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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the week ending on Aug 01, 2005
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2005)

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Aug 1 Note-1

Yesterday was good and bad at the San Diego Acura Classic .. Sania Mirza, now up to #59 in WTA, held on for a win in a match that was closer than expected, 64 76(2) against Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR,195) to advance to the main draw in the second and final round of qualifying .. Shikha Uberoi, who moved up today to a career-high of #125 in WTA, was just not in the Q2 match, as she went down 16 06 against the 4th seed Aiko Nakamura (JPN,82) -- I need to find out what exactly was wrong with Shikha, but she could not hold serve even once in the match and except for several deuces in one game late in the second set and an early break in the first set, she just could not do much at any time .. Hope Shikha gets better (she was struggling yesterday itself, apparently physically, though I was not sure exactly what the problem was) ..

As for Sania's match, they traded serves twice in the firt set but at 3-3 Sania went ahead with a break of Bondarenko and took the set soon after .. In the seocnd set, again Sania broke firstr in the 7th game but dropped serve in the next game and they coasted to a tiebreaker where sania won the final four points, finishing the match at the first match point with a powerfull backhand cross court winner .. Sania was a quite error-prone yesterday, but that is normal for her game, as she sticks to her style of going for her shots all the time .. She is also still a little bothered by a stoimach strain which requires taping, but reportedly it is not affecting her game and the soreness is not getting worse or anything .. In the first round of the 56-draw event with 8 seeds getting byes, Sania is drawn to face another qualifier, Tathiana Garbin (ITA,81) who was the scond seed in the qualifying behind Sania .. The Italian is a former top-40 player who is 28 year old .. She was the winner of the very first women's challenger in India in late 1998 at New Delhi (and was a runner up next year too) .. She is a very experienced player and Sania needs to make sure that she does not give the veteran player any openings to take advantage of .. Sania gets today off, which will help the stomach strain heal a bit .. Her match against Garbin will be tomorrow (Tuesday).

Here is an extremely detailed match report from our onsite fanclub member correspondent, Mr. Varma .. Varma notes the tremendous backhand cross courts shots Sania was playing, and comments on how her backhand weapon is not getting enough attention, while everybody now knows that her forehand is among the most powerful an toughest on the WTA tour .. UI too felt yesterday that Sania was coming up with som incredibly angled BH shots ("angles that would put Euclid to shame", as Varma writes eloquently!) ..

As for a break summary, here is how it went -- First set ---- Game 1 - KB broken at AD out first BP .. Game 4 - SM broken .. Down 0-40 and first BP break .. Game 5 - KB broken. Saved two BPs from 15-40, but SM breaks on AD out .. Game 6 - SM broken after saving a 30-40 BP .. Game 7 - KB broken after saving two BPs from 0-40 .. Second set ---- Game 4 - Sania down 0-30 but wins 4 to take the game .. Game 6 - Sania down 0-30 and then had 2 deuces (no BPs), holds .. Game 7 - KB saves one BP at 30-40 but broken at first AD out .. Game 8 - SM down 15-40, saves 2 BPs, but broken at first AD out .. Game 11 - KB saves two AD out break points and holds .. Game 12 - Tough game. three deuces (no BPs), but SM holds .. Second set tiebreaker ---- SM up a mini to 1-0, gives it back at 2-0, gets it again at 2-1, and wins 4 points from 3-2, with 2 more minibreaks off KB ..

At the $100K Vancouver challenger, Harsh Mankad gets a day off today and will start his campaign against the top seed Lu tomorrow ..

July 31 Note-1

Another week, and yet again we have the Indian girls in the final round of qualies .. At the $1.3M Tier-I "Acura Classic" WTA qualies Q1 yesterday, Sania Mirza (IND,64) went in and literally "thulped" the hapless Russian girl, Galina Voskoboeva (RUS,134), 61 61 .. It was such domination that everybody felt bad for Galina .. Quite amazing that Sania, taped up stomach and all (still a bit sore, but not getting worse) is able to eradicate a talented top-150 player like that .. I was there and missed Sania's first set (well, I would have missed it even if I was watching it -- you only had to blink and the set was over :)) .. I was instead watching an engrossing match that Shikha Uberoi (IND,131) played, where she was against a talented top college player, Lindsey Nelson, who had earned a wildcard by winning a pre-qualifying event .. Mostly the problem, however, was that Shikha was fighting herself .. Her big weapon, that huge first serve, was just refusing to go in right - that coupled with an upset stomach and a mild asthma flareup, caused her to be quite immobile and forced to spar from the baseline for long stretches - and when she cannot use her aggressive and athletic game to win points, she runs into trouble .. It was a struggle for a long time for Shikha till the third set when she took a little medical/bathroom break to take care of her stomach - and the "good" Shikha and her serve showed up and took over the match in a 75 46 62 win after 2 hours and 45 minutes .. My onsite fanclub member reports are in the forum .. Take a look!

Today in the second and final round of qualifying there, Sania plays Katerina Bondarenko (UKR,196) who upset the 9th seed Tatiana Panova (RUS,113) in the Q1 yesterday and the 16th seed Shikha Ubeori plays the 4th seed Aiko Nakamura (JPN,82) .. Both matches are scheduled for about 12 noon (12.30 am Monday, India) +/- 15 min .. Come to our chatroom for point-by-point updates!

The Acura classic is at a very nice resort 25 miles north of San Diego .. Big golf course and all that .. The only problem was that I wasted a whole hour there, trying to find the media center which was next to the hotel's big banquet facility where there was a wedding going on - and the inconsiderate wedding party decided to flip the media center direction sign, just to make it look as though only the wedding was there .. Finally the media center folks went around looking for the lost "Indian correspondent" on their golf carts (funny!) and found me wandering around endlessly! .. Very nice guys, and they were apologetic for my problems - apparently I was less trouble for them, compared to a lot of Indian press folks calling them up asking for all kinds of info .. They were telling me about some phone conversations  .. "How much does Sania get paid for the first round?" .. OK .. "How much for the second round" .. OK .. "for the third?" .. So on :-) .. Exasperation for them, but the media liaison folks are helpful and they were only amused about it ..  I was however reminded of an old saying from a famous American football coach -- "When you make the end zone finally, act lik you have been there before!" .. Wish some of my fellow Indians would remember this, rather than look like we just fell off the turnip truck and found a Sania and Shikha! (well, many have still not found Shikha, probably!) ..

Anyway, it was nice to hear som press friends saying - "Hello, India! .. You guys are two for two today!" .. They are aware of Sania-mania and are quite impressed .. The tournament website has a front page note - "India's Rising Star Shines in Qualifying Win .. Sania Mirza is one of the most popular tennis players in India.Following her Acura Classic debut on Stadium Court, it won' t be long before tennis fans in the United States will be familiar with the rising Indian tennis star .. " Good stuff!

Varma of the fan club will be there to cover the matches for us today, as I cannot go there today or tomorrow due to some work commitments.

In other news, Rohan Bopanna had won win at the Washington ATP qualies, but he could not make use of a nice draw as the 8th seed, going down in the second match .. RB, ranked 363, won the Q1against Trevor Spracklin (USA,1185), 60 63 and then lost to Philipp Symmonds (USA,724), 36 67(3) ..

At the $100K Vancouver challenger, Harsh Mankad did not get a break in the draw and faces the top seed (what is it with Harsh and Prakash, who keep on drawing the top seeds???) .. He is drawn against Yen Hsun Lu (TPE,138) in the main draw which starts tomorrow .. After a bye, Mustafa lost in the 2nd round qualifying yesterday, 26 36 to the 6th seed Amir Hadad (ISR,414).

At the Grade-2 ITF juniors in Pretoria, Rupesh Roy again reached the QF, but could not get past the 2nd seed Christian Vitulli (KEN,62) who has now won back to back grade-2 events and will reach top-50 .. Rupesh had beaten the 12th seed Jason Jung (USA,255) 61 62, but lost to Vitulli, 36 36 .. Rupesh was probably among the top-4 players in the field at those two grade-2 events, but was unfortunate to draw the runner-up and winner of the two events in the two weeks in the QFs .. At the grade-3 "Smash Tennis" ITF juniors in Egypt, the second seed Sandhya Nagraj (IND,111) came up big and finished runner-up! .. She beat Olga Dhaoui (TUN,401), 46 61 61, nadia lalami (MAR,622), 60 63, 8th seed Zuzana Linhova (CZE,255), 60 63 and Nihal Saleh (EGY, 673), 76(3) 61, before falling to the 5th seed Dilyara Saidkhodjaeva (UZB,142), 46 36 .. The same Uzbek girl had beaten Sandhya last week in the QF of the "Movenpick" grade-3 .. But a good run by 16 year old Sandhya, who will get closer to top-100 now .. By the way, Sandhya is the only Indian girl now in the junior top-150, as our pipiline has been running completely dry since 2 or 3 ytears back when we had all the talented girls coming up .. Sandhya has not shown that kind of results yet, but she turns 17 only next month and has one more year in the juniors - if she keeps it g oing, she has a good chance to make it grand slams in the next year .. Go Sandhya! .. The top seed Sumit Prakash Gupta and the 6th seed Akshay Bajoria were upset in the round of 16 at Egypt, and Tejesvi Rao had gone down in the first round at Pretoria.

July 30 Notes

At the $1.3M Acura Classic Tier-I WTA qualies, Shikha's Q1 match is scheduled for around 1.30 pm, with Sania's match set to follow on the same court .. I will be there covering the matches for us .. Please go to the chatroom to follow tha matches, as the official website, has point-by-point live score updates!  [Sorry for the wrong URL yesterday; absent-minded professor stuff .. Thanks Daniel for alerting me!]

Rohan Bopanna decided to play the qualifying rounds at the Washington DC ATP, instead of the Vancouver challenger.  Not a bad idea .. He is the 8th seed and plays Trevor Spracklin (USA) in the first round . Go Bops!

July 29 Notes

Nothing much going on today .. Sania missed the main draw at the San Diego Acura Classic $1.3M Tier-I WTA, by just one spot! .. There is still a chance for a withdrawal, as Lindsay Davenport is reportedly injured .. If she withdraws before the qualies start tomorrow, SM can avoid playing qualies .. Otherwise, Sania will be playing Galina Voskoboeva (RUS,134) in the Q1 round tomorrow .. Sania is the top seed in the qualies .. Shikha Uberoi is the 16th seed and she plays a wildcard, Lindsay Nelson (USA,NR) in the Q1 round .. Only two rounds of qualies there .. Shikha could run into the 4th seed Aiko Nakamura (JPN,82) in the second round, and Sania could face the 9th seed Tatiana Panova (RUS,113), if they both advance ..

Prakash Amritraj withdrew from the $100K Vancouver challenger today - possibly due to injuries from last week not healing yet. Harsh and Mustafa have gone to Vancouver. Mustafa is in the qualifying draw, facing the 6th seed Amir Hadad (ISR) in the Q1 round .. Not sure why Rohan is not in the qualifying draw there .. Harsh is in the main draw.

At the $15K China F5 futures, the top seeds Jaco Mathew and Ashutosh Singh were upset in the doubles SF by the Taipei pair, Kai-Lung Chang and Wang-Chen Hsieh, 61 64

July 28 Note-2

Terrible day at the $50K+H Granby challenger as all four matches ended in losses .. Mankad ran out of time in mounting a comeback for a tough upset in the postponed match which was late in the second set - he went down 26 46 to the top seed Bjorn Phau (GER,107) .. Bopanna could not pull off an upset on the 7th seed Ramon Delgado (PAR,153) either, and lost 46 46 .. Worst still, both the doubles QF matches ended in losses .. The 3rd seeds Mankad and Ghouse lost to the Canadian pair, Philip Bester and Frank Dancevic, 36 46 and then Bopanna and Matsui lost 46 36 to the top seeds Johann Landsberg (SWE) and Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) .. So, now HM, RB, MG etc all travel to Vancouver, right back to the north american west coast, for the $100K challenger .. Prakash will join them if he has recovered from last week's injuries .. he has made the main draw cut along with Harsh.  Rohan, Mustafa and perhaps Sunil Kumar will be in the qualies.

At the $15K China F5 futures in Beijing, the top seeds Jaco Mathew and Ashutosh Singh beat the Hong Kong pair, Brian Hung and Hiu-Tung Yu, 76(5) 64 to reach the semifinal .. They had beaten Lior Barbash and Ishay Hadash of Israel, 63 63, in the first round .. They play Kai-Lung Chang and Wang-Cheng Hsieh of Taipei in the semis.

July 28 Note-1

The action is all at the Granby challenger today, as HM plays the postponed R2 match, RB plays his R2 against R.Delgado and we have two doubles matches also there ..

Mahesh and Martin Damm, top seeds at the $650K Kitzbuhel Open, went down yesterday in the first round, 46 67(0) against Jose Acasuso and Sebastian Prieto of Argentina .. Coming right after the straight sets loss in the second round at Stuttgart last week, this was another loss that is a bit concerning .. Hope both are doing fine, and this is just growing pains for the new team .. Hesh and Damm now go to Washington DC for doubles next week .. Leander has been off ever since the Wimbledon doubles SF .. LP-Zimo play next only at the Montreal Masters (Aug 8th) .. That will be a 5 week break for Leander.

July 27 Note-2

Sania's run at the $585K Staford WTA ended tonight in a 36 26 loss to the second seed Venus Williams (USA,10) .. We had game by game score updates, thanks to Sandeep and Gana of the fanclub/forum (Sandeep at one point even turned his phone on and held it for most of the second set for us to hear the umpires' score announcements; so we even had point-by-point score updates by the end of the match!) .. It was not televised .. Here is how it went --

First set  - 0-1 .. Venus holds .. 0-2 .. Sania drops serve .. down a break .. 0-3 .. Venus holds .. 1-3 .. Sania holds .. 1-4 .. Vanus holds (after some fight from SM) .. Sania unable to break, for a third time .. 2-4 .. Sania holds after a 12 minute game (6 or 7 deuces) !! .. 2-5 .. Venus holds quickly .. 3-5 .. Easy hold for Sania, finally .. 3-6 .. venus serves it off for the set.
Second Set  - 0-1 .. Sania broken after a long-ish 8 min game (after deuces) .. 0-2 .. Venus holds easily (served three aces!!) .. 1-2 .. Sania does a quick hold .. 1-3 .. Venus holds .. Quick games now from both servers .. 1-4 .. Sania broken again (making too many mistakes, says sandeep) .. 2-4 .. Venus broken finally!! (down 0-40 and sania does the job!) .. 2-5 .. Sania loses momentum fast (30-40 down and double faults) .. 2-6 .. Venus holds after a deuce. Match over, 36 26.

You can find gana's and sandeep's observations on the match in our forum, here .. Sania now comes to Southern California for the Tier-I ($1.3 Million) "Acura Classic" WTA in San Diego .. Myself and Varma will be there to cover it for you! .. The main draw cut is at just around 50 and Sania was initially a few spots out from the main draw .. I believe she will need qualifying, but she should be among the top 3-4 seeds there, I would think.

At the $50K+H Granby challenger today, Harsh Mankad had a tough start against the top seed Bjorn Phau (GER,107) .. The match was postponed due to rain when it was at 2-6 3-4 with Phau up a break and about to serve .. Let us hope that the rain break would help Harsh to think of a way to get a break back and extend the match .. As a15 of the fanclub heard posted, Harsh said today that Phau was one of the fastest players he had ever played (by which I think he means the on-court speed) .. By the way, Phau is identical in age to Harsh .. Also about the same height as HM (and even looks like Harsh, if I am not mistaken!) .. He was once considered the biggest talent emerging from Germany - as thought by those like Becker - and was given a wildcard to the Chennai ATP in 1998 by IMG .. He never lived up to such promise but is a very talented player nonetheless, and has been finally having a very good year, as he finally reached top-100 this year .. He is also in form right now, as his 3rd round appearance last week at Indianapolis with a win over #60 Hernych would indicate .. Harsh has a tough job at hand to get back into that match once they resume Thursday morning at 11 am .. Also on the schedule for thursday is Rohan Bopanna who plays the 7th seed Ramon Delgado (PAR,153) .. Tough match for RB too .. Both Harsh-Mustafa and Rohan-Matsui play their doubles QF also later on thursday, if the rain stays away.

Some junior news ...16 yr old (OK, to pacify everybody who keeps writing to me on this old story, probably a little older :)) Rupesh Roy (IND,145) is in the PQF of the grade-2 ITF juniors at Pretoria in RSA .. He is the 7th seed .. After a bye, he beat Sarel van Rooyen (RSA,NR) 61 62 and now faces the 12th seed jason Jung (USA,255) .. Rupesh was also in the QF last week in the grade-2 at the same venue (SATPC - South African Tennis performance Center at the University of Pretoria) .. He beat Tucker Voerster (RSA,767) 63 63 and derek Drabble (RSA,321), 61 62, before losing 46 67(2) to David Simon (AUT,173) who was the eventual runner-up there .. 16 year old Akshay Bajoria (IND,246) was the top seed and runner-up last week at the grade-4 ITF juniors in Damascus, Syria .. He lost in the final to the 2nd seed Marc Abdelnour (SYR,223) in the final .. He was runner-up to the same Syrian boy (though in a worse 06 36 final) in the previous week's grade-3 in Syria .. Akshay has gone to the grade-3 in Egypt (at the Smash Tennis Acedemy in Cairo) .. He is the 6th seed there and has won a tough 3-setter in the first round .. Sumit Prakash Gupta (IND,194) is the top seed there .. OK, some people had wrote to me about HIS age too - but what can I do, I just report scores, and I don't have medical records of the players to confirm or deny anything! .. Sumit was the top seed last week at the grade-3 in Cairo (Movenpick juniors) but lost rather cheaply in the second round .. Sandhya Nagraj (IND,111) was also there at Movenpick last week .. Shge did fairly well to reach the QF, as the 4th seed .. Went down to the 7th seed Dilyara Saidkhodjaeva (UZB,142) .. She is the second seed this week and has won a round ..

July 27 Note-1

At the $585K "Bank of the West" WTA at Stanford, Sania's R2 match against Venus is at 7.30 pm today (8 am Thursday in India, 3.30 am London) .. We will have some score updates - but I will post later where/when/how exactly we will have that ..

At the $646K Kitzbuhel Open in Austria, Mahesh Bhupathi and Martin Damm are the top seeds .. They play the first round against Jose Acasuso and Sebastian Prieto of Argentina .. They started the match yesterday but it was postponed to today after just two games .. They restart at about 6 pm today.

At the $50K+H Granby challenger, Harsh Mankad (IND,249) plays a big match this morning against the top seed Bjorn Phau (GER,107) .. Tough draw for Harsh, but let's hope he can pull it off.

July 26 Notes

Great day, as Sania and Rohan pulled off very nice wins .. At the $585K Tier-II Stanford WTA in Northern California, Sania Mirza (IND,64) made full use of the lucky loser entry to pick up yet another big win - this time over Eleni Daniilidou (GRE,58), 76(4) 26 63 .. Sania started serve in the first set and was up 4-3 before Danilidou went on a run and took a 6-5 lead and was serving for the set .. Sania had a timely break of serve to send it to the tiebreaker where she prevailed .. In the second set Daniilidou was ahead in the 4th game .. She had another break in the 6th game to lead 5-1 on Sania .. SM came up with one break to stem the tide a little in the 7th game but then dropped serve to lose the set .. In the third set, Sania broke ahead immediately to 1-0 but dropped serve to 1-1 .. She followed that with one more break to lead 2-1 and 3-1 .. From there on both players held serve twice each, though Sania had a few chances for an extra break in the 5th game ..At 5-3 in the third, our girl broke the Greek girl once more to finish it off ..

The win gave Sania 25 round points and 8 quality points (to add to the 6.75 plus 5 quality points she had from the two qualifying wins) .. The 44.75 points will take her point total to around 610 and her rank to about #57 or so .. More importantly, she now gets a big match in the second round .. The second seed Venus Williams (USA,10) .. The match is set for 7.30 pm wednesday.

At the $50K+H Granby challenger in eastern Canada, Rohan Bopanna (IND,363) had a really good win today, 63 64 upset over Alexander Popp (GER,288) .. Popp, a recent top-100 player, had been in a big slump and was away form tour for several months etc, but has lately been playing well including third round at Wimbledon etc .. So, this is clearly a high-quality win for RB .. Bops' next round opponent is to be determined tomorrow as the R.Delgado vs E.Chvojka match is postponed to tomorrow .. He will play the R2 only on Thursday anyway.

The one loss today was by Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND,422) who went down 36 16 to Nicolas Todero (ARG,243) .. That is really not good - not that he lost, but the scoreline;  SKS has had quite a few of listlesss losses like this lately .. What happened to the fighter he once was? .. Sunil has not had any momentum in his tennis lately .. He seems to be just floating on the tour .. Now his rank has fallen a bit too, and playing challengers becoimes tough .. Oh well .. Hope somebody would start giving him a bit of advice and encouragement - the youngster is still only 22 and has the talent to do much better than he is doing.

At the $15K China F5 futures in Beijing, Jaco Mathew (IND,844) lost in the first round, 26 26 to the 6th seed ataso Ogawa (JPN,569) .. Ashutosh Singh was a lucky loser entry but he went down to the 2nd seed Tasuku Iwami (JPN,470), 26 36 .. Kamala Kannan plays a qualifier, Hyung-Tae Kwon (KOR) in the first round.

July 25 Note-2

It was a tough day for the three Indian girls, as all three went down in the final round of qualies at the Tier-II Stanford WTA, but Sania got some good news in the end, getting a lucky loser entry into the main draw .. In the Q3 round, Sania Mirza (IND,64) lost to Shahar Peer (ISR,62), 26 67(9), Shikha Uberoi (IND,131) lost to Marissa Irvin (USA,98), 26 46, and Neha Uberoi (USA,279) went down to Alina Jidkova (RUS,79), 46 46 .. Sania made it in as the first lucky loser, and now faces the wildcard Eleni Daniilidou (GRE,58) in the first round .. That match is scheduled for Tuesday at about 2.30 to 3 pm there ..

Good news from the $50K+H Granby Challenger, as Harsh Mankad (IND,249) beat the qualifier Toshihide Matsui (JPN,470), 64 76(4) to advance to the second round .. He faces the top seed Bjorn Phau (GER,107) in the second round, on wednesday .. With this win, HM has pretty much assured himself of an entry into the US Open qualifying .. He has 12 points falling next monday from his total of 143, and needed to get just a few points to make sure that his rank will not fall below 265 next monday when the US Open qualifying list is made .. Rohan Bopanna faces Alexander Popp (GER,288) in the first round tomorrow evening .. Popp was ranked just inside top-100 just a few months back though he has fallen a lot in the ranks lately - as he was off the tour since August 2004 till April this year .. He did reach the 3rd round of Wimbledon this year and is on the way up again - so this will not be an easy match for Bofors .. In doubles also we batted 1000 today at Granby - the 3rd seeds, Harsh and Mustafa beat Pierre-Ludovic Duclos (CAN)/ Lesley Joseph (USA), 75 64 .. Bopanna and Toshihide Matsui (JPN) beat Andrew Piotrowski (CAN)/ Alex Reichel (USA), 63 62 .. HM-MG play the Canadian wildcards Philip Bester and Frank Dancevic in the QF, and Bops/Matsui play the top seeds, Johann Landsberg (SWE)/ Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) .. Only Rohan's singles match is on schedule for Tuesday.

At the $50K Lexington challenger, Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND,369) plays Nicolas Todero (ARG,221) on Tuesday.  Sunil is not paying doubles there.

July 25 Note-1

At the $50K+H Granby challenger, Harsh Mankad (IND,249) plays the qualifier Toshihide Matsui (JPN,470) at 11 am on Monday .. Harsh and Mustafa are seeded 3rd in doubles .. They play later on monday against Pierre-Ludovic Duclos (CAN) and Lesley Joseph (USA) .. Rohan Bopanna plays the singles R1 on Tuesday, but plays doubles with T.Matsui monday afternoon against Andrew Piotrowski (CAN) and Alex Reichel (USA) ..

Prakash Amritraj (IND,250) is injured .. Nothing is major, but he has, by my count, about 4 different injuries .. He had a bit of a neck-shoulder pain from the Manchester challenger .. Then he picked up a stomach strain during practice at the Tarzana challenger last week .. As the poor guy hadn't had enough problems, I hear that he came down with a foot injury also, during the Tarzana first round loss  .. None of the injuries are major, but these hassles are keeping Prakash "P.Diddy" Amritraj away from court ..

By the way, I learned this week that Prakash Amritraj calls Harsh Mankad "Harry Potter " .. OK, I guess there is some resemblance when he wears the right glasses! .. Anyway, Harsh does not back down and calls Prakash "P.Diddy" -- some resemblance there too ..  Thought I would let the general public know about the naming wars on the tour :) .. I thought it was funny what our top two singles players call each other .. Incidentally, the new rankings show HM at 249 with 143 points and PA at 250 with 141 points - the first time in 8 years, since LP and MB in 1997, that we have had two male players in the top-250 ..

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on July 25 ..

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