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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for the week ending on June 9, 2003
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2003)

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June 9 Notes

Nothing much by way of news today .. Megha Vakharia went down in the first round at the Seoul $10K satellite .. Harsh Mankad starts the POR F8 futures tomorrow .. LP and MB won't be playing at Halle and Queen's Club respectively, till wednesday .. Niru was apparently not at the Allentown challenger qualies .. The Frankfurt grade-1 draw starts tomorrow for our juniors, etc.

At the Chandigarh (second) leg of the Indian satellites, Kamala Kannan and Kedar Tembe were the only two to qualify into the main draw .. I have posted the draw at the Chandigarh satellite page .. Mustafa Ghouse upset the 7th seed in the main draw, and Chatwinder Singh upset Vishal Punna, but I have not got all the results yet.

June 8 Note-2

LP will be at the Gerry Weber Open ATP in Halle, Germany (playing with Don Johnson this week), and MB will be at the Stella Artois ATP at Queen's, London .. [R1] #3 D.Johnson/ L.Paes vs Tomas Cibulec/ Pavel Vizner (CZE) .. MB-Mirnyi are seeded second and have a first round bye at Queen's .. They will play the winners of  Healey-Skotch vs J.Nieminen-Sluiter in the R2.

Harsh Mankad will be at the Portugal F8 futures at Lisbon this week - the main draw starts Tuesday .. No news yet about the qualies at the Alletown challenger for Niru .. Srintah has won three rounds and reached the final qualies of the USA futures today .. He must be coaching somebody or something, and must have decided to play too.

No news yet about the Chandigarh leg of the Indian satellites..  should be hearing something soon ..  Our juniors are expected at the Frankfurt grade-1 ITF event this coming week - the main draw starts tuesday.

June 8 Note-1

Two qualifying losses to report from yesterday .. At the Queens ATP qualies, [Q1] Giovanni Lapentti (ECU,203) d. Rohan Bopanna  64 76(1) .. Also at the the DFS Classic WTA qualies in Birmingham, England, [Q1] #1 Meilen Tu (USA,111) d. Sunitha Rao (173), 63 60 ..  Rohan apparently had a couple of set points in the 10th game of the second set off Giovanni's serve but a couple of mistakes there cost him .. The match stats are posted in our form .. The arm injury from last week seems to be OK, and that's the good news.

Niru lost the doubles match late Friday night at the $10K Hilton Head satellite .. [QF] #3 Ilke Gers (NZL)/ N.Sanjeev d. Allison Bradshaw (USA)/ Shadisha Robinson (USA), 67(1) 62 26 .. Not a big problem -- there weren't too many point there and she was probably there mostly for some match practice .. I assume she will be at the qualies of the Allentown (PA) challenger today.

Kartiki Bhat, part of the ITF team selected from Asia to tour a set of u16 events in Europe played this week, at the Carribiclub event in Bologna Italy .. Pretty good start by her, as she reached all the way to the doubles final! .. I don't have much details, but know that she lost a close 64 57 67(4) final today .. In singles, she lost in the second round to the #1 seed Hewenfei Li (CHN), 26 06, according to an Italian press item .. She will be at the Milan tournament next week - I will report any news that I can get.

The second tournament in the AITA Nutrine u14/u12 series got done yesterday at Delhi .. In the u14 finals, Krishna Karsolia (UP) defeated Vijayant Malik (CHD) 60 75 and Vishaka Sheoran beat Jilke Lenord 46 63 62 .. Yuki Bhambri won the u12 boys' title with a 62 60 win over Rohit Bisht, and Swetha Kumari (DLI) won the girls u12 with a 61 64 win against Prerna Mytri (AP) ..  Quite an impressive run lately by Krishna Karsolia .. He had upset the top seed Kinshuk Sharma, the #2 ranked u14 player in India in easy straight sets earlier in the draw .. Krishna had also won the Hyderabad u14 National series last week, as I reported earlier.

Finally, a small clarification on me giving the links to that TOI article yesterday and commenting, as I got a couple of emails on that .. No, I was not agreeing with everything that Rohit Rajpal was saying in there .. Those were his opinions, and I guess he can have those .. I personally do not prefer people's names being dragged into an article like that .. The problem with someone writing such things in a newspaper in that the accused can rarely defend themselves, and that is often not fair .. And, as far as whatever happened or didn't happen to Rohit or between him and others, I have no knowledge of any of that (I don't know Mr.Rajpal) .. Since he mentioned coaching, I used that to bring up one of my pet topics, about coaches in India really having to get their act together to produce some real top players - that's all! ..

June 7 Notes

Sorry for a bit of late news on the MxD final yesterday at the FO .. [F] #3 E.Likhivtseva/ M.Bhuoathi l. #2 L.Raymond/ M.Bryan, 36 46 .. Not mnay details with me anyway, though, as the online scoreboard from Roland Garros was down for most of the mtch, from 2-2 in the first set till 3-6 3-3 in the second .. No netcam, no stats report, nothing, for this match played after about 7 pm  - and that seems to show how seriously this final was taken up there .. Elena dropped serve in the 7th game of the second set, and I believe they lost serve in the 8th of the first set as well .. That was the match .. MB was looking for his 8th grand slam title, to go with 4 mens' doubles and 3 MXD titles earlier .. No luck .. The Bryans have steadily placed themselves at the top of the doubles ladder over the last 3-4 years .. Lisa-Bryan had won the US Open as well .. In the men's doubles today, the Bryans play Haarhuis-Kafelnikov, the defending champs ..

Still no news on Niru's doubles QF late last night at the $10K satellite in Hilton Head island, South Carolina .. She is supposed to play at the $25K Allentown (PA) challenger next week and probably needs to be there for qualies by tonight .. I don't think she is using her injury protected rank for entry at Allentown, and so was listed among the top few players in the qualies for this weekend ..

At Mumbai, qualifer Daniel Kiernan (GBR) finished a fanstastic week where he won everything and played 8 singles and 4 doubles matches .. He beat Prima Simpatiaji (INA) in the final today .. See the Mumbai satellite page .. Qualies start today for the next leg of the satellites, at Chandigarh today .. The main draw wildcards have gone to 1) Stephan Amritraj, 2) Chatwinder Singh, 3) Saurabh Singh and 4) Akash Sharma .. Saurav Panja, Kamala Kannan, Jaco Mathew, Nishank Mishra, etc are among the seeds in the qualies (I would have liked to see Saurav get a wildcard - after all he qualified in last week!) ..

There was an article in the Times of India with Rohit Rajpal's comments on producing tennis players .. Rohit, as you might remember, was a big hope for India at the beginning of the 90s .. In most of the article, he is complaining about what went wrong in his case .. Rather unusual to see somebody name names like in there, and I didn't particularly like the tone of that (I usually don't like players blaming everybody else for things going wrong - even in cases where they are right; I would rather have others do it for them :-)) .. He does make some important points though .. The culture of coaching needs to change quite a bit in India .. Many coaches consider themselves "big wigs" without having produced any player of any substance .. Many are more interested in being called "sir" and being shown respect to, rather than in pulling up their socks and working with a kid or two with big dreams .. Many think they should all get goodies from AITA like everybody else "senior" like them, as the coaches of teams traveling aborad etc (doesn't matter if they have earned the rights for that by earning the respect of the players), etc .. I say these things based on what I have heard from sooo many players .. It is appalling how few cases I have heard from players who correspond with me, about an Indian coach who made a difference in them .. There is also perhaps something in what Rohit says that many who know a thing or two about tennis at the highest level have not really gone out of their way to impart it to a kid ..

But on the other hand, I also feel that some of this is because of our socio-economic culture that for decades since independence has not given proper value to producing bottom line results .. In the US and Europe, a coach behaves as though he is a manufacturer in a free market economy .. You produce good products, you make more "profit" .. You have no track record, and the parents take the kids to somebody else .. Tennis academies are big businesses abroad ..  It is slowly changing in India too, I believe .. There has been a big increase in the number of kids taking to tennis over the last few years .. At this time, a lot of parents still don't have enough choices and the "manufacturer" (the coach) seems to have a captive consumer base that cannot seem to insist on quality through market mechanisms like changing the brand .. In addition, the "information" aspect for market mechanisms are also important .. Parents are by and large not all that well-informed about the quality or lack of it in the "brand" (coach) they rely on -- this also needs to change, and we need to see some more truth in advertising .. Some coaches fill up their resumes with useless things, but the poor parent hardly knows what are the real bottom-line performance indicators .. That is my amateur analysis of the situation .. It is better than say 10 years back but a lot more needs to happen, and we need to have a whole lot more of coaches who think big and work hard to create a name for thesmselves with bottom-line products .. No Indian coach has produced a top-200 player in well over a decade (CGK being the only one who comes close) .. That is my bottom line right now .. I am sure there are some who are definitely capable of identifying the right talent and nurturing it properly to that level, and I am hopeful that some will set such goals and produce such "products" soon.

A couple of other interesting articles, this time from the Mid-Day, Mumbai .. One on Prakash Amritraj, and the other on Rohan Gajjar .. Good reading .. The latter article also has something on Sunil Kumar .. The poor guy seems to be still struggling a bit with some injuries.

June 6 Note-2

As I had somewhat expected, our girls didn't seem to stand much of a chance against two of the best u15 girls in Europe, today in the doubles semis at the FO .. [SF] S.Mirza/ S.Bhambri l. K.Bohmova/ M.Krajicek, 06 26 .. At the beginning of the second set Sania held serve once to make it 1-1, and that was the only time in 7 service games that our girls were not broken .. The only break for us was in the 7th game of the second set off Bohmova in a last-gasp effort .. Even the first break points for our girls didn;t come till the 5th game of the second set at 1-3, where SB-SM could not convert three break chances to get back on serve .. The girls also hung tough saving two match points on Sanaa's serve in the final game, but that was about it .. Despite the loss today, it was a very good effort from our girls, to go in unseeded and still reach the first grand slam doubles SF in a decade or more by any Indian junior pair ..  Sanaa's doubles rank will go up from near #60 to near #30 after this, but Sania will not move up much from #13.

MB-E.Likhovtseva should be playing in a couple of hours, at about 6 or 6.30 pm there, after the second men's singles .. By the way, what a nice run by Martin Verkerk (NED)! .. Totally unexpected of the unseeded guy, ranked #46 .. He is now in the final .. I wonder if the Dutch are now regretting a bit that they chose hardcourts instead of clay for the Davis Cup tie against India .. But then again, his game seems to be suited for other surfaces as well, with the big serve and all .. I guess it will be even tougher for us in September, if this dude continues to play like this ..  I love all those facial contortions and all the popping-eye looks - he seems to be the Jim Carey of the tennis world.

At the Mumbai satellite, bad news today for both Indians .. Rohan Gajjar went down to Prima Simpatiaji (INA) and Prakash Amritraj was upset by Daniel Kiernan (USA) .. Daniel was Ajay Ramaswamy's team mate at the Louisiana State University (also his doubles partner here - they have reached the final, by the way) .. He left college last year but was ranked somewhere in the top-40 or so in the US college rankings .. So, he is probably better than his ranking shows .. Simpatiaji is in the Indonesian Davis Cup team .. He is also ranked low, and does not seem to play a whole lot on the tour - I really don't know much about him, but he has had some good wins in the few events he played; he did come to the futures a year back in India and reached a semi or so ..  So, though most Indians did fine to pick up a win or two in this leg, nobody made a whole bunch of circuit points .. See the Mumbai satellite page for scores.

June 6 Note-1

Today's schedule at the French Open for us -
[SF] S.Bhambri/ Mirza vs K.Bohmova/ M.Krajicek, about 4.30 pm (8 pm India, 10.30 am NY) +/- 30 min.
[F] #3 E.Likhovtseva/ M.Bhupathi vs #2 L.Raymond/ M.Bryan, about 6 pm, +/- 45 min.

Come to the chatroom, and let us cheer "Sans Fear" and "Heshelena" .. Yesterday, during the Sania-Sanaa match, Mahesh came online for a little time in the chatroom, and Sania's dad was online too .. We will have fun, so come over.

At the $10K Hilton Head satellite on Wednesday, [R1] #3 Ilke Gers (NZL)/ Niru Sanjeev d. Neyssa Etienne (HAI)/ Ludmila Richterova (CZE), 57 64 64 .. They play Allison Bradshaw (USA)/ Shadisha Robinson (USA) in the QF.

June 5 Note-3

Yet another mixed doubls final for Mahesh and a VERY rare grand slam junior doubles semifinal for Indians!!! ... [SF] #3 E.Likhovtseva/ M.Bhupathi d. #1 P.Suzarez/ T.Woodbridge,75 36 62  and then [QF] Sanaa Bhambri/ Sania Mirza d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR)/ Heidi El Tabakh (EGY), 76(5) 64 ..

Heshelena had a similar match like yesterday, with long win and lose streaks in the match .. They were down 3-5 after the 8th game of the first set .. Went on a 6 game win streak to lead 75 20 .. Blink, and they lost 5 games in a row, and had lost the second set .. Started with a 3-0 run in the beginning of the 3rd set and then cruised to a win over the top seeds .. they face the second seeds Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan in the final tomorrow.

The girls started really badly today .. Sania and Sanaa had a break point in the first game off Bondarenko but couldn't convert .. Soon after Sania and Sanaa dropped serves in succession and it was 0-4 down .. In the next game they had 5 break points, finally converting one to get back in the match .. That strated a nice run that took them to 6-5 and serving .. They dropped serve and it was a tiebreaker .. Up 6-3, they had three set points .. They converted the 3rd off the serve of El Tabakh to take the set .. In the second set, Sania dropped serve early but they got the break back in the 4th game .. She dropped serve once more to go 2-3 .. Soon it was 2-4, but then the girls showed their spunk, going all out and breaking Kateryna and Heidi in succession to win four games in a row to finish the match .. In the semifinal, they run into two of the most talented young girls from Europe - Katerina Bohmova (CZE) and Michaela Krajicek (NED) .. Go girls! .. I don't have records of how our juniors have done in the past, but I think it has been a long time, probably a decade, (since Bhupathi and Kirtane got far in some grand slam draws?) since we have seen two Indian juniors in a grand slam doubles semifinal ..

At Mumbai, Rohan Gajjar upset the top seed Sunil Kumar .. Rohan, out of the junior ranks only about a year back, was coming along nicely late last year with a futures semi, etc.  He went to college in the US and seems to have improved a bit too .. That is great .. Also a bit puzzled with Sunil's inability to push ahead a bit .. The second seed Prakash Amritraj cruised along to the semi, as the other Indian .. See the Mumbai satellite page for scores.

June 5 Note-2

Well, I must say that I expected a tough match and possibly even a loss against the Bryans today for LP-DR, as Tuesday's QF was such a big thing for everybody .. One thing I have noticed for LP and MB is that they have generally performed quite worse after the matches that are made out to be the end of the world -- if I see them interviewed a lot after a match, I generally expect a loss in the next match, I guess :-) ... I remember the NewHaven match after the big win over Sampras, the 97 Hartford final after the thrilling win over Lareau-O'Brien, the 99 US Open final when the SF win was historic with them becoming the first team in many decades to reach all four GS finals, etc .. No, you can't blame it on the big hoopla that follows such matches, which is natural .. It just means that the match happened to be big for the players too .. Such emotional highs in sports can sometimes cause a low in the next outing .. I don't know if that is what happened today, because the 3rd seeds that LP-DR were playing were a really good pair too - two guys who have slowly and steadily becomes one of the best young doubles teams there, the Bryan twins .. Except for facing some resistance in the middle of the first set, they seemed to be basically in control in a match that was devoid of much drama today -- [SF] #5 L.Paes/ D.Rikl l. #2 B.Bryan/ M.Bryan, 46 36 .. The match started with LP-DR falling behind 0-2 .. They got the break back off Mike Bryan in the 3rd game .. The big chance for our pair was in the 7th game when they had 5 break points on Mike Bryan who saved them all and held serve after 7 deuces .. Then Leander fell behind 15-40 in the 10th game and was broken at the first set point .. In the second set, LP saved a break point in the 4th game to keep it on serve, but at 2-3, David Rikl dropped serve at 30-40 and it was big trouble .. LP served a strong 8th game to prolong it to 3-5 but Mike Bryan shut the door in the next game and would not allow LP-DR to pull any Houdini act like in the QF.

So LP defended the semifinal points from last year, and finished a pretty good claycourt season with Rikl, though they started off a bit slow in the first couple of events .. Off to grass next ..

MB's mixed doubles semi and the QF for Sanaa-Sania follow later today at the FO.

June 5 Note-1

The matches today at the French Open for us are,
[SF] #5 L.Paes/ D.Rikl vs #3 B.Bryan/ M.Bryan (12 noon Paris, 3.30 pm India, 6 am NY)
[SF] #3 E.Likhovtseva/ M.Bhupathi vs #1 P.Suzarez/ T.Woodbridge (about 3.30 pm Paris)
[QF] S.Bhambri/ S.Mirza vs K.Bondarenko/ H.ElTabakh (about 5 pm Paris)

We will of course be in our chatroom during the matches .. Come on over, and let's cheer our players.

By the way every Indian news apper seems to have yest another article today about

June 4 Note-2

Heshelena won the MxD second round over Corina Morariu (USA) and Jonas Bjorkman (SWE), 64 63 today at the FO to reach the QF scheduled for tomorrow .. They were up 5-2 in the first set, dropped two games before picking up the set .. In the second set they won the first three games, dropped the next three and then won the next three again to win it.

Bad news from the Surbitron challenger as the injury/illness jinx has hit a fifth Indian abroad in the last few days (following Rushmi, Sanaa and Srinath who all fell to injured, and Sania and Karan who had flu and high temperatures) .. Today the victim was Rohan Bopanna who retired injured at 67(1) 13 against Lee Childs (GBR,515) at the challenger in UK .. Unfortunate, because Rohan was looking good, coming through the qualies .. And grass is his favorite surface too .. No news on how bad the injury is - hopefully something minor ..  He gets 3 ATP points for qualifying in.

By the way, here is a nice article in the Indian Express (it's been a while since we saw interesting tennis articles in that newspaper, I think -- good to see a couple of tennis correspondents again with the IE) .. The article is about the experience of the Indian kids at the French Open ..

At the Mumbai satellites, the second seed Prakash Amritraj beat Vishal Uppal .. He faces the 6th seed Vinod Sridhar in the QF .. The big win today was by Mustafa Ghouse who beat the 3rd seed Vijay Kannan in three tiebreaker sets .. Sunil Kumar is in the QF, as is Rohan Gajjar who had a good win over the Japanese qualifier Takeshi Itoh who had upset the 5th seed Suissa in the first round .. See the Mumbai satellite page.

June 4 Note-1

MB-Likhovtseva play the MxD Quarterfinal soon at the FO.

Rain delayed the start at the Surbitron challenger today - Rohan's match is about to start at about 2.30 pm there.

I have updated all the scores through Tuesday, at the  Mumbai satellite page .. Prakash Amritraj had an easy 60 60 win late Tuesday, but Stephen Amritraj went down in straight sets to qualifier Parantap Chaturvedi .. First round doubles is also done with no big surprises.

AITA announced this week that they will be offering some travel grants to three players - 1. Chatwinder Singh (17 yr), 2. Tushar Liberhan (16 yr), 3. Divij Sharan (16 yr) .. They each will get Rs 75K each to travel to a few events and play .. While all three have had some good results and have been inside the top-200 or near top-100 in the juniors, they are not ones who have made big noises yet - it is good to see AITA beginning to give some travel money to a larger pool of players.

June 3 Note-4

Leander's doubles SF is scheduled for thursday at the French Open .. Sania-Sanaa girls' doubles QF is also on thursday .. MB and Likhovtseva play the MxD quarterfinal as the 4th match on court-1 - it should be starting by about 5 pm there (8.30 pm India, 11 am NY) ..

The Telegraph (Kolkata) has some comments LP made to a TV channel after the big showdown today at Roland Garros  -- “I am glad that I came out with a win and that was the sweet part about it, but it was no fun being on the other side of the net,” said Paes .. “I felt bad for him because at one time he was serving for the match and the next time he was staring down the barrel when I was serving for the match,” said Paes. “Like I said, it was bitter sweet emotion ... It was very unfortunate that one of us had to lose and that was the original reason many years ago why I asked him to partner me so that India could win ... Now we have got two Indians on the opposite side of the net which is very unfortunate,” he said ......

At the $50K grasscourt challenger at Surbitron (by the way, am I the only one who thinks of a TV or some consumer item, hearing that word? :-)), Rohan Bopanna is drawn to play another qualifier Lee Childs (GBR,515) in the first round early tomorrow ..

The news is not good from the $10K Hilton Head ITF satellite in Sourth Carolina -- Niru went down 57 61 46 to Ekaterina Afinogenova (RUS,508) today .. A bit surprised that she lost --- perhaps again a bit rusty after the 6 week break? ..

I finally got around to posting the draws and results at the Mumbai first leg of the $25K Indian satellites .. Top seed Sunil Kumar advanced with a 61 61 win over Manoj Mahadevan - surprisingly lopsided scoreline there .. Most top Indians have advanced without much trouble so far .. Have not seen four match scores from the first round yet, including those of Prakash and Stephen Amritraj .. They did win a doubles R1 match yesterday though .. Rohan Gajjar returned from the US where he started his college career a few months back, and picked up a good win yesterday .. Check out the Mumbai satellite page for all scores.

Here is a roundup of scores from the last week or so -- many I had not posted as I was down with a flu ..

French Open:

[R1] #5 Leander Paes/ David Rikl (CZE) d. David Adams (RSA)/ Justin Gimelstob (USA), 63 62
[R2] #5 Leander Paes/ David Rikl (CZE) d. Rick Leach (USA)/ Brian MacPhie (USA), 36 62 61
[R3] #5 Leander Paes/ David Rikl (CZE) d. #9 Joshua Eagle (AUS)/ Jared Palmer (USA), 62 60
[QF] #5 Leander Paes/ David Rikl (CZE) d. #2 Mahesh Bhupathi/ Max Mirnyi (BLR), 36 75 63
[SF] #5 Leander Paes/ David Rikl (CZE) vs #3 B.Bryan (USA)/ M.Bryan (USA), Thursday

[R1] #2 Mahesh Bhupathi/ Max Mirnyi (BLR) d. Thomas Shimada (JPN)/ Myles Wakefield (RSA), 75 63
[R2] #2 Mahesh Bhupathi/ Max Mirnyi (BLR) d. Thierry Ascione (FRA)/ Julien Varlet (FRA), 63 64
[R3] #2 Mahesh Bhupathi/ Max Mirnyi (BLR) d. #14 Frantisek Cermak (CZE)/ Leos Friedl (CZE), 63 62
[QF] #2 Mahesh Bhupathi/ Max Mirnyi (BLR) l. #5 Leander Paes/ David Rikl (CZE), 63 57 36

[R1] #3 E.Likhovtseva/ M.Bhupathi d. Tatiana Golovin/ Mansour Bahrami, 64 62
[R2] #3 E.Likhovtseva/ M.Bhupathi d. Liezel Huber/ Pavel Vizner, 76(5) 36 63
[QF] #3 E.Likhovtseva/ M.Bhupathi vs Corina Morariu/ Jonas Bjorkman, Wednesday

[R1] #7 M.Navratilova/ L.Paes d. Patricia Wartusch/ Joshua Eagle, 61 63
[R2] #7 M.Navratilova/ L.Paes l. Corina Morariu/ Jonas Bjorkman, 67(5) 26

French Open Juniors:
[R1] Heidi El Tabakh (EGY) d.  #14 Sania Mirza (IND), 61 64
[R1] Marine Giraud (FRA) d.  Sanaa Bhambri (IND), 75 62
[R1] #16 Leonardo Kirche (BRA) d.  Somdev Dev Varman (IND) 61 36 64
[R1] #6 S.D.Varman/ K.Rastogi l. Jerome Becker (GER)/ Andreas Weber (GER), 67(5) 64 26
[R1] S.Bhambri/ S.Mirza d. Virginie Ayassamy (FRA)/ Laura Thorpe (FRA) 62 61
[R2] S.Bhambri/ S.Mirza d. #7 Mari Andersson (SWE)/ Megan Falcon (USA)  61 63
[QF] S.Bhambri/ S.Mirza vs Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR)/ Heidi El Tabakh (EGY)

$50K Surbiton Challenger (Men & Women), UK:
[Q1] J. Sai Jayalaksmy (IND, 473) l. #3 Kelly Liggan (IRL,216) 36 36
[Q1] Rushmi Chakravarthi (IND, 388) l. #14 Beti Sekulovski (AUS,365) 67 (4) ret.
[Q1] #3 Rohan Bopanna (IND) d. Naim Lalji (GBR,1018) 63 64
[Q2] #3 Rohan Bopanna (IND) d. Andrew Derer (AUS,857) 63 75
[Q3] #3 Rohan Bopanna (IND) d. Ian Flanagan (GBR,919) 36 64 75
[R1] (q) Rohan Bopanna (IND) vs (q) Lee Childs (GBR,515) Wednesday

$10K USA F13 (Qualies):
[Q1] Ravishankar Pathanjali - Bye?
[Q2] Alejandro Asta (ARG) d. Ravishankar Pathanjali (IND) 64 62
[Q1] Srinath Prahlad d. Ronald McKenzie (USA) 60 61
[Q2] Reyneire Roxas (USA) d. Srinath Prahlad (IND) 51 ret.

$25K POR Satellite, Masters Leg, Miramar, POR (Last week):
[QF] Harsh Mankad/ Leonardo Tavares (POR) d. #1 Iverson Barros/ Lucas Engel (BRA) 63 63
[SF] Harsh Mankad/ Leonardo Tavares (POR) d. Gael Monfils/ Josselyn Ouanna (FRA), 61 60
[F] Harsh Mankad/ Leonardo Tavares (POR) d. #2 Pedro Leao/ Rui Machado (POR), 63 60

$10K Morocco F3 (Last week):
[R2] #4 Paul Logtens (NED)/ Sunil Kumar Sipaeya d. Yassir Bouyahya (MAR)/ Gregory Chambaz (SUI), 62 76(0)
[QF] #4 Paul Logtens (NED)/ Sunil Kumar Sipaeya d. Alberto Brizzi (ITA)/ Brian Dabul (ARG), 62 75
[SF] #4 Paul Logtens (NED)/ Sunil Kumar Sipaeya l. Fabrice Betencourt (FRA)/ Jean-Michel Pequery (FRA), 63 63

That is pretty much all the details of what happened over the last 5-6 days.

June 3 Note-3

MB and Likhovtseva came back and completed the postponed R2 match and won it, 76(5) 36 63 to advance to the quartterfinal against Morariu and Bjorkman tomorrow (wednesday) .. The doubles QF for LP will be on thursday .. Good news from Sania and Sanaa - they upset the 7th seeds Mari Andersson (SWE) and Megan Falcon (USA) to reach the girls doubles QF!! .. They play Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) and Heidi El-Tabakh (EGY) next - that pair upset the top seeds today.

June 3 Note-2

We expected a classic, and we got one .. At one point, there was MB serving for the match, two points away from a win at 6-3 5-4, serving to LP at 30-30 .. And 40 minutes later we had Lee and Rikl coming back from dead and winning it .. Till the above point, I think Mahesh and Max had things well under control .. I missed the ealy break in the first set, as I did not notice that they had moved the match to another court and started it .. Not much drama late in the first set .. MB-MM went after LP's serve in the first game of the second set to get a break and rarely faced any trouble on their serve in the second set till the 9th game when they were serving for the match .. Then the drama started .. MB was down 30-40 after that serve to LP mentioned above, and was broken at the next point .. We had a "new ballgame" all of a sudden.. MB-MM tried their best in the next game to regain the advantage - Rikl faced 2 deuces on his serve there before pulling through for a 6-5 lead .. Surprisingly, Mirnyi's serve did not hold up in the next game as he lost 4 points straight to get broken and lose the set .. All even at a set apiece .. [3rd set] LP was down 15-30 in the first game but served strongly to stay ahead .. 3rd through the 6th games were all long ones except for LP's service game .. DR was down 15-40 but once again saved three break points to hold serve after 5 deuces in game 3 .. Now Max was down 0-30 (and he had lost 6 points in a row on his serve then - when has that ever happened?) .. He also held up, taking it to deuce and saving one break attempt to hold after 4 deuces .. LP did not face any problems on his serve at 2-2, but MB faced double BPs at 2-3, 15-40 .. He saved one but then got broken, and the end was in sight .. Rikl made it 5-2 and then Max held on after a deuce, and we had LP serving for the match. He was smelling blood; it was all over with four straight points in no time on his serve .. Amazing match - just like we expected .. what can I say? .. This was the first face-off in a grand slam for the two engines.

So, [QF] #5 L.Paes/ D.Rikl d. #2 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi, 36 75 63 .. Up next in the semifinal for them - the 3rd seeds Bryan twins .. I wish I had some pictures of today's match, but there was no net-cam in the court they moved it to ..

At the $10K satellite in Hilton Head (S.Carolina, USA), Nirupama Sanjeev is drawn against Ekaterina Afinogenova (RUS,508) .. More later.

June 3 Note-1

Looks like the LP-DR vs MB-MM match will be starting about an hour or so later than I said below ..  Come to our chatroom.

A few inutes back Rohan Bopanna qualified into the Surbitron grasscourt challenger main draw after a very tough match .. [Q3] #3 R.Bopanna d. Ian Flanagan (GBR), 46 63 75 .. RB was up at 5-3 in the 3rd, got broken back to 5-5 and then had to force another break in the final game to pull through .. Good job! .. We will await news on whom he plays in the main draw.

I will post the Mumbai satellite draw soon.

June 2 Notes

We will have a chat session in our OLD chatroom tomorrow, Tuesday, during the LP-vs-MB match (around 2.30 pm Paris .. 6 pm India .. 8.30 am NY)

I'm still not fully back from the flu troubles, so only short update today too .. But good to have friends posting all kinds of updates at the forum .. MB-Elena were at 76(5) 36 11 when the MxD second round was postponed today at the FO .. The big LP-vs-MB doubles QF tomorrow .. In the junior draw, Sania-Sanaa advanced to the R2, but Karan-Somdev went down in a tough 3-setter .. Rohan Bopanna won two rounds and reached the final qualies at the Surbitron challenger in UK on grass today .. The Indian satellites started with Rohan Gajjar, Mustafa Ghouse, Vijay Kannan, Ajay Ramaswami, Vinod Sridhar, etc moving to the second round at Mumbai (haven't seen the draw yet) .. Nirupama is expected in the main draw at the $10K Hilton Head tomorrow, which is more like a practice event for the challenger that follows for her .. Harsh Mankad is off this week and will play two futures in Portugal next two weeks ..

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on June 02 ..

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.