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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for the week ending on June 4, 2001
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2001)

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June 4 Note-1

Mahesh and Likhovtseva will be playing their mixed doubles PQF today against Martina Navratilova and Max Mirnyi .. This is the last match on court-2, and should be starting at about 7 pm (10.30 pm India .. 1 pm New York), plus or minus an hour .. Ourchat session today will be during this match.

LP gets the day off today .. Coming after a quick 57-minute doubles match and a walkover in the mixed doubles yesterday, that is good rest time for Leander, who can recharge the batteries for the stretch run in doubles from Tuesday .. LP-Lisa will play Paola Suarez and Jaime Oncins in the MxD quarterfinals, probably also on Tuesday .. Suarez and Oncins upset the 4th seeds Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Jared Palmer in the PQF.

The next set of Indian satellites starts today in Mumbai, this time for women  - 4 legs for $20K total, 5 WTA points maximum based solely on the final leg result, the entries for the final leg decided based on circuit points in the first 3 legs .. See the preview article in The Hindu .. I will add a page soon for results ..

June 3 Note-3

It seems LP-Lisa got a walkover today in the mixed doubles R2, from Testud and Florent (thanks, Anubhav, for the news) -- I will confirm soon.

LP-MB get a day off before the QF on Tuesday.  MB-Likhovtseva play their R2 tomorrow .. More later.

June 3 Note-2

Yes, the score was indeed 63 61 for the LP-MB win today and not 63 51 as the French Open site erroenously showed everywhere - They have now corrected the mistake.

The second round Mx-D match for Lisa-Leander today against Sandrine Testud and Andrew Florent should be at about 6.45 pm (10.30 pm India .. 10 am Los Angeles), plus/minus 15 min .. Once again, our chatroom is the place to be, during the match!

LP-MB's doubles QF match will be against another Czech pair, Tomas Cibulec and Leos Friedl .. That's a new pair, and a surprising entry into the QFs .. They upset the 6th seeds Mirnyi and Prinosil today in the PQF, 63 67 64 .. Not sure yet whether the QF match will be tomorrow or on Tuesday.

Manisha Malhotra (IND,363) was at the qualifying rounds for the $25K Surbitron grass challenger in Surrey, UK this weekend .. She won the first round over Yvonne Doyle (IRL,457) 63 06 64, but then fell yesterday to the 4th seed Amanda Grahame (AUS,257), 26 26 [courtesy: LTA, London] ..  Nirupama had made direct entry for the main draw, but there is a report that she may have withdrawn from there ..  Well, for some reason I never really believed that Niru would be playing a grass challenger and was surprised to see her in the entry list to start with .. I hope the withdrawal was not due to some injury problem, though .. Will try to find out.

June 3 Note-1

Is the Indian Express back again? .. Sure looks so .. [R3] M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes d. #3 J.Novak/ D.Rikl, 63 61 .. [the Fo site scoreboard says 63 51 .. Perhaps the Czech guys retired at match pt, which is a silly thing to do .. I need to confirm] .. A good old-fashioned rear-end whacking administered by our pair .. The match started with both teams holding serve till the 6th game, when LP-MB had the Czech pair down at 0-40 on Jiri Novak's serve .. They coverted their 3rd break point at 30-40 to go up to 4-2 .. Immediately in the next game, Mahesh was down 0-30 and faced a brak attempt at 30-40, but he held on winning the next three points, to take a 5-2 lead .. They then wrapped up the set at 6-3 easily .. The dynamic duo jumped all over Novak in the first game of the second set as well, enforcing the break on their first chance at 30-40 .. They got their next break chance in the 3rd game off Rikl's serve at 30-40, and converted that too to go 3 of 5 in break chances for the match and to 3-0 with 2 breaks .. With MB and LP firing off love games, the good guys were up 4-0 quickly .. Novak finally held serve in game 5 .. The 3rd seeds fought very hard to hold serve in the 7th game at 63 51 .. They went through 7 deuces and fought off one match pt to our guys, but LP-MB converted their second match point (or the other guys retired then) to finish off basically the complete destruction of the #3 seeds to reach the QF ! .. The match took 57 minutes and LP-MB were 4 of  7 (or 3 of 6) in break point conversion.

This was like old times .. The Indian Express going out there and running all over the opponents regardless of who it was! .. These are the kinds of matches that put fear into the top teams out there .. They get 250 points for the win; their next round opponent is yet tp be determined .. Go Indian Express!

June 2 Note-3

LP-MB play their PQF match tomorrow (Sunday) against the 3rd seeds Jiri Novak and David Rikl of CZE .. The match is scheduled for about 1 pm (4.30 pm India .. 7 am New York), plus or minus half an hour .. Novak-Rikl was in serious trouble today against Carrasco and Fukarek, down a break in the 3rd set before pulling off a marathon 6-3 3-6 11-9 win .. So, finally these two teams meet .. It's strange that LP-MB have never played Novak-Rikl, though the Czech team has also been pretty consistently near the top of the doubles team ranking for a few years .. What's more, neither LP nor MB have met either Novak or Rikl even in mixed doubles matches to the best of my knowledge .. This should be a very interesting match tomorrow!

LP will come back about 4 hours later on the same court to play the PQF of mixed doubles in Lisa's company.

Here is the upper half of the doubles draw and the bottom half of the mixed doubles draw:

 1 Jonas Bjorkman/ Todd Woodbridge vs 14 Mark Knowles/ Brian MacPhie   \
11 Michael Hill/ Jeff Tarango      vs  8 Joshua Eagle/ Andrew Florent  / \ _Final
 3 Jiri Novak/ David Rikl          vs    Mahesh Bhupathi/ Leander Paes \ /
 6 Max Mirnyi/ David Prinosil      vs    Tomas Cibulec/ Leos Friedl    /

  Lisa Raymond / Leander Paes         vs  Sandrine Testud/ Andrew Florent \
4 Arantxa Sanchez-Vic./ Jared Palmer  vs  Paola Suarez/ Jaime Oncins      / \ _Final
6 Nicole Arendt/ Mark Knowles         vs  Alexandra Fusai/ Jerome Golmard \ /
  Elena Likhovtseva/ Mahesh Bhupathi  vs  Martina Navratilova/ Max Mirnyi /

Interesting matchup coming up for Mahesh in the PQF of mixed doubles against his one-time mixed doubles partner, Martina Navratilova .. This match should be on Monday.

The junior boys' and girls' draws have come out at the FO, and no Indians are in it .. I guess Sunil missed out on the draw narrowly .. There was a press report that Sania was going to be in the junior girls' draw .. She would have made it in, but perhaps decided against traveling .. I had suspected that she wouldn't be playing at the FO, since she was not at any of the European junior events leading to this .. She has three more years left to play junior grand slams - perhaps it is not a bad idea not to play too much but rather spend more time in training and in getting coached...

June 2 Note-2

Not a difficult match today for our guys .. [R2] M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes d.  E.Taino/ J.Waite, 76(4) 61 .. The match started with a quick break in the very first game itself .. Taino was broken at 30-40 as the Indian Express converted their first opportunity .. Thereafter it went with serves with neither side getting any break opportunities, till the 10th game, when LP was broken to tie the affair at 5-5 .. Then it was a tiebreaker .. LP-MB were up 4-0 and then 5-1 with two minibreaks .. They gave one back as the other guys pulled up to 5-4 but LP served off the next two points to take the set .. Once again, rather unusually for the Indian Express, LP started serve in the second set, as in the first .. At 1-1, MB faced triple break points at 0-40, but came back with 5 straight points to hold .. In the very next game, our dudes broke the other guys on Eric Taino's serve ..  Then in game 6, our guys once again converted their first break chance and went ahead 5-1 .. MB served it off and the Indian Express went through to the 3rd round in a relatively easy match that took one hour and 5 minutes .. The bad guys were 1 of 4 in break chances and the good guys were a very clean 3 of 3 ..  Later, with MB's match .. Should start in about two hours .. That would be about 4.45 pm there.

June 2 Note-1

The Indian Express plays their second round match at the FO against Eric Taino and Jack Waite on court 7 at about 1.15 pm (4.45 pm India .. 7.15 am New York), plus or minus half hour; it's the second match on court 7 .. Our chatroom will be active as usual during the match.

Mahesh comes back for the 4th match on the same court for the first round mixed doubles ..

June 1 Notes

Sorry to leave just when things were getting heated up at Roland Garros, but I am back .. When I left on a plane journey yesterday, LP-MB were down 1-5 and serving at deuce in the first set against the 15th seeds Oncins-Orsanic .. Needless to say, I had a miserable journey and ended up at Washington DC without a computer with me at night .. I woke up a happy man this morning to find from the newspaper that our boys came roaring back to win the match at 46 64 63 and advance to face Taino-Waite tomorrow ..  I don't have much details on the match except that MB's service games weren't clicking for our guys at first, as he dropped serve in games 1 and 5 .. No problems after that slow start - which is customary for our guys in most tournaments anyway .. The Indian Express broke the other guys in the 10th game of the second set and again at the beginning of the 3rd set .. [R1] M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes d. #15 J.Omcins/ D.Orsanic, 46 64 63 ..

More good news today, as Lee and Lisa won thier first round mixed doubles match in an upset over the 8th seeds, to reach the PQF .. L.Paes/ L.Raymond d. #8 D.Adams/ N.Tauziat, 64 75 .. No details on the match.

John Doran won the singles title over Or Dekel at the satellite masters and won the circuit .. Good comeback after he was bundled out in the first round of the first leg .. He reached the next two finals and then won the masters leg .. The doubles title went to Rohan Bopanna and Nitin Kirtane, who got a walkover in the masters final .. They also topped the circuit point total and got 6 bonus ATP points for 33 pts each .. see the Chandigarh satellite page and the circuit points page (which now has numbers cross-checked with official ITF points)

May 31 Note-2

The Federer-Sargsian match went on for ever - to a fifth set tiebreaker that Federer won, and so the LP-MB match is starting only at about 7.15 pm there ..

This site will most probably not have any updates till Friday late night US time .. I will be away; I will try to update some news, otherwise I am sure some of you readers will update any news at the forum page .. Check for all the news from there.

May 31 Note-1

LP-MB play thyeir first round match today at the FO against #15 seeds Jaime Oncins and Daniel Orsanic .. It is scheduled as the 4th match on court 6, a relatively bigger court with full online stats updates and probably Netcam pciture coverage etc .. The start time should be about 6 pm, plus or minus an hour .. That is 9.30 pm India, 5 pm London, and 9 am Los Angeles, plus or minus an hour .. We will be in the chatroom for score updates.

LP and MB are playing mixed doubles at the French Open, and as I customarily do, I again would like to record my protest against them playing mixed doubles, as in my humble opinion there is no benefit in playing that except to get tired and cause more chances for injuries.  Having said that, as usual, we will cheer them in their MXD matches.  Mahesh and Elena Likhovtseva (RUS) face the second seeds Cara Black (ZIM) and Sandon Stolle in the first round .. LP and Lisa Raymond, his long-term partner, play the 8th seeds Nathalie Tauziat (FRA) and Davis Adams (RSA) .. The first round MXD matches may be starting on Friday.

Yesterday turned out to be a wretched day for us .. Following on Niru's loss at the Fo in doubles, all three Indians in the QF at the Chandigarh masters went down in the QFs, thus missing a chance to make the big push for ATPpoints which happens once they go past about 3 circuit points .. Nitin, Mustafa and Fazal will end up with 5, 5 and 4 ATP points each .. Rishi and Fazal went down in the doubles SF as well, but Nitin and Rohan are in the doubles finals .. See the Chandigarh satellite page.

Sunil Kumar went down in the final-16 after two wins, against #25 Lamine Ouahab of Algeria, the big sensation from Africa (or so it seems based on his hot streak lately) .. The loss was not unexpected but the 16 16 scoreline was a disappointing .. Rajeev Ram of USA also went down in the PQF, 16 36 to the 2nd seed Bruno Echegarray of Mexico .. Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (FRA) who beat Rohan Gajjar in the final qualifying round seems to be on a roll too, as he has upset the 10th seed and the 5ths eed to reach the QF.

Geeta Manohar and Stefanie Hershfield (USA) won the first round of doubles 63 36 61 on Tuesday against Jessica Hubbard (RSA) and Sabrina Damario (ARG) at the $10K Durban satellite in South Africa, but they too went down in the QF to Marnie Mahler (GER) and Ayako Suzuki (JPN) 16 16 yesterday

May 30 Notes

Well, things did not go right for Niru today .. [R1] N.Miyagi/ N.Vaidyanathan l. K.Freye/ T.Musgrave, 36 57 .. The match started with both sides holding serve in the first three games, but then NM-NV were down 15-40 on Niru's serve in the 4th game and dropped serve on the second break point .. At 2-4, they got three chances to break back on Freye's serve, at 15-40 and then again at AD out, but they couldn't force the break ..  In game 8, Niru again faced a break attempt at 30-40, but she held serve there .. They took a couple of points off Trudy in the next game, but she closed out the set at 6-3 .. In the second set, they had yet another chance to break in game 2, on Freye's serve at AD out, but again she held .. Nana's service games seemed to be the easy ones as the other team hardly seemed to get a point with Niru at the net - actually they won of 20 of 24 points on Nana' serve in the match .. It was a different story with Niru serving though (I wonder if that shoulder/neck problem resurfaced there), - she was down 0-40 on serve and was broken immediately, for them to fall to 1-2 in the 3rd game .. Our pair was not throwing in the towel yet, as they finally converted a break point at 30-40 in the very next game, off Musgrave, to tie it up at 2-2 .. Nana again held serve at love and they went up 3-2 .. After Freye held serve, at 3-3 Niru once again faced a break pt at 30-40 .. She held there to go up 4-3 .. They were up again at 5-4 too, but things went wrong again in the 11th game, at 5-5 when they dropped serve for a 3rd time in the 5 games that Niru served .. It was soon over after that .. Unfortunate .. Had Nana and Niru been healthy and played together a few events before this, they would have certainly had a chance, I think .. As it turned out, this was a pretty close match today though.  It took an hour and 5 minutes for the match to get done.  1 of 5 in break chances by NM-NV, 3 of 7 by KF-TM .. Break sequence - [set1: NV broken in game 4] [set2: NV broken in games 3 and 11, TM in game 4] ..

May 29 Note-3

Nirupama will be playing the first round of doubles at the French Open tomorrow (wednesday) at 11 am (2.30 pm India .. 10 am London .. 2 am Los Angeles) .. Come to our chatroom for ball-by-ball scores and chat! Go Niru!!

LP-MB should be playing doubles on Thursday.

Great news from the Astrid Bowl grade-1 event today .. Sunil Kumar Sipaeya upset the 8th seed and the world #22 Oscar Posada (VEN) 46 63 60 to advance to the round of 16 .. Today's win is Sunil's 3rd win over top-50 players .. Sunil is the only Indian to have won against any top-50 junior players in quite a few years (Prakash Amritraj may have one win against a top-50 player, but I am not sure) .. And *now* Sunil will run into the big talent from Algeria, #25 Lamine Ouahab, who has been on a pretty good roll lately .. Unseeded Ouahab upset the 12th seed Josh Cohen of USA today - not really an upset, because Ouahab is ranked ahead this week, as his ranking went up a lot with some big points for his SF last week at the big grade-A Italian Open juniors .. Anyway, Sunil seems to be slowly getting ready for the big circuit .. I believe in another 4months he weill start on the pro tour .. By the way, Rajeev Ram of USA upset the 15th seed to reach the PQF today as well .. In doubles, Sunil and Amanjot Singh reached round of 16 with a first round win over Alexandre Eischen and Julian Onclin of Belgium, 64 57 61, but then fell to the 4th seeds Ytai Abougzir (USA) and Luka Gregorc (SLO), 26 36 .. Rohan Gajjar and Dias Doskarayev (UZB) also won their first round doubles match, beating Evghenii Corduneanu (MDA) and Pavel Ivanov (RUS), 64 64, before falling in the PQF to the 6th seeds Jonathan Chu and Jonathan Stokke of USA .. I believe Rohan Gajjar is part of the ITF junior team in Europe this time.

Geeta Manohar went down in the first round at the $10K satellite in South Africa, 26 46 to Nadia Solomon (RSA) .. Another correction on what I said earlier (damn, I am having all kinds of trouble reading draw sheets properly this week, it seems!) -- Geeta is playing doubles WITH Stefanie Hershfield of USA there .. They are actually the 4th seeds and they go against Jessica Hubbard (RSA) and Sabrina Damario (ARG) in the first round .. They haven't played yet, I believe .. Jyotsna Vasisht, who was at the El Paso satellite last week, is not at the satellite in the US this week ($10K at Lake Ozarks) .. It has been tough to keep up with Jyotsna's travels - she seems to go every which way! :-)

May 29 Note-2

Awaiting the schedule for wednesday at the FO to see if Niru or LP-MB will be in action .. The mixed doubles draws will also be out in a day or so.

At the Chandigarh satellite masters today, three Indians reached the quarterfinals -- Mustafa Ghouse, Nitin Kirtane and Fazaluddin .. Fazal had a great day - first he came back from a set down to finish a match postponed from yesterday against Manoj Mahadevan to advance .. Then he won a tiebreaker against the 5th seed Anton Kokurin who conceded the R2 match early in the second set due to heat exhaustion .. Fazal then returnd later for a doubles match, and won that too to reach the doubles semi with Rishi Sridhar .. Good to see him back in form! .. Nitin and Mustafa had easier matches, against Kamala Kannan and Rohan Bopanna in R2, after first round byes .. See the Chandigarh satellite page for results, and the circuit points page to see how many ATP points have been gathered so far by everyone.

A correction on what I said below -- Sunil Kumar plays #22 Oscar Posada (VEN) in the second round at the grade-1 Astrid Bowl in Belgium, not #25 Lamine Ouahab .. I read the draw wrongly.

May 29 Note-1

Here are the doubles draws for the Indian Express and for Niru-Nana at the French Open:

 3 NOVAK (CZE) / RIKL (CZE)         vs    SHIMADA (JPN) / WAKEFIELD (RSA)    \
   TAINO (USA) / WAITE (USA)        vs WC GOLMARD (FRA) / THOMANN (FRA)      \ / \
15 ONCINS (BRA) / ORSANIC (ARG)     vs    BHUPATHI (IND) / PAES (IND)        /    \ _ SF
10 ADAMS (RSA) / GARCIA (ARG)       vs    CIBULEC (CZE) / FRIEDL (CZE)       \    /

   DECHY (FRA) / PETROVA (RUS)       vs  COETZER (RSA) / MCNEIL (USA)  \ /
Not the toughest, impossible draws or anything, but not easy either .. LP-MB, if they have recuperated well in the last few days, should be able to handle the 15th seeds - the Indian Express seem to really want to do well at the FO, their happy-hunting "courts", so to say .. As for #129 Niru, it is nice to see that Nana Miyagi is sticking to her word from late last year when they did so well together in a few big challenger events, about continuing to play together .. Nana has been injured off and on for a few months now, though .. They do have quite a winnable match against #131 Kristen Freye (GER) and #161 Trudy Musgrave (AUS) in the first round .. The doubles matches start from tomorrow (wednesday) and the first round matches are normally on wednesday or thursday there.

Some good news from Belgium - #71 Sunil Kumar Sipaeya advanced to the round of 32 at the Astrid Bowl grade-1 ITF juniors there, with a tough 75 67 64 win over #96 Jakob Olseb (NZL) .. He now goes up against a fast-rising #25 Lamine Ouahab of Algeria, a 16 yr-old who may very well be the most talented player from Africa (he has won every junior event he has played in Africa this year and then upset two top-25 players on the way to a semifinal at the grade-2 Italian Open last week, though it was only his 6th ITF event) .. This could be a tough test for Sunil .. Amanjot Singh went down to Mathieu Montcourt (FRA,105), 57 06 in the first round though.

May 28 Note-2

The doubles draws have come out at the French Open .. LP-MB play the 15th seeds, Oncins-Orsanic in the first round at the French Open .. Some revenge on those guys is in order, as theye were the ones who ousted our pair in the first round at the US Open last year .. LP-MB are in the same 1/8th of the draw with the 3rd seed Novak-Rikl, who are potential opponents in the 3rd round .. Nirupama and Nana Miyagi are in the doubles draw also .. They play Kristin Freye (GER) and Trudy Musgrave (AUS) in the first round .. I will post partial draws soon.

At the Chandigarh masters, Vinod Sridhar, Rishi Sridhar, Rohan Bopanna and Kamala Kannan advanced to the second round today, to join Nitin Kirtane and Mustafa Ghouse in the second round .. But the real story is an unfinished match from late evening (to be concluded tomorrow), where Manoj Mahadevan has picked off right from where he left off last week in his ouster of Fazal in the first round .. He was again leading Fazal 7-6 3-3 .. See the Chandigarh satellite page.

May 28 Note-1

Still no news on the doubles draw at Roland Garros .. It should be coming out later today.

I have added the matchups for Indians at the satellites masters in the Chandigarh satellite page.

Here is a nice article from the Deccan Herald "Sportscene" section last week which interviews Nandan Bal .. Pretty interesting comments from him regarding the future of Indian tennis .. He talks about Mustafa at 20, Ajay Ramamswamy at 20, Harsh at 21 and Prakash at 17 as possibilities for the next set of Davis Cup players, as of now .. A couple of them will need to breakthrough and come to the very top in the next couple of years.

Indian girls are beginning to show up at different pro events around the world .. Considering that another four-week Indian ITF circuit for women is starting next week with the first leg at Mumbai, I was surprised to see that Geeta Manohar is playing this week in the main draw of the $10K satellite event in Durban, South Africa, starting today .. She faces a qualifier Nadia Solomon (RSA) in the first round .. In doubles, she is playing with Maretha van Niekirk (RSA) and they face Jessica Hubbard (RSA) and Stefanie Hershfield (USA) in R1.

In the first round of the Astrid Bowl grade-1 junior ITF event in Belgium, the big preparation event before FO juniors, #69 Sunil Kumar plays Jakob Olson (NZL,94) in the first round .. #96 Amanjot Singh plays qualifier Mathieu Moncourt (FRA,120) .. #117 Rohan Gajjar, who had two good wins in the qualies, went down unfortunately in the final round against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (FRA,147) in straight sets yesterday .. He is 3rd in line for a lucly loser spot, but I doubt he will make it in.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on May 28 ..

I am getting some enquiries 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 enquiring 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 enquiries from the coaches too .. Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan.