the final .. But now I don't think I will believe all that .. I think our youngsters are beginning to give the "veterans" (not really all that much older themselves) a run for the money .. Radhika and Shruti winning titles in a row is great .. OK, now I am waiting to see Sheetal get one title too .. :-) .. The doubles final went to Sai and Rushmi who beat the Venkatraman sisters in a 3rd set tiebreaker .. See the Bangalore satellites page.

By the way nice reports on the satellites again from wire services as well as Kalyan Ashok in The Hindu and Prajwal Hegde in Deccan Herald .. The funny titles have all been in the Indian Express though - yesterday they said, "Shruti heaves a Sai" after her semi win .. They had one headline last week - "Radhika has the final Sai" .. Another good recent pun in one of the newspapers - "stars deserted SK Tara" .. :-)

At the AITA mini- and sub-juniors tournament in Mumbai, the u-16 titles went to Pratim Parikh (Mah) and Nandita Chandrashekhar of TN .. Pratim beat Chandrashekhar Mohanty who won the title last week at Bangalore .. Nandita had a final against state-mate Samrita Shekhar for the second week in a row .. She has been basically unbeatable for a while now - I say watch out for her .. 7th seed Vikram Aditya Menon won the boys u-14 title (told you he was seeded too low!) nd the girls u-14 went to 6th seed Deepa Chakraborty (Guj), who pulled the big upset over Lata Asudani who had won the title last week .. See the Mumbai subjuniors page.

May 1 Notes

Just saw the draw and the results from today's first round singles qualifier first for the Hamburg Super 9, and LP is not there .. I don't know why not - he may have chosen to take a longer break till later next week when the doubles start .. Shruti won the title today at the second leg of the satellites ! .. I have also updated the scores I have seen from the Mumbai subjunior tournament .. More later ..

Apr 30 Note-2

At the Indonesia F2 Futures today, Srinath and Fazal seem to have lost in the semifinal of doubles, 3-6, 4-6 to Hideki Kaneko and Mitsuru Takada of Japan (source: Republica, Indonesia - take it as unconfirmed as the news was not in English!) ..

I had forgotten about the Asia-Oceania qualifiers for the world Junior tennis, which is this week - I believe in Japan or somewhere .. Need to look for some news on how the Indian kids are doing there.

Apr 30 Note-1

LP must hopefully be reaching Hamburg for the Super 9 singles qualies tomorrow (But you never know, as LP hates playing qualifying rounds :-)) .. LP and MB will be the top seeds in doubles, which of course goes without saying when you have the top two players in a team!

According to the PTI wire, 6th seed Shruti Dhawan upset Sai Jayalakshmi 7-6(0), 7-6(2), and 4th seed Rushmi beat 2nd seed Archana Venkatraman, 6-1, 6-3 in today's semifinals at the women's ITF satellites leg-2 .. So, once again we will have a teenager in the final .. Shruti has been reportedly having a back problem for the last couple of months which prevented her from playing a whole lot, and even resorted to some underhand serving to give the back a respite once in a while in the QF yesterday .. Not bad to still upset the top seed .. Sai has been flirting with an upset from yesterday though as Sheetal let her off the hook in the QF .. It is pretty exciting to see the exploits of this teenage trio of Shruti and Sheetal and Radhika .. Rushmi has been quietly having a good tournament, as she is in the final of doubles also .. See the Bangalore satellites page.

In the semifinals of the under-14 events today (Friday) at the AITA mini- and sub-junior tournament in Mumbai, 7th seeded Vikram Aditya Menon of TN upset the 2nd seed Saurabh Kohli (Mah) to reach the final against 6th seed Sujay Mahadevan (Mah) .. I am not sure if I should call it an upset though .. Frankly, I had felt that some of the seedings were a bit strange out there .. Vikram was perhaps a bit lower seeded than he should have been ? .. I am sure that's how their subjunior points work though .. Sujay beat P Vikas (AP) who had upset the top seed Rohit Raju (Del) yesterday in the QF .. In the girls' U-14 semis, top seed Lata Asudani "crushed" Krushmi Chedda, 62 61, and Deepa Chakraborty (Guj) beat Nivedita Venkatesh (TN) .. Strangely, no reports after the QFs for the u-16 events for boys and girls - the SF and F may be on saturday and sunday .. See the Mumbai subjuniors page .. I have been updating that page as and when results reports were coming out.

Apr 29 Notes

It appears, based on what I see in the Indonesian newspapers (of course, I don't know Bahasa Indonesia language to understand them, and only Indian newspapers show the courtesy of printing complete scoresheets from tennis tournaments!) that Fazaluddin lost in the first round of singles at the F2 futures there, against Mitsuru Takada (JPN,807), but has reached the semifinal of doubles with Srinath Prahlad .. Srinath was drawn to play Leigh Holland (AUS,452) in the first round, according to the draw that Steve Gocha sent me, but no idea what happened.

At Bangalore, Shruthi Dhawan upset Anna Nefedova, the 3rd seed, in three sets today .. It's good to see these 17 yr olds picking up quality wins - Shruthi has not had many good wins since her big title in the October satellite masters .. Radhika Tulpule lost surprisingly cheaply though, to Archana Venkatraman today, ending her winning streak .. The other teenager, Sheetal Gautham, had a terrific start winning the first set and leading 2-0 in the second against top seed Sai, but lost as Sai stepped on the pedal and won 12 of the next 14 games .. Rushmi beat Janaki, also in a three-setter .. In doubles, Rushmi and Sai beat Shruthi and Sheetal, once again in a three-setter .. A bunch of tough matches today, and it will certainly help the youngsters to play these against the experienced players .. See the results in the Bangalore satellites page ..

Apr 28 Note-2

Nirupama Vaidyanathan decided last week to take another couple of weeks off for practice in New York, which is why she withdrew from the events in Europe (Bol, etc) .. I am told that she felt she needed to work on a few things in her game - probably something she felt after a less than satisfying stretch in the French claycourts .. She does have some points to defend now though - she loses 14 points next week (Espinho challenger last year, I believe) .. She is at #175 this week and may drop about 10 spots next week .. She has changed her schedule a bit, and now plans to be at the Antwerp WTA event in Belgium week after next (starting May 10th, the qualifiers starting in the weekend after next) ..

At the women's satellites in Bangalore, Janaki Krishnamoorthi beat 4th seed Arthi Venkatraman .. When it's Janaki, even though she is unseeded, it's not exactly an upset .. Anna Nefedova had to go through a tough three-setter against Harsimran Kaur .. Sheetal had a deceptive scoreline of 6-0, 6-4 in a win over state-mate Shereen Yusuf, which was a 1 hr 25 minute good-quality match according to Prajwal Hegde's article in the Deccan Herald (take a look for a very nice picture of Sheetal) .. Sheetal and Shruti had a very good doubles win over Janaki and Radhika in a 3rd set tiebreaker, too .. Radhika got a walkover in singles, so she is again in the QFs .. See the results in the bangalore women's page.

Things are moving along nicely at the Mumbai AITA subjuniors tournament .. Sanaa Bhambri, reportedly just a foot taller than the net at 11 yrs of age (!) is in the SF of the u-16 event, though she lost in the QF of the u-14 event .. Nandita Chandrashekhar (u-16 top seed) continues to cruise through .. CS MOhanty had to fight a long battle today in the boys' u-16 .. Johann Fernandes in the girls u-16 SF is a name I had not noticed before .. She has had an upset over Lata Assudani in the first round ..

There is a report today that ATF (Asian Tennis Federation) has decided to award ATF points for the AITA mini- and sub-junior tounaments from July onwards .. Not sure exactly what ATF points are useful for - perhaps it helps for entries into ITF tournaments, if one does not have ITF points ? .. In other junior news, AITA has also announced a 5-week mini- and sub-junior tournament set starting May 10 .. 4 weeks of 16 tournaments in the 4 regions (each Rs 50K in scholarship money), followed by the top 32 players from the regionals playing at the national "masters" leg in Delhi (Rs 1.2 lakhs scholarship money) .. Sounds good, but why is it called "scholarship" when it is for tennis and not for studying ? .. :-) .. Just kidding ..

Apr 28 Note-1

Aha .. Just found a snippet in an Indonesian newspaper that Srinath and Fazal are out there at the the Indonesia F2 futures .. I will trace down some results out of there - I haven't seen a results sheet yet (the first round has just got done) .. They are also pairing up in doubles there .. Later, with the Bangalore satellite results, etc.

Apr 27 Note-2

At the Bangalore leg of the ITF women's satellites, there were no upsets of any seeds today either, though veteran Janaki Krishnamoorthi was stretched a bit by young Sonal Phadke, and Arthi Venkitaraman was taken to three sets by 15 yr-old Radha Devendrappa (Kar) .. Anyway, all the seeds (Sai, Archana, Anna, Rushmi, Arthi, Shruti, Sheetal, Tara) have advanced to the second round .. Also moving on, with her 6th consecutive straight sets win was Radhika Tulpule who seems to be on a roll (another 60 60 shellacking - the veictim this time being Stutti Smit, not exactly a bad player herself) .. The only seeds to lose so far were the 3rd seeds in doubles, Anna Nefedova and Simmi Rani .. See all the results in the Bangalore women's page ..

I have also updated all the results from the AITA Mumbai mini- and sub-juniors tournament through Tuesday, courtesy Indian Express .. Lata Asudani, the 3rd seed in girls u16 was upset by Johann Fernandez, but otherwise, smooth sailing for the top players so far .. 11 yr old Saana Bhambri (Del) has again had a couple of quality wins, over Nivedita Venkitesh (TN) and Iciri Rai (Kar) ..

Apr 27 Note-1

Mahesh was quoted to be saying thanks to everybody, especially his family, for the support during his climb to the top of the world in doubles .. Here is an article in today's Deccan Herald, with a picture of him arriving in Bangalore on Monday.

The next leg of the mini and sub-junior circuit is in Mumbai this week, after the Bangalore leg last week .. The results from Monday have been patchy, but take a look at the Mumbai subjuniors page.

One domestic result from the weekend - at a Calcutta tournament (Central Revenue Masters) final, the second seed Sanzaruz Zaman beat Saurav Panja in a clash of the best two youngsters from there - 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 .. Zaman got Rs 30K and Saurav picked up Rs 16K [source:  Telegraph, Calcutta] .. Sounds like it wasn't such a small tournament, based on the prize money, but I hadn't seen any reports on that earlier.

More later, with news from the Bangalore women's satellites.

Apr 26 Note-2

The new rankings show MB and LP at #1 and #2 as we had predicted .. Haarhuis is at #3 and Sandon Stolle is at #4 .. In singles, Leander and Mahesh moved up 2 spots each to #103 and #255 respectively .. Srinath is at #444 and Fazal is at #621 .. I guess we will see LP in action in 5 days at the singles qualifiers of the Hamburg Super 9 .. LP should make the quals draw if he has entered for that, but MB will probably not make it in without a wildcard or somethings (doubtful) .. The Super 9s normally have the toughest qualifiers, tougher than grand slams, due to the smaller draws ..

The second leg of the women's satellites started today at Bangalore .. No upsets, as the top seed Sai, 3rd seed Anna Nefedova (RUS), 6th seed Shruti Dhawan and 7th seed Sheetal Gautam advanced easily .. Rain delayed the start of the matches, and about half of the first round matches will be played on Tuesday .. See all the results in the Bangalore satellites page .. Archana Venkatraman, who had to skip the last week due to a shoulder problem, is playing this week and is seeded 2nd .. I believe she will miss out on the masters leg even if she pickes up enough points from two legs though, as the requirement is to play all the legs.

There were some good articles on young Radhika Tulpule's title win at Mumbai .. An interesting article, written in a rather lively style, was this one titled Radhika has the final Sai (:-)) by Arun Janardhan of the Indian Express .. Here is another one on Radhika by him .. Sharda Ugra of The Hindu continues her nice coverage of the stellites .. This week at Bangalore she is joined by Prajwal Hegde in the Deccan Herald also ..

Here is a link to an article on "the split", by Nirmal Shekhar - I believe it's in the Sports Star magazine .. Interesting reading (Thanks, Satish, for the link) .. I chose not to say much about the split here, but now that it's over, take a look at a summary - Nirmal also does not get into any gory details.

Forgot to mention the final results from the mini and sub-junior AITA tournaments in Bangalore last week (but I had posted the results on the Bangalore juniors page) .. The under-14 finals on Friday were won by Lata Asudani (Mah) over Sanaa Bhambri (hey, I am going to keep that name in mind - she is just 11 yrs old!) of Delhi and Vikrant Sane (Mah) over Rishi Behl (Mah) .. The under-16 finals on Saturday were won by Nandita Chandrashekar (TN) over Samrita Shekhar (TN), and by Chandrashekhar S. Mohanty (Del) over Amanjyot Singh (Chd) .. Nandita has won a few titles in the last year or so, but for Mohanty, it is the first title after three finals. Congrats to all.

Apr 26 Note-1

I took a day off (:-)), as nothing much was happening .. Will have updates soon again .. The second leg of the women's satellites start at Bangalore today .. The new rankings will be out soon, too .. Still waiting to see what's up with Nirupama .. LP and MB have an off-week. Fazal was supposed to start on the futures circuit soon, but I don't think he is playing this week either.

.. Previous notes are at Weekly Notes, ending Apr 26..