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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the weeks ending on July 11, 2005
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July 11 Notes

Nothing much was happening for the last few days except for some bad news and some good qualifying news .. First, the bad news -- Harsh Mankad, who was in the main draw for the $50K Manchester challenger just withdrew today as the left quadriceps-adductor injury he had in the second round last week at Nottingham, has not healed .. Prakash Amritraj, who had a shoulder strain injury a day earlier in the first round at Nottingham had already returned to California, skipping the Manchester qualies.  So our best two are both walking wounded right now .. Harsh will fly down to California tomorrow .. Prakash is already here .. Both are hoping to be all healed and ready to play next week at the $50K Tarzana challenger in Southern California .. Prakash's injury seemed to be minor and he should be fine next week .. Harsh's is also minor, but it is the kind that may need more time to heal .. Karan Rastogi also will be at Tarzana, trying qualies .. He was training for two weeks at the Bollitierri's academy in Florida, after withdrawing from 2 weeks of evnts duwe to getting hit in his eye at the Buffalo futures - he is alright now, and will be flying in to California by thursday .. So I expect to have some fun with all our player down here in So Cal, and hopefully all will be fine by early next week.

The good news -- Rohan Bopanna qualified into the Manchester challenger, and Sunil Kumar made it in as the lucky loser at Harsh's spot in Manchester .. [Q1] (2) Rohan Bopanna (IND,375) d. Daniel Kiernan (GBR,1251), 62 36 61 .. [Q2] d. Ross Hutchins (GBR,798), 76(3) 62 .. [Q3] d. (8) Luke Bourgeois (AUS,457), 76(2) 76(6) .. [Q1] (5) Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND,433) d. Adam Lownsbrough (GBR,1380), 61 20 Ret. .. [Q2] d. Alfonso Perez (MEX,1479), 64 62 .. [Q3] l. (4) Adam Feeney (AUS,421), 46 62 36 .. Mustafa had a good two good wins in the qualies and then lost in the final round - [Q1] Mustafa Ghouse (IND) d. (wc) Charlie Crisp (GBR) 62 60 .. [Q2] d. Ian Flanagan (GBR,852), 63 75 .. [Q3] l. (7) Jean-Francois Bachelot (FRA,432), 16 06 .. In the main draw, Rohan plays the 4th seed Gilles Elseneer (BEL,185) and Sunil Kumar plays Jan-Michel Pequery (FRA,234) - both their first round matches are scheduled for wednesday .. This evening, Rohan and Sunil play the doubles first round against the British pair, Andrew Banks and David Sherwood .. Mustafa and Igor Zelenay (SVK) play the 3rd seeds Mark Hilton and Jonathan Marray, also of Britain ..

At the $50K Lewisville challenger in Kntucky (USA), Shikha Uberoi (IND) is seeded 8th and plays a qualifier to be determined today .. Younger sister Neha Uberoi (USA,286) narrowly missed the main draw but has done well in two qualifying rounds as the top seed .. She defeated d. Laura Richey-Thomas (USA,665) 62 61 and Mami Inoue (USA,764) 62 60  in the last two days and plays the Q3 today against the 5th seed Anda Perianu (ROM,331) .. The Uberoi sisters play the doubles first round later today against Salome Devidze(GEO) and Arpi Kojian(USA) ..

Shruti Dhawan (IND,543) is at the $10K in Garching, Grmany .. I have not seen the draw yet .. Most of our other top women players like the Bhambri susters, Isha, Rushmi and Sai are all idle .. Hope they would all get on court somewhere soon .. Sania's next action is next week at the Cincinnati Tier-III women's WTA where she had made direct entry.

LP and MB are off in doubles this week .. Leander is off next week as well, but Mahesh starts off his new partnership with Martin Damm at the $750K Stuttgart open on clay next week.

In other news, Sania and Mahesh were out in the streets doing some "pump-up" work for the Sunfeat WTA Open coming up in Kolkata later .. These two played some tennis in front of the Vidhan Soudha in Bangalore this weekend, on a makeshift court, for a lot of curious folks .. Nice way to draw attention to the tournament and create some news and excitement!

I forgot to mention earlier that AITA now lists the tennis events at the upcoming national games at Guwahati later this year as the grasscourt nationals .. Good to see that it will be played on grass, and nice to see AITA bringing back the grass nationals which has been in cold storage for a while .. By the way, do not believe all the trite stuff the tennis correspondents grass is not going anywhere (and it is only getting slightly better with a few more futures and challengers these days on the tour).. Also remember that the 2012 Olympics in London will have the tennis events played on grass at Wimbledon!! .. We better keep some of our grass tradition and have some players ready by then .. I expect China to go on a war footing and lay some grasscourts, as they are expecting medals even in men's events in 2012 already, I am sure ..

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 forward to.

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)

Mahesh and Mary Pierce with the Wimbledon 05 MxD Title

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 all.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on July 04 ..

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