Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the weeks ending on July 04, 2005
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July 8 Notes
I was back from my travel three days back, but was goofing off, as nothing
much earthshattering happened this week so far, though things looked very promising
early on at the $25K+H Nottingham challenger on grass .. Harsh Mankad
(IND,241) had an upset win in the first round there, 76(0) 63 over David
Sherwood (GBR,219) - which was nice revenge for two losses he had had to
David earlier on .. However, HM got injured with a left quadriceps strain
(does not appear to be too serious) which caused a 61 64 loss against Mark
Hilton (GBR,202) whom Harsh had beaten twice this year .. Prakash Amritraj
(IND,256), who had that great run at the Forest Hills challenger which ended
in a 36 67(3) loss to Frederic Niemeyer (CAN,217), could not get much going
this week at Nottingham, as he had a shoulder tightness resulting in a first
round retirement at 46 14 against Travis Rettenmeier, again a player he had
beaten twice this year .. Rohan Bopanna (IND,381) had a nice run in
qualifying in - after a bye, the 6th seed beat the British wildcard Robert
Chambers, 63 60 and had a nice 63 62 win over the 3rd seed Adam Feeney (AUS,418)
.. Bofors, however, got no help from the draw - as he drew the top seed Marcos
Baghdatis (CYP,74) in the main draw first round .. Bops had a great start
and had a nice comeback fight in the 3rd set too, but he went down with guns
blazing at 75 16 57 .. Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND,397) was in the qualies as
the 2nd seed .. He had a bye and a 2-1 (Ret) win over Nathan Rooney (GBR,1251),
but he then lost to the 7th seed Frank Moser (GER,540) .. Mustafa Ghouse
(IND,811) beat Adam Lownsbrough (GBR,1362) 60 62 in the Q1 and then
went down fighting, 67(3) 75 36 to Frank Moser .. So, what looked very promising
earlier in the week fizzled out fast at Nottingham with the very chilly weather
adding to injury problems for HM and PA and then RB getting a poor draw.
Doubles also did not go well at Nottingham .. Harsh and Mustafa were seeded
4th and wre leading 64 11 when their R1 match against Lee Childs anbd David
Sherwood was postponed on Tuesday .. But after HM had injury troubles in
the singles match the next day, they had to give a walkover in doubles ..
British wildcards, Joshua Goodall and Martin Lee beat Frederik Nielsen (DEN)
and Sunil Kumar, 64 64, in the R1 .. In the first round of doubles qualies,
the top seeds Adam Feeney (AUS) and Travis Rettenmaier (USA) beat Rohan Bopanna
and Marcus Sarstrand (SWE) 76(5) 46 76(4) .. So that was it for doubles ..
Prakash did not play doubles this week.
Well, these t hings happen .. Great news on week and poor the next week ..
The Indian contingent proceeds to Manchester for next week's grasscourt challenger
.. Harsh is in the main draw, but Prakash is 7th out as of now .. All but
HM would have to play qualies .. After next week, the whole conigent may
be coming to the Tarzana challenger in the US, so a lot of tennis to look
The women were all mostly off this week - but Shikha and Neha are expected at the Lewisville challenger next week ..
By the way, as I have not had an update since last saturday - let me congratulate
Mahesh and Mary Pierce for a great title at Wimbledon, where they did not
drop a set in six matches .. MB's 8th grand slam title, 3rd in mixed doubles
.. Here is a picture (couortesy: Wimbledon site)
Congratulations!! .. Mahesh said he might play with Pierce at the US Open,
but it will be decided later .. MB next plays doubles with Martin Damm in
two weeks at Stuttgart ..
For the record, unseeded MB-MP won the SF on Sunday by a 75 61 score over
the 3rd seeds Bjorkman and Lisa Raymond, and then won the title match also
on Sunday, 64 62 over Paul Hanley and Tathiana Perebiynis ..
July 2 Notes
Quick update, as I am away traveling right now .. Great news from Forest Hills grass challenger, as Prakash Amritraj (IND,314) is in the final!!!
.. He beat Rajeev Ram (USA,309) 75 57 76 today to reach the second challenger
final of his career !! .. He plays 217th ranked Fred Niemeyer of Canada in
the final tomorrow !! .. Kash had beaten Rik DeVoest (RSA,204) 67(4) 63 63
yesterday .. Two tough back to back wins pulled of by P$ to get to the final
.. Wow! .. Kash will move back up right at around #250 now ..
Mahesh plays the MxD semifinal at Wimbledon tomorrow (and hopefully the final
also, which is set for tomorrow) .. The SF is against 3rd seeds Bjorkman-Raymond
.. Hesh and Mary Pierce had won the QF on Friday upsetting the 12th seeds
Olivier Rochus and Kim Clijsters easily, 61 75 .. They have not dropped a
set so far in 4 wins .. Go Hesh!
By the way, qualifiers Huss-Moodie who "upset" Woodbridge and Bhupathi in
the second round went on to pull one upset after another and won the title
in one of the most incredible cynderella runs Wimbledon has ever seen ..
Beating Bryans in the final, Black-Ullyett in the SF etc too .. Wow .. Perhaps
Woodbridge shouldn't have felt so bad at the early loss this year, after
June 30 Notes
Mahesh's MxD QF match at the Wimbledon got postponed to today (Friday)
due to rain yesterday .. It will be against Kim Clijsters and Olivier Rochus
.. At about 1.30 pm .. In the boys' doubles R2 match Jeevan and Sanam played
closely but lost a 57 67(4) match to a Canadian pair .. Very close match,
actually .. One break in game 12 of the first set and none in the second
.. Vivek and Abdullah play the R2 tomorrow ..
Another terrific match by Prakash Amritraj .. He beat Eric Taino (USA,369),
75 62 yesterday to reach the QF at the Forest Hills challenger .. Taino was
ranked as high as #122 18 months back, but not playing as well these days
.. Still, he is the kind of player that used to give trouble to Prakash till
recently .. So it is good going for Kash there .. Up next is Rik DeVoest
(RSA,204) .. Prakash and Giovanni Lapentti won the doubles R1 as well, 61
62 over John Paul Fruttero and Glenn Weiner of USA .. That is another good
win over a decent pair of players. They play the 4th seeds Rajeev Ram
and Bobby Reynolds of USA next ..
Mustafa and Adam Chadaj (POL) lost the doubles QF at the $25K+H Montauban
challenger in France, 36 67(2) to Ti Chen (TPE) and Joseph Nesticky (CZE)
The big news today is that Mahesh Bhupathi will be partnering Martin Damm (CZE)
for the rest of the year in doubles .. Damm is a pretty good doubles player
.. 31 titles under the belt for the 32 year old, though he doesn't have too
many big titles.. He has one grand slam final and three masters titles, but
to be fair, he has nevert seemed to play with a true top-notch partner like
a Mahesh .. Hopefully this partnership will work out .. MB has never played
June 29 Note-2
Tomorrow at Wimbledon, Mahesh and Mary Pierce play the MxD QF against
the 12th seeds, Olivier Rochus and Kim Clijsters of Belgium at about 3.30
pm (8 pm India, 10.30 am NY) .. Jeevan and Sanam play Philp Bester and Peter
Polansky of Canada at about 3 pm .. Vivek and Abdullah Magdas (KUW) play
Samuel Groth (AUS) and Andrew Kennaugh (GBR) at 5 pm.
A sad announcement today by Todd Woodbridge (AUS) that he is retiring immediately
from the professional circuit and Davis Cup .. A bit shocked about the timing,
but that second round loss to Huss and Moodie did affect him - so much so
that he wept on court and Mahesh had to console him .. But Todd knew that
the end had come to a great career - he is of course one player that we all
just simply call The Legend (the other being Martina, of course) .. He actually
knew for much of this year that it was getting to be time .. Losing early
at Wimbledon just accelerated the decision, I suppose .. It is a tough break
for Mahesh, but there is still half a year left and he can hopefully find
a good partner for the rest of the year .. Farewell, and thanksd for the
Ok, on to the huge huge news of the day!! .... Just a couple of days back I was feeling bad that Prakash has drawn the
tough top seed in back to back challengers .. Little did I know that Prakash
had other plans - he came out there today for the 3rd set of the unfinished
match and took it straight to the top seed, pulling off one of the biggest
upsets of his career! .. At the $50K greasscourt challenger at Forest Hills,
NY, [R1] Prakash Amritraj (IND,314) d. (1) Giovanni Lapentti (ECU,114), 63
46 62 .. He went ahead at 2-1 with a break and then picked up one more insurance
break to rout the top seed, who was actually quite upset with himself, throwing
his racket and picking up point penalty etc .. There is a great match report
by our onsite fanclub member match report, from
Gurvinder in the forum
.. Prakash plays Eric Taino (USA,369) tomorrow in the second round
.. Go Kash!!!!! .. Prakash has been playing some smash-mouth tennis lately
.. It is so nice to see our best two, Harsh and Prakash beginning to regularly
pull off challenger wins and moving up the ranks .. In the doubles draw,
Prakash is playing with Lapentti again, and they face the American pair,
Glenn Weiner and John Paul Fruttero.
Not a good day for Karan Rastogi today at the USA F15 futures in Buffalo
-- he went down 26 57 to qualifier Alex Clayton (USA) .. A bit of a surprise,
as Alex is a 17 year old who is ranked #49 in the world junior ranks .. But
he had three dominating wins in the qualies - any player who comes through
the US futures qualies is normally a good one .. Karan may be a little short
on match practice after the 4-week physical training program in Florida -
that and the clkay surface all must have conspired to cause the loss, in
addition to Clayton being in hot form. Karan will now go to the USA
F16 futures in Pittsburgh.
The entry list for the Tarzana challenger in California in 3 weeks time,
shows both Harsh and Prakash in the main draw, with Bopanna and Karan in
the qualifying list .. Both Prakash and Harsh will be at the Nottingham grass
challenger next week (Harsh in the main draw, and prakash currently next-in,
but sure to make it) .. Both will also be at the Manchester challenger the
week after (Harsh in the main draw; Prakash almost surely will need qualies
there) .. I assume Bopanna also may go to UK and would try the qualies at
the two grass challengers
June 29 Note-1
Leander and Nenad played a barnburner 2 hour 40 minutes match against
the 4th seeds Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett and lost one in the QF at Wimbledon
by the narrowest of margins just now .. 57 67(8) 67(8) .. Hardly many
break points in the whole long match .. Our guys had 4 of them and the other
guys had 5 .. WB-KU converted one in the first set to go ahead .. They traded
one break each in the second .. Not even a whiff of break chances in the third,
and even in the final tiebreaker, the first minibreak came at 8-8 .. It was
that close, but our guys' inability to take points off the Zimbabweans' serve
in the end proved fatal, though to be fair, Lee and Zimo were hardly giving
points on their serve either (not to mention serving an unusually large number
of aces - 16 of them, to 5 by the winning team) .. One of those days .. Mahesh
and Mary advanced in straight sets and are in the QF of MxD now .. Here
are the results from today and yesterday ..
[QF] (5) Leander Paes/ Nenad Zimonjic (SCG) l. (4) Wayne Black (ZIM)/ Kevin Ullyett (ZIM), 57 67(8) 67(8)
[R3] Mahesh Bhupathi/ Mary Pierce (FRA) d. Martin Garcia (ARG)/ Mara Santangelo (ITA), 63 76(5)
[R1] Vivek Shokeen/ Abdullah Magdas (KUW) d. Christoph Hodl (AUT)/ Jochen Schottler (GER), 46 63 97
[R3] (5) Leander Paes/ Nenad Zimonjic (SCG) vs Karol Beck (SVK)/ Jaroslav Levinsky (CZE), 75 63 64
[R2] Sanam K Singh (IND,37) l. Antal Van Der Duim (NED,23), 26 36
[R2] Vivek Shokeen (IND,28) l. (17) Thiemo De Bakker (NED,21), 57 64 16
[R1] Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan/ Sanam K Singh d. Sho Aida (JPN)/ Jiri Kosler (CZE), 63 64
Really good fight from Viovek and Abdullah today, as they were about
to lose at 3-5, and facing serve at 30-30 in the third set .. B roke back
there to get on serve and then broke the other guys at 8-7 to win it .. So
we go 2-1 today at Wimbledon .. Mahesh in mixed doubles QF and the three
boys in the doubles PQF remain now at Wimbledon.
In other news, Prakash Amritraj (IND,319) is playing a really good match at the $50K
Forest Hills grass challenger against the top seed Giovanni Lapentti (ECU,114)
.. The match was postponed late in the evening at 63 46 00 .. Here is the
nice onsite fanclub member match report, from
Gurvinder in the forum ..
Hope Kash can come in and close the show today, when they play at about 1 pm ..
Shikha Uberoi could not do a whole lot against the second seed Julia
Schruff (GER,91) in a 26 46 loss in the first round at the $75K Fano challenger
on clay in Italy .. I presume Shikha is looking forward to getting back to
her favorite surface, hardcourts, in the US .. Grass and clay in Europe have
not been kind to her, for sure.
At the $10K USA F15 futures in Buffalo, NY, 4th seeds Karan Rastogi and Philipp
Gubenco (CAN) lost 63 36 46 to Jesse Witten and Hamid Mirzadeh of USA in
the first round of doubles .. Karan plays the singles R1 today at about 3
June 28 Notes
Today's matches at the Wimbledon are:
[R3] (5) Leander Paes/ Nenad Zimonjic (SCG) vs Karol Beck (SVK)/ Jaroslav Levinsky (CZE) .. at 2 pm (6.30 pm India) +/- 15 min.
[R3] Mahesh Bhupathi/ Mary Pierce (FRA) vs Martin Garcia (ARG)/ Mara Santangelo (ITA) .. at 6 pm (10.30 pm India) +/- 45 min.
[R2] Sanam K Singh (IND,37) vs Antal Van Der Duim (NED,23) .. at 11 am (3.30 pm India)
[R2] Vivek Shokeen (IND,28) vs (17) Thiemo De Bakker (NED,21) .. at 11 am (3.30 pm India)
[R1] Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan/ Sanam K Singh vs Sho Aida (JPN)/ Jiri Kosler (CZE) .. at 4.30 pm (9 pm India) +/- 30 min
Shikha Uberoi (IND,134) plays the first round today against the second seed
Julia Schruff (GER,91) at the $75K Fano challenger in Italy on clay .. The
match is at about 4 pm there .. Tough draw for Shikha again, but she is capable
of upsetting Julia .. Go Shikha!
Prakash Amritraj (IND,319) plays the first round today against the top seed
Giovanni Lapentti (ECU,114) at about 5 pm at the $50K Forest Hills grass
court chellenger on the center court - the featured night match there ..
Karan Rastogi (IND,593) plays the first round at the $10K USTA F15 futures
in Williamsville, right outside Buffalo, NY, USA .. He is drawn against qualifier
Alex Clayton (USA,1487) .. This event is on clay, and it is never easy to
play a qualifier who came through 4 rounds out there .. Go Karan! .. Mostly
only doubles on schedule for Tuesday, and Karan, seeded 4th with partner Philip
Gubenco (CAN) faces a tough US pair, Hamid Mirzadeh and Jesse Witten today
.. Karan had just spent 4 weeks at the Nick Bollitieri's academy, mainly only
on physical training .. He had originally planned to do physical training
last december but had to postpone it because of the ill-timed Rotterdam ABN
Amro pre-qualifiers in Mumbai, which he won .. I am glad that he got to do
it, even though it required him to skip the Indian satellites (it was actually
a good time at Bollitieri's because the top players were all out there in
Europe) .. It is also nice to see him get on clay too .. The 18 year old
is focusing on improving his game for the next year rather than on chasing points
and rankings for the time being .. And that is the right plan!
June 27 Note-2
Today's results from Wimbledon -
[R2] (5) Leander Paes (IND)/ Nenad Zimonjic (SCG) d. Rick Leach (USA)/ Travis Parrott (USA), 36 63 64 76(4)
[R2] Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)/ Mary Pierce (FRA) d. (2) Wayne Black (ZIM)/ Cara Black (ZIM), 63 64
[R2] Simon Aspelin (SWE)/ Sania Mirza (IND) l. (7) Leos Friedl (CZE)/ Janette Husarova (SVK), 26 46
[R1] Vivek Shokeen (IND,27) d. Robin Roshardt (SUI,41) 36 60 63
It is a good day when we go 3-1 there .. Vivek's win against Robin was especially
impressive, because he came up with 13 aces to bludgeon Robin, after a slow
start (heer are the rather impressive
match stats) ..
Here are the reports from our own onsite fanclub member,
PK Basu on all four matches out there! --
in our forum
.. Thanks, PKB! .. He had flown in just for two days unexpectedly, and was
thankful to get help from Sania's mom, Naseema Mirza, for tickets (Thanks
Naseema for helping us out!)
Preety good work by Leander and Nenad today to get past the team that
had upset LP and Rikl last year there .. LP's elbow still hurts a bit but
he is playing well, and he made the right decision in not playing mixed doubles
.. Mahesh and Mary have cruised so far - and today's was a big upset,
over two excellent doubles players, as their #2 seeding would show .. As
for Sania's MxD match, PKB reports that it was much closer than the scorelines
would indicate .. Both Mahesh and Leander face opponenets who had upsets
seeds in the R2 rounnd, tomorrow, as this Wimbledon keeps chugging along
nicely (I hope I didn't speak too soon -- rain is never more than a few yards
away in England!) .. Both Vivek and Sanam have tough matches .. Vivek faces
the guy he upset just last week at Roehampton, but this is a new week and
that Dutch boy will have revenge on his mind.
June 27 Note-1
Prakash Amritraj will be at the $50K Forest Hills grass challenger in
New York .. Prakash, though he ad a lot of luck on his side earlier on, seems
to have upset the draw goddesses lately, somehow .. For the second consecutive
US challenger in a draw, he has drawn the top seed .. Last time at the Yuba
City challenger, it was Justin Gimelstob, and this time it is #141 Giovanni
Lapentti of Ecuador .. Go after him ProCash!
Today's matches at the Wimbledon are:
[R2] (5) Leander Paes/ Nenad Zimonjic vs Rick Leach (USA)/ Travis Parrott (USA) .. about 2 pm (6.30 pm India)
[R2] Mahesh Bhupathi/ Mary Pierce vs (2) Wayne Black (ZIM)/ Cara Black (ZIM) .. 4.30 pm (8.30 pm India) +/- 30 min.
[R1] Vivek Shokeen (IND,27) vs Robin Roshardt (SUI,41) .. 4.30 pm (8.30 pm India) +/- 30 min.
[R2] Simon Aspelin (SWE)/ Sania Mirza vs (7) Leos Friedl (CZE)/ Janette Husarova (SVK) ..6 pm (10.30 pm India) +/- 1 hr.
Tough draw for Vivek Shokeen, who gets a pretty good grasscourt player who
had upset a couple of seeds and gone three rounds at the grade- Roehampton
juniors last week .. Vivek is in good form though .. I expect that to be
a good match ..
Two qualifying losses yesterday to report .. Megha Vakharia (IND,588) went
down 46 63 36 to Anne Yelsey (USA,1119) in the qualifying first round at
the $25K Los Gatos challenger in the San Francisco bay area .. Not an easy
opponenent - Anne's rank is low only because she doesn't play ITF events
much - she is a college top-30 caliber player who is with the undefeated national
champions, the Stanford University .. Actually a pretty decent match from
Megs against Anne .. Also going down yesterday was Neha Uberoi (USA,296) in a tough
match at the qualies first round for the $75K Fano challenger in Italy -
64 36 57 to Masa Zec-Peskiric (SLO,386)
.. Previous notes are at
for the weeks ending on June 27 ..
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 playera, let me know ..
Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan