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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for the week ending on July 1, 2002
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July 1 Notes

Mahesh and Max reached the quarterfinal of doubles today with another match wehere they didn't seem to be tested .. [R3] #3 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi d. #14 Julien Boutter/ Sjeng Schalken, 61 76(3) 64 .. I couldn't follow the match closely, but basically they were up easily with three breaks on three chances in the first set .. The second set went without any breaks or break points, and the tiebreaker, as usual went to the two big servers .. In the 3rd set, MB-MM converted one of three break chances and that was that .. The other guys basically got only about 10 odd points off MB-MM's serve, and never found a break chance any time .. The real test comes next in the quarterfinal against the 5th seeds Bjorkman-Woodbridge tomorrow (second match on court 3 - it should be around 2 pm there (6.30 pm India .. 6 am L.A.) .. We will meet in the chatroom during the matches tomorrow .. We haven't had a chat at the Wimbledon yet this time ..

MB comes back to play mixed doubles later tomorrow (4th match on the same court) - Mahesh and Elena will play Thomas Shimada/ Rika Fujiwara in the 3rd round .. LP and Lisa Raymond play the 4th match on court 18 - their second round against Paul haarhuis and Miriam Oremans of Nederlands .. Hopefully the rain will stay away and we will get to LP's match.

Not sure where all our players are playing this week .. Sunil Kumar was in the entry list for qualifying for the USA F18 futures, but couldn't come down from Canada as he was playing the futures final .. Not sure if he ended up getting a special exempts entry somehow .. Harsh is off this week, and may play the qualies for the Granby challenger next week in Canada, after which he will probably proceed to Latvia-Estonia-Lithuania for three futures and then three futures in India .. Harsh said that there was no serious injury problems; just something minor with Ajay that caused them to get out of the doubles SF this weekend, but he said Ajay is fine too .. No futures in France this week; so I am not sure if Rohan Bopanna is playing anywhere .. Manisha may be taking the week off, before playing at the Flexistowe grass challenger in UK next week .. Not sure of Sai either, yet .. Will know soon, ones all the draws are made, where everybody is.

I am waiting for some sign on when Niru will get back to action also .. She is at the Wimbledon, doing some TV commentary as usual .. If I were to guess, she would come out and play the qualies at Stanford WTA or somewhere next, in a few weeks.

I am surprised at some of the reactions from some officials in Pakistan about Aisam Qureshi playing with an Israeli at Wimbledon .. Rather than congratulating the youngster for being the first Pakistani to win a main draw match (and reach 3rd round that too) at Wimbledon, the Pakistani lawn tennis federation guys have been talking about how what he did was "morally incorrect" .. Man, how pathetic! .. Like there is something "immoral" in playing with another human being .. It is not like he walked across the border to a neighbouring country with a Kalashnikov and killed a few from the other chosen enemy religion .. But wait, that would be part of "moral" support to a "freedom fight"! .. Anyway, Aisam is getting a lot of support from the Pakistani media which has always been known for showing some good sense in most matters ..

June 30 Note-3

Here are the scores from the last couple of days -- For MB, in mixed doubles, [R2] #3 M.Bhupathi/ E.Likhovtseva d. David MacPherson (USA)/ Katie Schlukebir (USA), 75 64 .. Their PQF is against Damm-Hrdlickova or Shimada-Fujiwara, on Tuesday or wednesday .. For LP in mixed doubles, [R1] #5 L.Paes/ L.Raymond d. Kaartsen Braasch (GER)/ Barbara Rittner (GER), 62 36 97 .. In the second round it will be Paes/ Raymond vs Miriam Oremans (NED)/ Paul Haarhuis (NED); the match should be on Tuesday ..

Sania Mirza lost 46 16 to the talented 15 yr old Tathiana Golovin (FRA), the 16th seed in the R1 at Wimbledon .. Sania has been a bit under the weather after some illness and all that, but basically she needst to go through some serious coaching and develop some weapons to make the move to the next level .. Though she came under Bhupathi Sr's watch a couple of months back, I think her 10th std exams, the trips to Jakarta for the Fed Cup regionals and then to French Open and now Wimbledon, have kept her from much training lately .. Now seems to be the right time get down to doing some hard work  again.

Sunil Kumar gets 8 ATP points for the runner-up finish at the Canada F3 $10K futures .. Here are his weekend scores .. [SF] (q)Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND) d. Marc Silva (USA,625) 36 64 75 .. Silva was the runner-up the previous week, and this was a good win for Sunil, following on his win over Ajay the previous day (Ajay had beaten Sunil in the Indian futures late last year) .. [F] #3 Michael Tebbutt (AUS,416) d. (q)Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND) 63 63 .. In doubles, Mustafa Ghouse's wins over the weekend were - [SF] M.Ghouse/ Peter Handoyo (INA) d. Tasuka Iwami (JPN)/ Toshihide Matsui (JPN), 61 75 .. [F] d. #1 Trace Fielding (USA)/ Andrew Nisker (CAN), 76(6) 76(3) .. Nice upset of the top seeds, who had basically got  a walkover in the semis from Harsh and Ajay as they retired injured at 3-3 in the first set .. I have not heard from Harsh about what was the problem; I hope it isn't any serious injury.

The Canada trip has proved good this year for our guys .. Last year, only Harsh had any success there, though Ghouse and perhaps Manoj were also there .. Harsh had a singles title and a doubles title in two of the futures last year .. This year Ajay and Sunil reached one singles final each and Mustafa won a doubles title .. Canadian futures has now become the Indians' "happy hunting" courts, eh? .. Anyway, I like our guys traveling together like this .. It helps to build their own self-belief and confidence to see each other doing well, and to avoid feeling lonely on the tour.

At Kalamaria, in the QF, Shelley Stephen (NZL,352) d. Sai Jayalakshmy, 60 64 .. In the doubles SF, top seeded Stephens-Jayalakshmy lost to the 4th seeds Ana Cetnik and Daniela Bercek of Yugoslavia, 64 64.

June 30 Note-2

Sorry, correction -- forgot that the first sunday is a holdiday at Wimbledon .. MB plays Monday ..

Sunil lost the final today in Canada 36 36 to 3rd seed Michael Tebbutt .. Mustafa and Handoyo won the doubles title .. Sai lost the singles QF and doubles SF at the Greek satellite .. More later ..

June 30 Note-1

Quick updates from Saturday (more later today) -- LP won the MxD first round with a 9-7 3rd set .. Phew .. MB's MxD second round win was easier ..  MB plays doubles R3 today (Sunday), and LP has the day off .. Sania ran into a very talented 16 year old and lost in the junior first round there .. Great news from Canada .. 19 yr old Sunil Kumar has reached his first futures final! .. Ghouse-Handoyo are in doubles finals, but Mankad-Ramaswamy retired injured early in the first set of the semi.

June 28 Note-2

The next update will be sometime Sunday afternoon (US time) - I have to be away .. Check out for all the Big W news till then.

LP's first round mixed doubles match didn't get underway today as it got late at Wimbledon .. Postponed to tomorrow as the 4th match on court 13, with MB's MxD second round match following it on the same court (and that may get postponed tomorrow, the way the scheduling is going :-))

Good news from Canada - Sunil Kumar reached the futures semifinal today with a 61 26 60 win over Michael Cizcek of Canada and now faces Marc Silva who upset the 4th seed Tasuku Iwami today .. Including the qualies, this is Sunil's 6th win in a row - the 19 yr old moving along nicely .. He gets 4 ATP points so far .. In doubles, unseeded Harsh Mankad and Ajay Ramaswamy upset the 3rd seeds Josh Goffi (USA) and Michael Tebbut (AUS), 63 36 61 and face the top seeds Trace Fielding (USA) and Andrew Nisker (AUS) in the semis .. Also reaching semis were unseeded Mustafa Ghouse and Peter Handoyo who beat Benjamin Cassaigne and Kiantki Thomas, 61 26 62 .. They face unseeded Japanese pair, Tasuku Iwami and Toshihide Matsui in the SFs .. So, all four Indians are alive some way or other into the weekend - and I am heartened to see Sunil's progress .. These are of course baby steps, but in only the first 5 or 6 events for which he has made the main draw, he has now gone to QF (twice in India) or beyond thrice .. Not bad at all .. Keep it up, boy!

News from Greece is good too .. Unseeded Sai Jayalakshmy did probably her first upset win in over a year or something, beating the 6th seed Maria Pavlidou (#567) of Greece, 63 61 yesterday at the $10K satellite in Kalamaria, to reach the QF .. Today, she was to face the top seed Shelley Stephens (NZL,352), who is her doubles partner .. Top seeded Sai and Shelley have reached the semifinal now with a 63 64 win over the Yugoslavian pair, Borka Majstorovic and Ana Jovanovic .. They play another YUG pair, 4th seeded Ana Cetnik and Daniela Bercek in the SF ..

June 28 Note-1

Another stroll in the park for Mahesh today, against Tim Crichton and Mark Merklein of USA .. [R2] #3 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi d. T.Crichton/ M.Merklein, 76(4) 64 63 .. Here is how the match went - Set-1: went with serve without any drama till 5-5 when MB-MM had a 30-40 BP on TC-MM, and once again at AD out .. They could not convert them and it went to a tiebreaker .. Our guys were up 2-0, got evened at 2-2, forced another minibreak there to make it 3-2, served two to 5-2 and made the lead stand up .. Set-2: Had double-break point in the second game, but no use .. Had a BP in game 6, but again no luck .. The next chance was at the key time in the 10th game when they had triple set point, and they converted the first chance itself .. Set-3: MB-MM faced the first break points of the match on their serve in the first game at 15-40, but saved them and held serve .. They forced a break in the 6th game and finished off the match to reach the final 16 ..  For the match MB-MM were 2 of 7 in break chances and the other guys were 0 of 2 .. Hesh-Max seemed fully in control throughout the 90 odd minutes match .. They play the 14th seeds Boutter-Schalken or Petrovic-Skotch in the PQF in a couple of days ..

Leander and Lisa Raymond plays the last match on court 15, at about 6.30 pm, perhaps a bit later .. Thai Paradorn Srichaphan's run ended in the 3rd round today against former champ Richard Krajicek in straight sets .. Pakistani Aisam Qureshi and Isareali Amir Hadad continued their terrific play with a 64 64 64 upset of the 11th seeds Ferreira-Leach (hmmm!) .. They are also in the final-16 of doubles!

At the $25K Bastad challenger, the top seeds Manisha and Caroline Schneider (GER) did play the doubles QF yesterday - but they were upset 62 63 by the Aussie pair Jaslyn Hewitt and Beti Sekulovski ..

June 27 Note-3

Easy win for MB-EL today .. [R1] #3 M.Bhupathi/ E.Likhovtseva d. S.Stolle/ R.McQuillan, 63 64 .. They were rarely in any trouble, going up a breal early in the first set and getting a second break in the 9th game to finish the set .. In the second set, Elena was in a bit of trouble in the 7th game, falling to 15-40, but they won four points in a row to avoid hassles .. They kicked it to high gear in the 10th game on Stolle's serve to force a break after he was up 30-0 .. Good job .. MB plays the doubles second round tomorrow .. LP plays mixed doubles tomorrow.

Manisha Malhotra went down to wildcard Helena Ejeson (SWE,565), 36 16 in the second round at the $25K Bastad challenger in Sweden ..  She is still in the QF of doubles.

Big win for #951 Sunil Kumar today, over #787 Ajay Ramaswamy, at the Canada F3 futures .. He reached the QF, beating Ajay, 75 64 .. Sunil had lost to Ajay last October at the Mumbai futures in the QF .. This is his fourth futures QF, and he runs into unseeded Michal Ciszek (CAN,861) .. Harsh Mankad could not upset the 7th seed Luciano Vitullo (ARG,563), 46 16 .. He ends with just 2 ATP points from the Canadian futures, unlike 13 he had last year there, with a title .. I am sure Harsh is disappointed in not hitting a rhythm yet in the pro circuit like he had last year in Canada, or in the college circuit .. But he is starting a long journey from here on and he has a lot of  work and mental adjustments to do to bring up his ranking all the way from 1200+ .. In the doubles R1, Mustafa Ghouse and Peter Handoyo (INA) upset the 2nd seeds Diego Ayala and Rafael de Mesa of USA, 62 46 60 ..

June 27 Note-2

#3 Mahesh and Elena Likhovtseva play Sandon Stolle and Rachel McQuillan in the first round today (court 18, 5th match - about 6.30 pm, and could probably moved to another court) .. They are in the upper quarter of the bottom half, with 7th seed Bjorkman-Kournikova in their quarter of the draw .. Also appearing there is Woodbridge playing with Martina Navratilova, the evergreen one .. As Woodbridge partners the legend, his his usual partner Rennae Stubbs is playing with Jared Palmer (they are the top seeds) .. #5 Leander and Lisa Raymond are in the bottom quarter of the upper half, playing Karsten Braasch and Barbara Rittner of Germany in the first round (probably tomorrow) .. They have the 4th seeds Ullyett and Hantuchova in their quarter .. Found an interesting team that LP-LR could play in the second round - Daniel Vacek and Tatiana Poutcek ..  Vacek-Poutcek in my native tongue Malayalam (or in Tamil) means "Hi-Czech, Bye-Czech", or "Aya-Ram, Gaya-Ram" - and I hope that would be the case if both teams reach R2 :-)

Big kudos to Paradorn Srichaphan for that huge upset victory over Agassi yesterday .. Wow! .. Also, kudos to Aisam Qureshi of Pakistan for some clutch play with Amir Hadad of Israel for qualifying in and then winning the first round of doubles! .. Take a look at the scores of their matches so far - [Q1] d. Crabb/ Luczak, 64 76(7) .. [Q2] d. Hirigoyen/ Sistermans, 67(3) 63 67(5) 76(3) 15-13 !!! ..  [R1] d. Rodriguez/ Vanhoudt, 75 76(7) 76(2) .. That is 7 of the last 9 games going right down to the wire, especially that final set in the final qualies which went to 15-13 .. I am sure that match is one of the longest qualifying doubles matches ever at Roehamton qualies for Wimbledon .. See what a Jewish Israeli and a Muslim can accomplish when they work together? :-) ... I have no love lost for Pakistanis (sure, I have to put in a discliamer :-)), but Aisam is a real nice young man who has come to India and was also welcomed very well in India .. You might remember him beating LP in the challenger QF in Kolkata in 2000 - actually the only loss  LP has to anybody from the subcontinent in over a decade?

June 27 Note-1

The mixed doubles draw at Wimbledon has MB and LP on either side of the draw .. LP is playing with Lisa Raymond and they are seeded 5th .. MB is playing with Elena Likhovtseva and they are seeded 3rd ..

Manisha Malhotra won the first round at the $25K+H challenger in Sweden yesterday .. Manisha, ranked 398, beat wildcard Alexsandra Srndovic (SWE,540), 26 76(5) 63 .. She faces another wildcard, Helena Ejeson (SWE,565), who may be tougher - she upset the 6th seed Tiffany Dabek (USA,269) in easy straight sets .. Sai Jayalakshmy beat a qualifier, q-Vana Mrazovic (YUG) 62 63 to advance to the second round at the $10K satellite in Kalamaria, Greece.

There will be at least one Indian in the QFs at the Canada F3 futures in Lachine .. Ajay Ramaswamy upset the second seed Thomas Blake for a second time in two weeks and will face Sunil Kumar in the second round .. Ajay won 63 62 over #390 Blake (the brother of the more famous James Blake, but a top college star from over a couple of years back) .. Harsh Mankad and Ajay Ramaswamy had reached the doubles QF Tuesday with an easy 61 61 win over Mario Alvarez and Matt Daly of USA .. Sunil Kumar and Iphton Louis (Haiti) went down 26 36 to Gilles Kremer (LUX) and David Roditi (MEX) .. Roditi was a top-50 ATP doubles player earlier who hasn't been playing for a couple of years on the tour; I was surprised to see his name out there.

At the $15K France F11 futures, Rohan Bopanna lost to Sebastien Lami (FRA), 67(4) 16 ..

The Indian kids all had a terrible time, at the Grade-2 ITF event in Casablanca, Morocco .. Here are the results (courtesy: ITF) - all are first round matches this week -- Medhi Chakir (MAR,ur) d. Karan Rastogi (IND,136), 64 36 64 .. Teodora Mircic (YUG,277) d. Krushmi Chheda (IND,282), 75 63 .. Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS,233) d. Nidhi Shah (IND,374), 60 63 .. Marinne Giraud (FRA,366) d. Kartiki BHAT (IND,280), 76(4) 60 .. Lisa Sabino (ITA,638) d. Punam Reddy (IND,267), 63 61 .. Kartiki Bhat/ Tara Iyer d.  Lisa Sabino (ITA) / Nadia Saloman (RSA), 63 63 .. Karina Grigorian (RUS) / Anastasia Zhukova (RUS) d.  Krushmi Chheda (IND) / Punam Reddy (IND), 61 61 .. Note that these are all pretty young kids from India, 13 thru 15, and I was not expecting any of them expect perhaps Karan to have big success abroad at a grade-2 event where some of the bigger and better kids show up, though their rankings aren't always that high (most European kids have tougher domestic competition early and do not play much ITF events till later - unlike Indian kids who need to play events like this early to get tougher and to see the international standards) ..

June 26 Notes

Sorry for the delay in the match report on LP's first round doubles - I was just too sad to put that up .. Tough, tough loss today .. (Good news on MB's match below) .. [R1] S.Huss/ L.Paes l. B.Black/ R.Koenig, 46 46 75 64 57 .. HS-LP seemed to serve rather well in most games in the first two sets, except for the odd game (the 3rd in each set) where they dropped serve, having to play catchup for the rest of the set .. The story was their inability to punch it in at the break chances and deuces .. They forced deuces in about 6 games in the first two sets, but wasted 6 break chances .. It was 64 64 after two sets .. In the 3rd set, SH-LP wasted triple break chances in the second game and then dropped serve after 8 deuces and 6 break points to fall into a deep hole .. Their fight-back started from that point, as they finally forced a break to get even in the 3rd game .. After wasting three chances to go ahead in the 8th game, they dropped serve and suddenly BB-RK were serving for the match .. The fight was not over, as they converted the second break chance to even it at 5-5 and then converted another break in the 12th game to win the set and stay alive .. In the 4th set, our guys seemed to be in control, not facing any break attempts and getting the key break in the 10th game after wasting some chances in the 8th .. It was all even at two sets apiece .. Then the dramatic final set, where they traded serve at first .. In the 4th game, SH-LP again let go off triple break chances on BB-RK's serve .. Our guys faced huge trouble at 30-40 in the 9th game but stayed alive .. At 5-4 our guys had a match point at 40-30, and that too went astray .. That was the back-breaker, as SH-LP dropped serve in the next game and it was all over soon .. Oh, what a heartbreaking finish - to face serving for the match in the 3rd set, to comeback from that, to have a match points and then to end up losing after all that! .. For the 3 hour 35 minute match, The key stat was the 5 out 28 record at break points .. That hurts .. Things just do not seem to be going well for Leander and it is heartwrenching to see what he is going through....

For good news, MB had a much less dramatic match .. [R1] #3 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi d. M.Fish/ J.Morrison, 64 64 75 .. They got breaks in the 5th games of the first two sets, and the 12th game of the 3rd set .. They were generally staying ahead most of the time and not running into much trouble at all .. Relatively easy match ..

Other news coming soon ..

June 25 Note-2

They couldn't find a court to get the Paes-Huss match underway today at Wimbledon .. Rescheduled to tomorrow (3rd match, court 17) .. MB-Mirnyi will also be in first round action tomorrow (1st match, court 15, noon)

News from the Canada F3 futures - #1219 Harsh Mankad beat qualifier Morgan Wilson (USA,984) 75 61, and #951 Sunil Kumar got his first main draw win in the Canadian futures series with a 62 63 win over qualifier Nathan Price (USA,1381) .. 6th seed Mustafa Ghouse was upset by the 19 yr old Canadian wildcard Stephen Timu, 62 63 .. Ajay Ramaswamy will be playing the R1 tomorrow.

At the $15K France F11 futures today, #508 Rohan Bopanna beat unranked qualifier Georges-Alexandre Israel (FRA) in a tough match, 26 76(3) 76(6) .. I think this is the first time that Rohan is playing on the European red clay .. It was actually a very good idea for him to go to France to play the tough futures; the experience will definitely help him .. Rohan plays Sebastien Lami (FRA,489) next .. Lami had upset the 8th seed Jean-Christophe Faurel (FRA,351) in straight sets yesterday .. In the doubles R1 yesterday, Rohan and Marc Kimmich (AUS) lost 76(4) 46 46 to the second seeds Davis McNamara (AUS) and Mark Nielsen (NZL) - good match.

June 25 Note-1

Leander Paes and Stephen Huss play the first round of doubles at Wimbledon, against Byron Black (ZIM) and Robbie Koenig (RSA), but the time for the match is TBA - they may schedule it late in the day on some court .. We will see when.

At the $25K challenger in Bastad, Manisha Malhotra is drawn to face the wildcard Alexsandra Srndovic (SWE) in the first round .. She is playing doubles with Caroline Schneider (GER) and they play Jenny Lindstrom and Maria Wolfbrandt of Sweden in the first round .. At the $10K Kalamaria satellite in Greece, Sai Jayalakshmy is drawn against qualifier Vana Mrazovic (YUG) in the R1 .. Sai is seeded first in doubles, playing with Shelley Stephens of New Zealand, who has partnered Manisha earlier too .. They play Susanne Wild (GER) and Nadine Schlotterer (AUT).

At the Canada F3 futures in Lachine, Sunil Kumar qualified into the main draw with a 62 44 (retd) win over Jean-Francois Berard (CAN) .. He faces another qualifier, Nathan Price (USA) in the first round .. Harsh mankad plays a qualifier, Morgan Wilson (AUS), 6th seed Mustafa Ghouse plays the young Canadian wildcard, Stephen Timu .. Ajay Ramaswamy runs into the tough second seed Thomas Blake .. Ajay had upset him in the first week, but he had beaten Harsh in the second week .. The doubles draw is not out yet I think .. Rohan Bopanna plays his first round at the France F11 futures today.

At the China satellite masters, Rishi Sridhar beat Yi-Ning Wang (CHN) 64 62 and then lost to the 6th seed Gianluca Bazzica (ITA), 26 26 .. Kamala Kannan lost in the R1 to Gabriel Montilla (PUR), 36 06 .. Rishi finished with 15 circuit points (3 ATP points) and Kamala with 8 (2 ATP pts), I think  - that is better than how either did in the recent Indian satellites, where Kamala missed the masters and Rishi finished with 10 circuit pts .. Rishi and Kamala lost today in the doubles first round (which is the masters QF) to the second seeded Chinese pair Jing-Zhu Yang and Ben-Qiang Zhu, 16 46 .. They will both get a few doubles ATP points ..

No news yet on the Morocco ITF grade-2 starting today, but here are some missing scores from the Morocco ITF grade-3 last week (I had not given any updates since the 20th) -- Karan, Tara and Kartiki were all in the doubles finals, whic makes four Indians finishing doubles runners-up, with Divij doing it in Ukraine also .. [SF] K.Rastogi/ M.Al-Nabhani d.  Yassir Bouyaha (MAR) / Mehdi Ziadi (MAR), 36 63 76(3) .. [F] KR/MA l. Tore DeLeuran-Skjold (DEN) / David North (RSA), 36 57 .. In the girls, 13 yr old Tara and 15 yr old Kartiki also combined very well, upsettint the top seeds on the way to the final .. [QF] K.Bhat/ T.Iyer d. #1  Catherine Grotz (BEL) / Iginia Tilocca (NED), 62 63 .. [SF] d. Miljana Adanko (HUN) / Lara Giltinan (AUS), 62 63 .. [F] l. Sylvia Montero (FRA) / Charlene Vanneste (FRA), 26 46 .. Karan had fallen in three sets in the singles QF to Muruguza as I said earlier, and that boy rfinished as arunner up to Jarret Chrico (USA) after a 3-set final ..

At the grade-1 LTA juniors in Roehamton (UK), qualifier Stephen Amritraj (USA,106) upset Davor Kuseta (CRO,55), 63 64 in the first round .. That is one of Stephen's best win in the juniors .. He fell in the second round to #61 Martin Stiegwardt of Ecuador, 26 46 ..

June 24 Notes

Not much tennis of interest to us during the weekend, but sorry for the two days break in the notes ..

The Wimbledon doubles will be starting in a couple of days .. Here is an interesting article in the Deccan Herald with some comments from LP and MB on what they expect .. LP's comments were interesting, about how he is now feeling rather rejuvenated .. He is "enjoying running round and looking for partners. It's like when I first started out" .. May be he is right, that in some strange ways this would keep him from feeling all jaded with the tour that has been doing for over a dacade .. "In the season I have been using this time to do the groundwork to find the right partner for the next season. In that sense Wimbledon will be an education" .. "I have had to focus entirely on my doubles this summer," Paes said. "What I am doing now is working hard physically with the Asian Games in mind. I'll be going for three golds in Busan. I would like to pick up my singles play again from there." .. Anyway, perhaps LP has decided to restart the singles thing after the Asiad, probably with the challengers in India .. Alright, we will lay off and not be on his case, as far as singles are concerned .. I hope he does get back into it later this year .. LP seems to have completely stopped all talk of "getting old and retiring" and all that stuff lately, and I have to say that I like it!

Manisha Malhotra is in the singles main draw entry list for the Swedish $25K challenger in Bastad this week .. Sai Jayalakshmy is in the main draw list for the $10K satellite in Kalamaria, Greece .. Haven't seen the draws at either place .. No sign of Rushmi for a few weeks, since the Chinese events.

Rohan Bopanna is also finally out on the tour .. He is in the main draw at the $15K France F11 futures in La Valette ..He plays a qualifier, Georges-Alexandre Israel (FRA) in the first round ..

No draw info yet from the Canada F3 futures in Lachine near Montreal .. Sunil Kumar was the 3rd seed in the qualies and has reached the final round of qualies after a Q1 bye .. [Q2] #3 Sunil Kumar Sipaeya d. Charles-Anthony Levaque (CAN) 61 60, [Q3] d. Adil Shamaskin (CAN), 63 63 .. He plays Jadys Bourdelais (CAN) in the final round today.

Late update on how Rishi and Kamala did in the 3rd leg of the China satellites last week in Tianjin .. Wildcard Shao-Xuan Zeng (CHN) defeated the 8th seed Rishi Sridhar 64 63 and Yi-Ning Wang (CHN) beat Kamala Kannan 61 60, in the first round .. In doubles, Kannan/Sridhar d. Erik Dmytruk (CAN)/ Gabriel Montilla (PUR), 64 76(5) and they fell in the QF to the top seeds Ran Xu and Shao-Xuan Zeng, 64 16 16 .. I think both have enough points to make it to the masters leg this week in singles and doubles .. No news on that yet.

16 yr old Divij Sharan had a good time at the Donetsk Cup Grade-4 ITF juniors (red clay) in Donetsk, UKR, last week .. He reached the QF of singles and the final of doubles .. [R1] #3 seed Divij Sharan (IND,243) d. Dmytry Lyamin (UKR,792)  61 62 .. [R2] d. Vadim Demchishin (UKR,NR) 62 64 .. [QF] l. #6 seed Dmytro Gurichev (UKR,319) 26 36 .. The doubles run with a lower ranked Turkish player was rather impressive, as the unseeded pair upset the top seeds along the way .. [R1] D.Sharan (IND,241)/ Mustafa Ulukan (TUR,645) d. D.Lyamin (UKR) / Yoav Schab (ISR) 63 63 .. [QF] d. #1 Dmitri Makeev (KAZ) / Anton Tsymbalov (KAZ) 63 63 .. [SF] d. #4 Eduardo Campos (MEX) / Julian Svitolin (UKR) 63 64 .. [F]  l.  Alexander Aksionov (UKR) / Dmitro Lutsenko (UKR) 67(2) 61 26 .. Good job, Divij!  .. (Thanks go to the gentleman who alerted me to Divij being in Ukraine - I didn't expect any Indian kids to be out there!)

I have not got an update yet on the final couple of rounds at the Morocco grade-3 last week, where Karan, Tara, Kartiki, etc, were playing .. Will have it soon .. The group should be moving to the grade-2 event in Casablanka, Morocco, this week.

Sania Mirza is in the main draw entry list for the Wimbledon juniors next week, but she has been off the tour due to some illness from a couple of weeks back .. No Indians are at the Wimbledon preparation event, the grade-1 ITF juniors in UK this week .. Stephen Amritraj of USA upset a higher seed in the qualies and made the main draw theree .. [Q1] 9th seed S.Amritraj (9) BYE .. [Q2] d. Mat Lowe (GBR), 67(5) 62 64 .. [Q3] d. 3rd seed Jose Nenganga (ANG), 63 62 .. In the main draw, he faces Davor Kuseta of Croatia.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on June 24 ..

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.