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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the 2 weeks ending on July 9, 2007
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2007)

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July 9 Notes

Prakash Amritraj just qualified into the $400K Newport ATP in the US, with a big upset along the way .. Go Kash!!! .. He also got a favorable draw in the first round .. At the big $100K clay challenger in Scheveningen in Netherlands, Rohan Bopanna got a special exempt entry based on his show at Dublin last week!  .. Neha Ubeori (USA) is at the $50K Boston challenger .. Also in action this week are Karan Rastogi at a $10K in Morocco, and Sunil Sipaeya in the US ..Tara Iyer, whohas not had an upset in a while, got upset this week in the qualies of a $25K in Japan .. More details later .. Gotta run!

July 8 Note-2

The week, which started so so with not too much of great results, ended as one of the best for us, with our men's #1 player, Rohan Bopanna winning his first challenger title, at Dublin, Ireland and our #2 player behind Sania, Sunitha Rao reaching a challenger final for the first time in a long time - both of them had big upsets of seeded players as well.  Rohan was one of the last entries in the draw but that did not stop him from taking the title, which is only the second challenger title in about 13 years by anybody other than Leander Paes.  Harsh Manakd had won the Manchester grasscourt title last July, before which one has to go back to 1994 when Mahesh Bhupathi won the Jakarta challenger.  Rohan, 27 year old, who must be considered one of the big upcoming doubles players on the tour as well, based on the top-100 players who make him a partner, won the doubles title as well, to make it a grand double in the best week of his career.  Congartulations, Bofors Bopanna!! .. This was the second final of his career, his previous coming at Bukhara, Uzbekistan last August.  Sunitha Rao reached the 4th challenger final of her career, but is still lookng for her first title.

Here are the score of the matches for Rohan and Sunitha:

Rohan Bopanna's singles and doubles scores at the $50K Shelbourne Irish Open ATP Challenger at Fitzwilliam, Dublin

[R1] Rohan Bopanna (IND,289) d. (5) Simon Stadler (GER,205) 76(2) 61
[R2] Rohan Bopanna (IND,289) d. Ti Chen (TPE,267) 76(10) 61
[QF] Rohan Bopanna (IND,289) d. (2) Mischa Zverev (GER,134) 67(3) 64 63
[SF] Rohan Bopanna (IND,289) d. Conor Niland (IRL,385) 64 64
[F] Rohan Bopanna (IND,289) d. (Q) Martin Pedersen (DEN,679) 64 63

[R1] (2) R.Bopanna/ A.Feeney d. Jamie Baker (GBR)/ Brendan Evans (USA) 75 64
[QF] (2) R.Bopanna/ A.Feeney d. Frederik Nielsen (DEN)/ Martin Pedersen (DEN) 36 76(5) (17-15)
[SF] (2) R.Bopanna/ A.Feeney d. Andis Juska (LAT)/ Deniss Pavlovs (LAT) 62 64
[F] (2) R.Bopanna/ A.Feeney d. (1) Lars Burgsmuller (GER)/ Mischa Zverev (GER) 62 62

Sunitha Rao's scores from the $25,000 ITF challenger in Southlake, Dallas;

[R1] (7) Sunitha Rao (IND,265) d. (WC) Jill Saunders (USA,UNR) 62 62
[R2] (7) Sunitha Rao (IND,265) d. (Q) Heidi El Tabakh (CAN,557) 46 75 64
[QF] (7) Sunitha Rao (IND,265) d. (2) Natalie Grandin (RSA,222) 64 61
[SF] (7) Sunitha Rao (IND,265) d. (5) Ryoko Fuda (JPN,247), walkover
[F] (7) Sunitha Rao (IND,265) vs Alexa Glatch (USA,421), 26 57

In other news this week, Tara Iyer qualified into a $25K in Japan but could not pull an upset in the first round .. Karan Rastogi was the top seed at a $10K clay event in Morocco, but was upset in the first round .. Hope they do better next week in Japan and Morocco.

under-16 news: Sweta Solanki, in the ITF team for the European u16 clay circuit, reached yet another final with her Indoensian partner, Beatrice Gumulya .. After one poor week (starting June 18th) at La Baule, France, where they got knocked out in the QF,  Sweta Kumari Solanki (IND) and Beatrice Gumulya (INA) again has reached two mor doubles finals in a row - though they fell both times ... At the ETA category-1 Le Pontet u16 in the June 25th week,  5th seeded Sweta and Beatrice reached the final upsetting the 4th and 2nd seeds, and fell in the final, 57 64 (6-10) to the 3rd seeded Chinese pair, Xi Bai and Xin Wen ... This week at the ETA category-1 Paris Cadets,  Sweta and Beatrice were seeded 3rd and beat the 6th and 2nd seeds before losing the final 67(4) 67(5) to the 4th seeds Ema Burgic (BIH) and Alexandra Josifoska (MKD), who had upset the top seeds Bai/Wen in the semi ... Unfortunately, the same old story in singles for ETA#109 Sweta, as she went down cheaply in the second round to a #53 player after beating a #141 player this week at the Paris cadets.  She was seeded 12th and was upset in the first round last week at Le Pontet, France ... Actually, with the 65 points for her runner-up finish in singles (also 20 for doubles title) at the Foggia category-2 last week, Ashvarya Shrivastava has gone ahead of Sweta whose points have mostly come in small bits from doubles titles.  Ashvarya is ranked #95 this week in ETA while Sweta is #111.  Kyra Shroff is #211.  They were both not in the ITF team and only played 3 Italian events unlike Sweta who played 6 events ... With the title in just ONE event he played (Foggia clay) last week, Sudanwa Sitaram came up to #171 in the ETA ranks, which is impressive!

July 6 Note

Some big news to report on Rohan Bopanna (also Sunitha Rao) - in the next notes .. I was traveling for the whole week, first at a large malayali convention in New York, and then to a wedding.  Did not manage to find time to do updates at all ..

The Wimbledon ended for us without a whole heck of a lot to cheer about.  Here are the scores for Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Sania Mirza and Rupesh Roy:


[R1] (5) Martin Damm (CZE)/ L.Paes d. Chris Haggard (RSA)/ Marcin Matkowski (POL)     76(4) 63 75
[R2] (5) Martin Damm (CZE)/ L.Paes d. James Auckland (GBR)/ Stephen Huss (AUS)        76(4) 76(4) 36 76(3)
[R3] (5) Martin Damm (CZE)/ L.Paes d. (Q) Scott Lipsky (USA)/ David Martin (USA)      62 64 62
[QF] (5) Martin Damm (CZE)/ L.Paes l. (4) Fabrice Santoro (FRA)/ Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) 67(6) 76(5) 46 36

[R1] (16) S.Mirza/ Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE)/ Lilia Osterloh (USA)   75 63
[R2] (16) S.Mirza/ Shahar Peer (ISR) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN)/ Vladimira Uhlirova (CZE)  64 63
[R3] (16) S.Mirza/ Shahar Peer (ISR) l. (1) Lisa Raymond (USA)/ Samantha Stosur (AUS) 06 76(4) 16

Mixed Doubles:

[R1] (8) L.Paes / Meghan Shaughnessy (USA) BYE
[R2] (8) L.Paes / Meghan Shaughnessy (USA) d. Jaroslav Levinsky (CZE)/ Renata Voracova (CZE) 60 60 
[R3] (8) L.Paes / Meghan Shaughnessy (USA) d. (12) Todd Perry (AUS)/ Chia-Jung Chuang (TPE)  75 75
[QF] (8) L.Paes / Meghan Shaughnessy (USA) l. Fabrice Santoro (FRA)/ Severine Bremond (FRA)  62 36 46

[R1] M.BHupathi/ S.Mirza d. David Skoch (CZE)/ Janette Husarova (SVK) 63 64
[R2] M.BHupathi/ S.Mirza l. (9) Marcin Matkowski (POL)/ Cara Black (ZIM) 46 46

Boys Singles/ Doubles:

[R1] Rupesh Roy (IND) d. Sean Thornley (GBR)     57 76(4) (10-7)
[R2] Rupesh Roy (IND) l. (8) Kellen Damico (USA) 36 63 (6-10)
[R1] R.Roy/ Damien Hume (USA) l. Devin Britton (USA)/ Austin Krajicek (USA)/  16 63 (5-10)

Hope we do better at US Open, the remaining grand slam of the year.

June 29 Notes

.. For those of you who missed our chat session with Somdev Dev Varman today, here are the transcripts from the session .. He chatted with us for a couple of hours and answered all questions!

Leander and Martin Damm had to play some hard sets today to advance 76(4) 76(4) 46 76(3) over James Auckland and Stephen Huss .. Close match which had very few service breaks but our guys alwasy came out an inch ahead .. Thier PQF opponents are yet to be determined .. Also advancing were Sania Mirza and Shahar Peer, who won 75 63 against Sofi Arvidsson (SWE) and Lilia Osterloh (USA) .. They next face Agnes Szavay (HUN) and Vladimira Uhlirova (RUS) ..

June 28 Notes

Sania lost pretty badly to the 11th seed Nadia Petrova, 26 26 today in the R2 at Wimbledon.   Basically Petrova was too good and Sania was not at a much higher level than her ususal self .. Thatw as that.

Fifth seeds Leander and Martin Damm won the first round at Wimbledon, 76(4) 63 75 over Chris Haggard (RSA) and Marcin Matkowski (POL) .. They play James Auckland (GBR) and Stephen Huss (AUS) tomorrow in the second round .. Also in action tomorrow will be sania in doubles with ShaharPeer, and in mixed doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi .. The long-awaited all-Indian mixed doubles pairing at a grand slam finally happens!

Ankita went down in the R2 at the $25K in Turkey.   Isha is also behind in a match postponed to tomorrow .. More later..

June 27 Notes

Leander's doubles first round match did not get started today at Wimbledon, where there are the usual delays with the silly rain etc .. Being payed tomorrow, early ..

In the $25K challenger in Istanbul-Khemer in Turkey, qualifier Isha Lakhani (#530) pulled a fabulous upset, one of the best wins in recent times for her, as she beat the second seed Monica Adamczak (AUS,202) 75 63 .. Ankita Bhambri (#529) also won, over unranked Turkish wildcard Tugce Dogan, 62 64 .. Though she lost, qualifier Sanaa Bhambri (#508) also played well in a 16 63 26 match against the 4th seed Maria Fernanda Alves (BRA,269) .. In doubles, both the Indian teams, Rushmi/Isha and Ankita/Sanaa lost in the QFs today though.

Rupesh Roy's run ended in the PQFof the Roehampton grade-1 junior ITF today, as he lost in a short-format match, 41 14 (4-10) against qualifier Devin Britton of USA .. A bit of a disappointment, after a big top-15 upset yesterday .. I hope Rupesh will be in good form at the Wimbledon juniors next week.

June 26 Notes

Huh .. I was worrying unnecessarily earlier, it seems .. When Sania Mirza comes out ready for murder like today, Shvedova was bound to be sent-off-a ... Our girl started with two aces in the first game and kept the foot firmly on the neck from there on for a 60 63 win in the first round at the Wimbledon .. One of those "who's your daddy" type matches .. Basically, Shvedova could not do anything whwnever she missed her first serve, as SM took all 8 of her second serve points on the way to finishing the first set .. The Russian put up a brief fight for a couple of games early in the second set and even had Sania facing a couple of break points, but the writing was already on the wall .. An efficient win for SM, who now faces the 11th seed Nadia Petrova (RUS,9) in the second round .. Petrova was one of Sania's big early scalps, back in 2005 in San Diego in a match that I saw in person.  That was then, and this is now, though.  No idea how the next match will go, but I can guarantee that it won't be as easy as the 62 61 Sania pulled off the only previous time these two have met.

The terrible news today was that Radek Stepanek had to withdraw from doubles and so Mahesh also had to .. Darn .. Leander and Damm will be in action tomorrow.

At the $25 Turkey challenger, Rushmi Chakravarthi went down in straight sets, 36 36 to the top seed Kyra Nagy (HUN,141) .. Isha, Ankita and Sanaa play their R1 matches tomorrow .. In doubles today,
Rushmi and Isha defeated Tugce Dogan (TUR) and Melis Sezer (TUR), 76(2) 60 .. Also winning were the Bhambri sisters who picked up an easy 61 64 win over Huliya Velieva and Lytufya Velieva of Bulgaria .. The Indian teams are up against the top two seeds in the QFs

At the Roehampton grade-1 junior ITF, Rupesh Roy (IND,48) reached the PQF with a big upset win over the 9th seed Ricardo Urzua-Rivera (CHI,13), 35 42 (10-6) in a shortened-format match due to rain delays .. In the first round, also played today, he won 42 42 over Nikita Zotov (RUS,62) .. He now faces the qualifier, Devin Britton (USA,131) ..

June 25 Notes

All the Wimbledon draws are out.   Sania Mirza plays Tuesday in the first round against Yaroslava Shvedova (RUS,80) .. 19 year old Shvedova is one of the bigger movers up the ranks this year - her big results coming at the Bangalore WTA in February, where she beat Shikha Uberoi and upset second seeded Sania on the way to her first WTA title .. Sania lost 76(2) 46 46 to her in the quarterfinal; so this is revenge time .. But realistically, unless she is uncomfortable on grass or something, Sania will have her hands full against the Russian .. Since upsetting the top two seeds Sania and Santangelo at Bangalore, she has gone 3-3 against the top-40 with wins against those like the current #6 Ivanovic, #37 Bremond and #39 Bondarenko.

In doubles, bother LP-Damm and MB-Stepanek are seeded.  Sania is playing with her old partner Shahar Peer, who split up last year because of some senseless opposition from some quarters about a Muslim-Israeli partnership .. They also became the last seeded pair in the draw. Here are the first round matchups for Indians:
[R1] (5) Martin Damm (CZE)/ Leander Paes (IND) vs Chris Haggard (RSA)/ Marcin Matkowski (POL)
[R1] (11) Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)/ Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs Christopher Kas (GER)/ Alexander Peya (AUT)
[R1] (16) Sania Mirza (IND)/ Shahar Peer (ISR) vs Sofia Arvidsson (SWE)/ Lilia Osterloh (USA)

For Indians are at the $25K challenger in Turkey this week.   Rushmi Chakravarthi, ranked 389, made the main draw directly, and was joined today by three more Indians, as Ankita Bhambri, Isha Lakhani and Sanaa Bhambri qualfied in as the top three seeds in the qualies .. After a Q1 bye, #529 Ankita Bhambri beat 15th seed Jana Albers (GER,1187) 16 63 60 to qualify ..
Isha Lakhani, #530, also with a Q1 bye, beat the 16th seed Huliya Velieva (BUL,1293) 63 61 in final qualies .. #508 Sanaa Bhambri beat Ayse-Ece Yavuz (TUR,UNR) 62 62, and then the 12th seed Sofia Kvatsabaia (GEO,960) 16 64 62 .. Very tough matchups for three of them in the main draw though .. Rushmi plays top seed Kyra Nagy (HUN,145), Isha faces second seed Monique Adamczak (AUS,202), and Sanaa runs into 4th seed Maria-Fernanda Alves (BRA,269) .. Ankita is the only one with an easier match - she gets wildcard Tugce Dogan (TUR,UNR) .. In doubles, Rushmi and Isha face Tugce Dogan (TUR) and Melis Sezer (TUR) .. The Bhambri sisters play Velieva sisters from Bulgaria - Huliya and Lyutfya.

Rupesh Roy, #48 in the world junior rankings, is with the u18 ITF team to Europe, and is playing this week at the ITF grade-1in Roehampton .. He faces #62 Nikita Zotov (RUS) in the first round.  I believe rain is causing all kinds of schedule delays at Roehampton.

Three Indians u16 kids had terrific results at an ETA category-2 claycourt event in Foggia, Italy this week .. Two qualifiers, Sudanwa Sitaram and Ashvarya Shrivastava reached the final with Sudanwa pulling off the title, while a thrid one, Kyra Shroff who was the last direct entry in the field, reached the QF as well, all of them upsetting top-100 seeded Euroepans.  Congratulations go to them! .. It is nice to see them showing that they are at least in the top-25 or top-50 talent level in releation to European kids.  ETA top-25 roughly translates to top-50 in the world juniors at that level.  Only Europe has well-coordinated u14 and u16 circuits with multiple-country entries.

.. Previous news are at Notes for the week ending on June 25, 2007 ..

.. Please email questions/comments/criticism to me email me - R.Jayakrishnan