Notes for the week ending on May 12, 2003
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May 12 Note-1
MB-Mirnyi are the 2nd seeds, in the bottom half of the draw and LP-Rikl are the 5th seeded in the top half of the draw at the $2.45M Hamburg Masters on clay in Germany .. Both with first round byes .. Actually, for LP-Rikl, who really need to get moving on the clay surface with some wins before the French Open, it would have been preferable not to get a bye and have to face a team with good match practice on the court surface .. #2 MB-MM get the winners of the match between Tomas Cibulec/ Pavel Vizner (CZE) vs Michael Kohlmann/ Rainer Schuettler (GER) .. LP-Rikl face the winners of the match between Joshua Eagle (AUS)/ Jared Palmer (USA) and David Adams (RSA)/ Gaston Etlis (ARG) .. The good news is that Nishank qualified into doubles with one win; with Ervin Eleskovic (SWE) he beat Cameron Hobbs (AUS)/ Chris Morris (GBR) 61 62 .. They face the wildcards (WC)Rodrigo Brito/Martim Manoel (POR) in the R1 .. Saurav-Saurav made the doubles draw directly, and will play Tiago Godinho (POR)/ Riccardo Rondinelli (ITA) in the R1.
Srinath Prahlad, retired but still seemingly itching to play once in a while (:-)), is in the final qualies today at the $10K Jamaica F5 futures .. [Q1] S.Prahlad d. Haydn Lewis (BRA) 75 06 64 .. [Q2] d. Jamal Parker (USA) 62 62 .. [Q3] vs #15 Ryan Moore (USA).
Sonal Phadke had to withdraw from this week's second leg of the $20K 4-week women's ITF circuit, due to a knee(?) injury .. Unfourtunate .. The action is at Delhi .. Sanaa Bhambri will play doubles with sister Ankita, but Sanaa is not trying singles .. See the draws at the satellite 2nd leg page.
May 11 Note-2
Good work by Sunil Kumar at the Uzbekistan challenger qualies .. Seeded 7th, he has reached the final qualies set for Monday .. [Q1] #7 Sunil Kumar Sipaeya d. Eliran Dooyev (ISR) 64 76(2) .. [Q2] d. Michail Filima (UKR) 6-3 6-0 .. He now has a tough match against the 2nd seed Peter Capkovic (SVK) in the final qualies .. He went down in the doubles qualies though - [Q1] Vadim Davletshin/ Serguei Pozdnev (RUS) vs (2)Sergei Krotiouk (RUS)/ Sunil K Sipaeya 26 61 62 .. IN the main draw, Rohan Bopanna is adrawn against the 8th seed Louis Vosloo (RSA) .. In doubles, Rohan and Jonathan Erlich (ISR) are seeded 3rd and face Radoslav Lukaev (BLR)/ Dmitri Vlasov (RUS)
May 11 Note-1
The ten-match win streak ended for Mahesh and max yesterday, as they had their first loss on clay this year, in the semis at the $2.45M Rome Masters .. [SF] #2 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi l. Wayne Arthurs/ Paul Hanley (AUS), 67(6) 36 .. Seemed to be a close match in the first set .. MB-MM fought back from a break down at 4-5 to break the other guys and send it to a tiebreaker .. They dropped a minibreak at 6-6 and the set was over .. The second set started with a blitzkrieg from the Aussiues who won 12 of the first 14 points including a break in the second game to lead 3-0 .. Our guys were down 15-40 to hold serve in the 4th game and it went from there to the end of the match, with the Aussies hardly losing many points on their serve in the second .. Off to the Hamburg Masters next starting Monday.
Harsh Mankad made some amends for his early ouster in singles by reaching the doubles final at the Carcavelos (first) leg of the Portuguese satellites .. [R1] #2 Harsh Mankad/ James Shortall (NZL) d. Diogo Rocha/ Leonardo Tavares (POR) 75 63 .. [QF] d. (q) Saurav Panja/ Saurav Sukul 62 36 61 .. [SF] d. Pedro Leao/ Rui Machado (POR), 67(4) 63 75 .. [F] Harsh Mankad/ James Shortall (NZL) l. Iverson Barros/ Lucas Engel (BRA), 36 36 .. Harsh and the two Sauravs go to the second leg at Espinho next week .. The 3rd leg is also at Espinho with the masters following at Miramar (Arcozelo) ..
The Indian girls again had trouble keeping the 1-0 lead, like in the semis, and went down 1-2 to Taiwan in the 3rd place match at the Asia-Oceania regionals today at Kuala Lumpur today .. #2 Sanaa Bhambri d. Yu-Ting Lin, 62 61 .. #1 Tara Iyer l. Wen-Hsin Hsu, 16 16 .. Kartiki Bhat/ T.Iyer l. W-H.Hsu/ Y-T.Lin, 62 75 [source: Bernama news agency, Malaysia] .. Our girls seemed to play their best stuff till we made the semis and qualified for the world group, but no heroics after that .. Worse still, Japan won the title today beating Thailand - and we had beaten Japan in the 2nd pool tie, winning both singles matches to top our pool earlier .. Oh well, that is how it goes .. Congrats to the very young team (Tara is still 14 and Sanaa was 14 till a few weeks back - they can both return next year too, technically for Junior Fed Cup u16s) for making the world group ..
Next week we have the Hamburg Masters for LP,MB, Uzbekistan challenger for Rohan Bopanna (and Sunil Kumar, probably in the qualies ongoing now), and Espinho satellite leg for Harsh Mankad (and Panja and Sukul) .. Indian satellites second leg (Delhi) for the women .. Etc, etc .. Also saw Prahlad Srinath (!) listed in the Jamaica $10K futures qualies - not sure what he is doing there.
May 10 Notes
MB-MM play the semis at Rome in a couple of hours ..
Isha Lakhani won the singles title today at Indore in straight sets over Shruti Dhawan who must have really had nothing left in the tanks after four cnsecutive three-setters and three doubles wins this week .. Isha is a handful for even anybody healthy, though! .. Shruti and Sheetal won the doubles title over Liza and Archana .. See the Indore satellite page for all the scores .. The players now go to Delhi for the next leg ..
At the u16 Junior Fed Cup Asia-Oceania regionals today, India fell in the semis .. THA(4) d. INDIA(2) 2-1 .. #2 Sanaa Bhambri d. Nudnida Luangnam 75 76(5) .. #1 Tara Iyer l. Pichittra Thongdach 16 36 .. Kartiki Bhat/ S.Bhambri l. N.Luangnam/ P.Thongdach 64 67(4) 26 .. Pity that we had the tie almost in our hands, up a set and in a tiebreaker in the doubles match .. In the other semi: JPN d. TPE(1), 3-0 .. That shows what a good win we had earlier against Japan in the pool .. Wish we could be in the final against them, but today seems to have not been our day. In the 5-8th placements ties today, KOR d. MAS 3-0, INA d. NZL 2-1.
May 9 Note-2
The mad-max pair's torrid run continues, as they won their 10th in a row since coming back together at the Estoril Open .. At the Rome Masters this evening, [QF] #2 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi d. #8 J.Eagle/ J.Palmer, 61 67(4) 64 .. In the semifinal tomorrow, they play the Aussies, Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley tomorrow.
Sunitha Rao went down 36 36 against Anna Kournikova (RUS,72) today at the Sea Island challenger .. Anna is of course a much better player than her ranking shows - she has had many injury problems lately which was partly the reason for her rank to fall from the top-10 levels she had not so long ago .. Anyway, you have to give her respect, for the willingness to go out and play a challenger, just to get match practice on clay to get back to form. After a shaky first round when she held on for dear life, she has won two rounds well to recah the semis.
Harsh Mankad and James Shortall beat Saurav Panja and Saurav Sukul, 62 36 61 at Portugal .. They play the Portuguese team, Pedro Leao and Rui Machado tomorrow in the semi.
Isha Lakhani got some good resistance from Liza pereira but reached the final at the first leg of the India women's satellites, with a usual charged-up match in three sets .. Shruti Dhawan played her fourth consecutive 3-setters to beat Sheetal in the other semi .. See the Indore satellite page.
May 9 Note-1
The Indian u16 girls team also has reached the world group final-16! .. At the Kuala Lumpur regionals today, [QF] #2 India d. #3 Korea 2-1 .. #2 Sanaa Bhambri d. Ye-Ra Lee 60 63 .. #1 Tara Iyer d. Hae-Sung Kim 26 64 61 .. Kartiki Bhat/ T.Iyer l. Hye-Mi Byun/ Y-R.Lee 67(3) 26 .. Another gritty comeback win from Tara Iyer! .. We play the 4th seed Thailand next, as the top seeds Taipei who have not played anybody good yet, get another unseeded team, Japan - though Japan showed that they are quite good, with a 3-0 win over group-2 second placer Indonesia .. The four semifinalists will go to Germany for the world final-16 in september .. It is quite impressive that India has qualified to the world group twice in a row, with different players in singles .. Last year it was Sania and Ankita .. This time it is Sanaa and Tara .. Kartiki was the 3rd player last year and she is the 3rd player this time too (I hope one of these days she will get to play singles! -- but she is the floor general for doubles and has pulled us through some tough spots) ..
The Hindu reported yesterday that only Sania Mirza has made the direct entry at the French Open juniors .. Both Somdev and Karan will be in the qualies, though both should be seeded high .. Tara Iyer also will be in the qualies (actually AITA says she has not made the qualifying entry, but I assume she will make it in the end, with her #78 ranking) ..
MB-MM play the QF today at the Rome masters - a night match against the 8th seeds Eagle-Palmer.
May 8 Note-2
At the Rome Masters, MB-Mirnyi continued their unbeaten streak, but Lp_Rikl still seem to be not in the kind of form on clay, that they had for the hard court season .. [R2] M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi d. A.Calleri/ G.Coria, 76(2) 76(6) .. [R2] #4 L.Paes/ D.Rikl l. R.Federer/ P.Srichaphan, 46 36.
Sunitha Rao beat the young wildcard Michelle Mitchell today, 60 62, at the $25K Sea Island challenger and will play the second seed Anna Kournikova in the quarterfinal tomorrow .. Sunitha had also won the doubles first round yesterday - SR and Lauren Kalvaria d. Allison Bradshaw and Amy Frazier (USA), 62 46 61 [correction later -- they lost to Bradshaw-Frazier by that score :-( ]
At the Carcavelos (POR) satellite, second seeded Harsh Mankad and James Shortall (NZL) beat Diogo Rocha and Leonardo Tavares of Portugal, 75 63 to reach the QF where they will play qualifiers Saurav Panja and Saurav Sukul who beat the wildcards Hugo Anao/ Manuel Costa-Matos (POR) 75 64 .. So at least one Indian will be in the semis there.
At the Indore satellite, Sonal Phadke and Ankita Bhambri were upset today by Liza Pereira and Shruti Dhawan respectively .. Shruti has now played three 3-setters in a row, which is a lot of effort in the burning heat up there .. See the leg-1 satellite page for scores.
May 8 Note-1
After first round byes, LP and MB play the R2 matches today at the 2.45M Masters at Rome .. #4 L.Paes/ D.Rikl vs Roger Federer (SUI)/ Paradorn Srichaphan (THA) .. #2 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi vs Agustin Calleri (ARG)/ Guillermo Coria (ARG)
5th seeded Sunitha Rao advanced to the second round with a comeback 36 62 61 over qualifier Allison Bradshaw (USA, 453) yesterday at the $25K Sea aisland Cloister Cup challenger in Georgia, USA .. She gets a 16 year old wildcard next - Michelle Mitchell (USA).
Saurav Panja's upset run ended in the second round in the first leg of the POR satellites .. He lost today 26 06 to Tiago Godinho of Portugal .. No doubles news yet about Harsh and the Saurav pair.
I had updated the scores from Indore in the leg-1 satellite page yesterday .. No upsets at all in the second round and everybody took their "appointed places" in the quarterfinals.
Indian u16 girls made the quarterfinals of the Asia-Oceania Fed Cup regionals today at Kuala Lumpur .. INDIA (2) d. JAPAN 2-1 .. #2 Sanaa Bhambri d. Megumi Fukui 75 62 .. #1 Tara Iyer d. Mari Tanaka 26 62 62 .. Kartiki Bhat/ S.Bhambri l. M.Tanaka/ M.Fukui 75 67(1) 16 .. In other matchups today, TPE(1) d. PHI 3-0, THA(4) d. KOR(3) 2-1, INA d. HKG 3-0 .. India ends up with the 3rd seeds Korea after all this, in the QFs .. Korea lost 2-1 ties to both 4th seed Thailand and unseeded Indonesia in the second group, and finished 3rd in the group .. That puts them against us .. Top seeds Taiwan had an easy group with Malaysia and Philippines and now gets New Zealand in the QF - they could as well have been sent straight into the world group :-) .. India still has a tough tie to play to make it to the final four.
May 7 Note-2
Good news sometimes comes from unexpected quarters .. How about this - Saurav Panja, the forgotten man in Indian tennis (remember that unforgettable run to the Chennai Open doubles finals with Srinath?), made the main draw as the second lucky loser at the Portuguese satellites and proceeded to pull off a memorable win, upsetting the top seed Bernanrdo Mota (POR, 284), 26 63 64 in the featured afternoon match! .. Mota is the Portuguese national champion and Davis Cup #1 .. Wow, and yetunnudder Wow! .. The top two seeds fall in big upsets out there today .. Saurav now gets Tiago Godinho (POR) in the second round.
May 7 Note-1
Yikes, bad news from all around .. Thank God for at least our u16 girls pulling through in a comeback for some good news.
Harsh Mankad was upset this morning at the Portuguese satellite first leg first round .. Loss to qualifier Javier Foronda-Bolanos (ESP), 46 64 36 .. He may be needing some more red clay practice, but at least he played a good match .. Doubles remains for him.
Sunil Kumar was not at the Kuwait futures only because he was in Uzbekistan, as I just found out .. He must have gone there because there is a challenger next week there .. He had to play qualies, made it in, but lost yesterday in the first round .. Here are the scores -[Q1] #5 Sunil Kumar Sipaeya d. (wc) Timur Shamuradov (UZB) 61 63 .. [Q2] d. #12 Nathan Healey (AUS) 62 52 (retd.) .. I just added that dude Healey into my persona non-grata list for retiring that late in a match, just to show that he was injured - this thing always drives me crazy, as that only shows one's lack of sportsman spirit (unless one is literally unable to stand to face four serves or lift the hand for serving four times) .. Those who have self-confidence in their game would not feel the need to "show" the world that it was injury that caused a loss - if you feel you are good for many wins down the line, why care to make such silly statements to the world? .. Back to Sunil Kumar - bad news yesterday in the main draw - [R1] (q) Alexey Kedriouk (KAZ) d. (q) Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND) 26 63 64 .. In the doubles qualies Q1, #2 Sergei Krotiouk/ Serguei Pozdnev (RUS) d. Moti Maaravi (ISR) and Sunil, 62 62 .. despite the losses, he got some match practice after a few weeks .. Good to know that he has got past the arm (shoulder?) injuries and is back in the circuit again.
Speaking of sportsman spirit, I just found this article in the latest Sports Star, by Nandakumar Marar, that has some comments from Akgul Amanmuradova, after winning the $10K titles at Mumbai .. She talked about how impressed she is about the Indian players's on court behavior, especially Sai and Rushmi .. Quoting the article - "I am impressed with the way Indians in particular react in match situations. Players like Rushmi (Chakravarthy), Sai (Jayalakshmy) are so focussed, the way they remain cool on big points when line calls or decisions go against them is something I want to do.'' .... The contrast in behaviour is striking, for an Uzbeki used to seeing tantrums on court. "In my country, even kids can be seen throwing racquets and shouting when decisions go against them,'' said the 19-year-old .. There was one incident of a senior second-string male player (name withheld) doing a last game withdrawal in a satellite match in India, whom I criticized then for the bad spirit .. I saw the guy himself mention later how that was in poor spirit though, and he was back in my good guy list (:-)) .. By and large, Indian players do learn to be good citizens on court, and I hope we continue that tradition .. That does not mean you should go soft and lose your killer instinct on court .. Leander Paes may not be a bad model for this -- he rarely throws any ugly tantrums (only rare cases reported about him shouting bad words or anything, and he does sometimes question line calls in stern but clean language to the umpire) .. Anybody who has played him knows though that his killer instinct on court is unquestionable - especially in Davis Cups where he also has some routines of staring and intimidating people!
Geeta Manohar, who would have been the 8th seed was a no-show at the $10K Surabaya satellites .. There have been all kinds of no-shows all over the place lately (not just by Indians), due to travel problems and SARS hassles.
The Indian girls beat New Zealand in a comeback, 2-1, to ensure a place in the QFs at the Asia-Oceania regionals .. #2 Sanaa Bhambri l. Ellen Barry 63 46 46 .. #1 Tara Iyer d. Shona Lee 61 63 .. Kartiki Bhat/ S.Bhambri d. E.Barry/ Brittany Teei 61 61 .. Results so far - (Day 1) MAS d. PHI 3-0, KOR(3) d. HKG 3-0, THA(4) d. INA 2-1, JPN d. NZL 2-1; (Day 2) TPE(1) d. MAS 3-0, THA(4) d. HKG 3-0, INA d. KOR(3) 2-1 .. With CHN, AUS, UZB, KAZ all missing, and a 10 team field, I assume only two will miss the QFs .. Looks like PHI and HKG would be the ones. Not sure of how they will place teams for the QFs, but topping the our pool would be needed to avoid a seeded team in the QFs .. India needs to beat JPN tomorrow for that .. They may not be easy .. The JPN #2 player had beaten the NZL #2 by a 62 61 score while Sanaa lost to the same player today .. A bit surprised at what happened to Sanaa there today .. Anyway, good comeback by Tara and then by Sanaa-Kartiki ..
I have updated the Indian tennis calendar linkes from the Calendar/rankings/results page .. There are men's futures (in Karnataka?) listed for later in the year now.
May 6 Note-2
OK, finally found the results from Indore - I have updated theIndore satellite page .. No surprises today, except that Shruti Dhawan struggled against a qualifier, Rani Smita and had to come back from the brink in a 3-setter .. The Rajur sisters have played well so far, both qualifiers advancing, but now they get the tough opponents - the top two seeds Sonal and Sheetal .. Priyanka put up some resistance to Isha before going down.
May 6 Note-1
LP and MB will be playing the doubles R2 at the Rome masters only on thursday, as there are still first round matches to be done.
Harsh Mankad plays his R1 match at Carcavelos, POR, tomorrow; half of the R1 matches were done today .. Good news from Saurav Panja and Saurav Sukul - they qualified into the doubles draw with a win over Gael Monfils and Josselin Ouanna (FRA) 67(4) 63 76(5) today .. They play a wildcard Portuguese pair, Hugo Anao and Manuel Costa-Matos in the R1 .. Saurav is the first in line for a lucky loser spot if anybody doesn't show up tomorrow in singles.
Sunitha Rao's first round at the $25K Sea Island challenger is tomorrow .. She plays Allison Bradshaw (USA) .. In doubles she is playing with Lauren Kalvaria (USA) and they face Allison Bradshaw (USA) and Amy Frazier (USA).
Sunil Kumar was a no-show at the Kuwaut futures where he was in the draw as the 3rd seed .. I guess he is still injured, but he has been racking up some fines with no-shows, I guess (either that or there was travel problems to Kuwait) .. Vishal Punna (IND) again went down in the R1 after a good fight there to the same guy he lost to last week - qualifier Horia Tecau (ROM), 64 16 36 .. Vishal seems to have withdrawn from doubles as well.
No news at all yet, from Indore on the satellites, as the ever-reliable The Hindu did not carry any reports online today .. The Indore-based Hindi newspaper (Nai Dunia) asks for Rs 1000 online subscription, without even showing the headlines of what stuff they have on their sports page - I would have paid the money if I knew they were covering the event, but I hate that kind of attitide form a newspaper; sorry! .. Will wait for official spreadsheets to come by.
Geeta Manohar is the 8th seed at the $10K satellite in Surabaya, Indonesia and she plays Gina Fahaiyena (INA), an unranked 15 year old ..
The indian u16 girls team will play their first round robin tie tomorrow at Kuala Lumpur in the Junior Fed Cup regionals .. here are the groupings - Group One: Chinese Taipei (1), Philippines, Malaysia ... Group Two: Korea (3), Thailand (4), China HongKong, Indonesia ... Group Three: India (2), Japan, New Zealand .. Due to SARS fears, Australia, Uzbekistan, Kazhakhstan did not come for this and so only three groups .. Not sure of the format, but I suppose the top two from each group, plus two more would make the quarterfinals? ..
May 5 Note-2
5th seeded Sunitha Rao is in the same quarter as the second seed Anna Kournikova at the Sea Island challenger in the USA which must have already turned into some sort of a media zoo with all the Anna-mania going on .. She plays a qualifier in the first round (TBD) and then the winner of two wildcards, Michelle Mitchell and Siby Parker .. If the rankings hold up, she will be up against Anna in the QF .. With Maria Sharapova also in the bottom half of the draw, this $25K+H challenger has quite an interesting field.
2nd seeded Harsh Mankad plays qualifier Javier Foronda-Bolanos (ESP,1188) in the first round of the first leg of the 4-week $25K Portuguese satellites, at Carcavelos .. In doubles 411th ranked Harsh is seeded second with a decent doubles partner, James Shortall (NZL,611) .. They play Diogo Rocha and Leonardo Tavares of Portugal first .. The top seed at the satellites is #284 Bernardo Mota, the highest-ranked Portuguese, who is the national champion and Davis Cup #1 for them .. Three Indians were in the qualies .. Saurav Panja, the 9th seed, fell in the final qualies to the 8th seed.. [Q1] Bye, [Q2] d. Jorge Godinho (POR) 61 62, [Q3] l. #8 Iverson Barros (BRA) 46 57 .. Saurav Sukul fell in the Q2, to 3rd seed Jose Luis Lara (ESP) 26 06 .. Nishank Mishra also fell in the Q2 after a bye, 46 16 to Martim Manoel (POR) .. In the doubles qualies Q1, the #1 seeds Panja and Sukul beat Daniele Cerboneschi (ITA) and Ervin Eleskovic (SWE) 62 36 63 and face #2 seeds Gael Monfils and Josselin Ouanna of France in the final qualies.
At the first leg of the $20K ITF India S1 women's satellite at Indore today, the schedule was rather light with hardly any seeds playing .. See the results at the Indore satellites page.
May 5 Note-1
LP and MB will both be at the $2.45M Rome Masters this week after a couple of weeks of rest .. MB with Max Mirnyi, seeded second and LP with David Rikl, seeded 4th .. Both have first round byes .. MB-DR play the winners of Agustin Calleri/ Guillermo Coria (ARG) vs Frantisek Cermak/ Leos Friedl (CZE) and LP-DR pay the winners of Marat Safin/ Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs Roger Federer (SUI)/ Paradorn Srichaphan (THA) ..The R2 matches won't be before wednesday.
The draw for Sunitha Rao at the $25K Sea Island challenger in Georgia, US, should be known by tomorrow .. This event is suddenly getting a lot of interest because of Anna Kournikova, mired in a big ranking slump, deciding to play there.
Harsh Mankad starts the $25K four-week satellites in Portugal, all legs on red clay .. The first leg this week is at Carcavelos, POR - the main draw starts tomorrow .. Saurav Panja was the 9th seed in the qualifying draw for the first week, with Nishank Mishra and Saurav Sukul also in the draw, all with byes into the round of 32 for 8 qualifier spots .. No results yet.
Sunil Kumar is the 3rd seed at the $10K futures in Kuwait .. He plays a wildcard, Ali Sherif (UAE), in the R1 .. Vishal Punna is also there, and he plays a qualifier, Horia Tecau (ROM) - the same guy who beat him in the R2 last week.
The u16 girls are at Kuala Lumpur for the junior Fed Cup regionals.
I have started a page for the "BSNL" -sponsored Indore $5K satellite leg .. See the draws at the Indore satellites page .. Most of the top Indian girls are there, starting with Sonal Phadke as the top seed .. Geeta Manohar is the only Indian listed for a foreign satellite - at the $10K in Surabaya, Indonesia.
.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on May 5 ..
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.