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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the week ending on Aug 9, 2004
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2004)

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Aug 9 Notes

Quick updates -- Sunil plays singles and doubles at St.Petersburg tomorrow .. Sania, Rushmi, Shruti all in the draw at the UK $10K, all playing wednesday .. Mustafa fell in the Q3 at the $15K there .. Sunitha Rao (USA) had a good run upetting a top-200 player to the final qualies of the Tier-IV WTA in Vancouver but she fell in three sets in the Q3 today .. Rajeev Ram (USA) won the doubles at the Denver challenger .. The Uberoi sisters had fallen in the semis of the Louisville challenger over the weekend .. At the Pakistan satellites, Vijay Kannan won, but Vishal Punna fell (results in our forum in the tournament area) .. More later .. Awaiting the draw from the USA F23 where Vishal Uppal is the 4th seed.

Aug 8 Note-2

The fan club is everywhere, you know - Germany or Qatar or South California or 
North Wales  :)  .. Here is the onsite fanclub member report from Jothy Kandasamy from Wrexham (UK) where Sania won her title today with a big upset win -
"Fourth seed Sania Mirza (IND,375) came out to face the Top seed Irina Boulykina (RUS,238) and at the outset was almost blown off the court in more ways than one. Blustery conditions meant that Sania was struggling to find a rhythm on serve and the bulkier Boulykina was dominating with her own power game .... For someone with a power-hitting game as Sania she was up against an opponent who could match her shots from the baseline with added interest. The first set  passed without a serious contest and Sania was down 1-6. However one felt that if Sania dragged herself into the match, she could start to impose with her obvious natural talent ..... Indeed, that was what she did with some gutsy retrieving and outright winners with her remarkable forehand. A significant break of serve late in the second set saw Sania's confidence grow and Boulykina was certainly getting the jitters. The third set saw the pendulum swing for certain as Sania started getting more first serves in and dominated with her accurate forehand shots. She attacked Boulykina's backhand and was clinical in closing out the match bar for a slight hiccup in the penultimate game in which her serve was broken .... An impressive victory in North Wales, demonstrating her growing match temperament and yet again that powerful weapon she has in her forehand"
Thank you, Jothy! ... Sania and Rushmi will be at the $10K at the Cumberland Tennis Club in Hampstead, London, next week

As for next week, it doesn't seem like too many men are in action next week - except for Sunil Kumar at At.Petersburg challenger, Vishal Uppal at the $10K USA F23 futures at Kenosha, Wisconsin, and a few Indians at the Pakistan satellites .. Prakash was 6th out from the initial list for the $50K Binghamton challenger in New York, and made the cut in the end - but he decided to take a break after about 5-6 weeks of continuous travel .. Harsh was 16th in the list based on the rankings three weeks back and had decided that he would be off next week .. He would have gone to Binghamton had he made the main draw - playing qualies would have really cut into the rest time he really needed .. The entry cut did fall drastically on Friday with quite a few players like Amritraj, Rajeev Ram and others in the US challenger circuit deicding they needed a break next week, and it finally stopped one spot ahead of Mankad .. Actually Harsh really preferred taking some more rest, as one of his good coaches, Mohith Vijayakumar from Canada, is set to join him for a few days of coaching next week
(Happy Bhalla in New York is the other one that Harsh likes to get coaching from, whenever he can) .. Harsh expects to sign in at the Washington DC ATP qualies next Friday night .. Mustafa is done with his few challengers in Brazil, which hardly fetched him much by way of points in singles or doubles .. Had Rohan Bopanna stayed with him through the sequence, it might have been better at least in doubles .. Rohan was originally in the list for the Iran futures next week, but he has withdrawn as he is taking some more time to rest the biceps which tends to act up once in a while - hope the docs can find a way to treat it wll and make that injury bug go away once and for all .. Rohan has missed a lot of time this year due to that.

Well, as I typed that I just found that Mustafa decided to stop over in UK to play qualies for the $15K, at the same club where Sania and Rushmi are playing! .. He was not in the entry list, but would not have made the main draw anyway, with the cut at a high #598 .. Mustafa is the top seed in the qualies, with a bye .. He started well with a 64 75 win today over the talented British junior player, Farris Khatib .. He plays Richard Wire (GBR) tomorrow in the final qualies ..

Aug 8 Note-1

The doubles was a close 2-setter with the Marama sisters dominating with their powerful serving. The match was example being a game in the second set which saw Paula hitting 2 aces and 2 service winners. A good show by the Indian pair Sania and Rushmi but falling to the big-hitting Kiwis.

Excellent news from St.Petersburg, Russia .. 21 yr old Sunil Kumar Sipaeya qualified into the $25K+H challenger with a very good win .. [Q3] (2) S.K.Sipaeya (IND,386) d. (5) Andrei Cherkasov  (RUS,491), 76(5) 63 .. Cherkasov is 34 year old, but a former top-20 player who is always a tough one to beat on clay .. He had shown that he still has some gas left in him, by reaching a challenger QF a couple of weeks back in Russia .. But Sunil Kumar is beginning to show that when he is healthy he can be as good as any upcoming young talent .. I really don't know when it was that an Indian qualified into a claycourt challenger abroad .. Can't remember at all .. Great work by Sunil .. He gets 3 points for qualifying, enough to move him up a few more spots to top-375 next week .. In the main draw he faces  Michael Lammer (SUI,314) .. In the doubles main draw, Sunil and Norikazu Sugiyama (JPN) are facing the top seeded Italian pair, Daniele Georgini and Simone Vagnozzi .. By the way, Sunil had moved up 28 spots in doubles to #341 last monday, thanks to the QF with Sugiyama at Togliatti ..

More good news .. Sania Mirza, who has generally been unbeatable in the $10K levels, pulled off an excellent comeback after a slow start in the windy conditions at the Wrexham $10K in UIK, taking the title  - I believe her eight one at the pro level .. An excellent upset win .. [F] (4) Sania Mirza (IND,375) d. (1) Irina Boulykina (RUS,238), 16 64 61 .. Till a few months back, Sania had shown a tendency to lose to players in the top-250, while we could virtually count in a win over anybody below that .. That has certainly changed lately, as she showed once again today that she is ready to beat a lot of top players as well, and is well-set to make a big move into the top-250 or higher levels pretty soon .. The way she made adjustments today, after reportedly having trouble with the crosscourt shots from the talented 20 year-old Boulykina, shows that Sania has come a long way from the "hit the cover off the ball and pummell people into submission, but run out of ideas when things went wrong" style she had often shown till a few months back ..  She made the adjustments today in tough conditions and more importantly sustained it to a third set where she completely dismantled a top-250 -player .. It shows that she is becoming a complete player .. Watch out, folks - Sania is coming! .. This was more of a significant win today, not for the fact that she upset somebody very good, but for the way she did it ..  You Go Girl! .. Sania and Rushmi could not pull off a second title today though, as the top seeds fell in an extremely close match, 67(4) 57 to the second seeds, the talented Marama sisters - Paula and Eden - of New Zealand ..

In other news, finally found some results for Vishal Uppal's doubles at the $10K USA F22 where she had lost in the singles R1 .. [R1] (4) V.Uppal/ Mathew Hanlin (USA) d. Daniel Garza (MEX)/ Rodrigo Grilli (MEX), 62 63  .. [QF] d. (Q) Bjorn Munroe (BAH)/ Jamal Parker (USA), 76(4) 63 .. [SF] vs Trevor Spracklin (USA)/ Michael Yani (USA) .. Haven't seen the semi score from yesterday.

The four-week men's satellite circuit in Pakistan is starting this coming week .. Good to see professional tennis returning to our "friendly" neighbour country after many many years! .. Here are the venues of the event .. Week 1 - Islamabad Club, Islamabad (Clay) .. Week 2 - Coaching Centre, Lahore (Grass) .. Week 3 - Coaching Centre, Lahore (Grass) .. Masters - Karachi Gymkhana, Karachi (Hard) .. A lot of Indians are out there in the list .. Vijay Kannan, Vishal Punna, Kamala Kannan, Jaco Mathew, Ashutosh Singh, Tushar Liberhan and Rahil Syed are in the main draw list for the first two weeks and a bunch of more players are in the qualies which started yesterday .. Especially good to see two upcoming youngsters, Vishal Punna and Tushar Liberhan in the list .. See this thread in our forum on some results .. Hey, we also have a couple of Pakistani friends who post in our forum and we also closely follow the results of the one Pakistani we all like - Aisam Qureshi, currently the best singles player from the subcontinent.

Aug 7 Notes

Sunil Kumar advanbced to the final round of the qualies today at the $25K+H St.Petersburg challenger on clay .. He was the second seed in the qualies - [Q1] (2) S.K.Sipaeya (IND) d. Andrei Somov (RUS,1338) 75 61 .. [Q2] d. Dmitri Dudko (RUS,1441) 60 60 .. Up next is the 5th seed Andrei Cherkasov (RUS,491), former top-20 player, who is now 34 year old and continues to play on the tour .. Will be a tough match, but Cherkasov has had to win two 3-setters against players ranked under 750 to reach the Q3, so he is not playing like he once did, though his experience will be a factor .. Sunil is in line for the first lucky loser spot in the main draw if he drops the match tomorrow ..

Sania Mirza has reached the final of the $10K in Wrexham, UK!! .. [SF] Sania Mirza(IND,375) d. Jaslyn Hewitt (AUS,484) 60 61 .. Another shellack-job by SM .. Up next is Irina Boulykina (RUS,238) .. DFoubles final also .. QF] (1) R.Chakravarthi/ S.Mirza d. Lara Giltinen (AUS)/ Megan Molton-Levy (USA) 63 64 .. [SF} d. Dubravka Cupac (AUS)/Biljana Pavlova (BUL) 64 75 .. Up next is (2) E.Marama/P.Marama (NZL)

Shikha Uberoi's run ended in the 6th match at the $50K Louisville challenger yestdray, where she had qualified in and had  pulled three upsets on the way to the QF ..[QF] (Q) Shikha Uberoi (USA,301) l. Aiko Nakamura (JPN,194) 26 64 06 .. This was her 9th match in 6 days (singles and doubles) there and she was probably quite tired to sustain the comeback fight in the second set .. Shikha and Neha continued in doubles, reaching the semi, with yet another upset, this time against the 3rd seed, Mi-Ra jeon (KOR)/ Kelly Liggan (IRL) in a 57 60 63 match .. They play the semis today.

Aug 6 Note-2

The streak is over, but no shame, as it is agsint the 32 team of the world .. [QF] (8) M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes l. (3) M.KNowles (BAH)/ D.Nestor (CAN), 36 46 .. The Indians started a bit slow, falling to 15-40 in the 4th game and getting broken at 30-40 .. LP-MB took them to deuces in the next game but they held with the help of an ace at AD-in .. They seem to hardly get a point off the KNowles-Nestor serve, as they started hitting all but one of their first serves in the first three service games .. LP-MB were in more trouble at 2-5, down 0-30 but they held after saving a 30-40 break attempt .. MK-DN were playing totally mistake-free, as they held at 5-3, finishing with their second ace at set point .. In the second set, the pattern continued till the 6th game where our guys took them to a decue .. But they held, and immediately had LP-MB down 0-40 . The converted their first break point and it was 3-4 .. With the Bahaman-Canadian pair not making any mistakes and serving well, it was over soon .. The Indian Express did not seem to be amking too many mistakes (no double faults, a decent first serve opercentage, etc), but the other guys seemed to be doing too well (also no DFs, 2 aces) .. They had 2 breaks on 4 chance son us, and we did not get any break points, the closest being one decue point each in each set by our pair .. 43 points by us, 59 by them .. It took an hour and three minutes.

I am glad that everything is fine though .. My "prayer" was that our guys would get at least 5 matches before Olympics and kept saying that if they got that, even 2 events would be fine .. The worry was if they came in banged up or out of form and lost early in the very few events .. That was the risk they took, but they came through very well .. Won a title, and got six matches against extremely good competition .. They are ready for Athens! .. Actually I am also glad that none of the top Olympics teams got to play our guys - LP and MB know all about them all, but they have not played our guys in a long time to know what we are capable of .. Knowles-Nestor are not an Olympics pair, and it is fine that they probably made some adjustments after having badly lost on our team last week - the Olympics teams won't have that chance if our guys play well .. If you are going to lose one, do it against the #2 team in the world whom you had already beaten once last week .. So, all is well .. Now, let them take some rest, go to Athens, enjoy the opening ceremony, and get ready for the final assault ..

The long 18 match win streak (9 in ATP events) over 27 months is over .. All we need now is a 5 match win streak that ends up with Golden history!! Go Indian Express ..

Aug 6 Note-1

The Indian Express' QF match is about to start at Cinci .. Come to the chatroom ..

At the $10K Wrexham ITF event, Sania Mirza reached the semi today, with an impressive double-bagel eradication of Dubravka Cupac, a very good player who had upset the 5th seed Sarah Borwell earlier .. But to sober us down, 3rd seed Rushmi (who is coming off a few weeks break to rest an injury she picked up in an Asian event - and hopefully is not reinjured), went down 06 06 to the 8th seed Paula Marama (NZL,489) .. Scores -- [R2] (3) Rushmi Chakravarthi (IND,344) d. (WC) Lara Fakhouri (GBR,NR), 62 06 75 .. [QF] l. (8) Paula Marama (NZL,489), 06 06 .. [R2] (4) Sania Mirza (IND,375) d. (Q) Melissa Berry (GBR,1059), 62 61 .. [QF] (4) Sania Mirza (IND,375) d. Dubravka Cupac (AUS,628) 60 60 .. Doubles [R1] Rushmi/ Sania d. Sarah Borwell (GBR)/ Anna Hawkins (GBR), 64 64 .. [QF] vs vs Lara Giltinen (AUS)/ Megan Molton-Levy (USA)  .. Sania plays the 7th seed Jaslyn Hewitt (AUS,484) next in the semifinal ..

Aug 5 Notes

I will report the great news about Shikha Uberoi's fantastic run at the Lousiville challenger below (she upset two top-175 players and made the QF today!), but first the terrific match that Indian Express pulled out today .. Two points away from a loss in the 3rd set and they come back and pull off back-to-back breaks to win it !! ... [R2] (8) M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes d. Frantisek Cermak (CZE)/ Leos Friedl (CZE), 67(6) 76(5) 75, and they are in the QF at the Cincinnati Masters !! .. Yet another win over a good team - Cermak and Friedl are ranked #12 in team rankings.

The first set should have been our boys, if only they could convert a break point anywhere .. No breaks in the set but our guys went 0 for 9 in that category while facing just one break pt on their serve (I was seriously worried because the last time I remember that kind of futility by one of our guys was when Leander lost at Cinci last year in the final match before hospitalization - and we learnt later that he was not at his best in that match -- it was hard not to remember that match) .. Anyway, no such problems today - I suppose our guys were simply not able to convert it in the first set .. Of course, they converted all three of the chances they got in the next two sets, ending with the great flourish in the final two return games of the match .. Back to the match, our guys were ahead in the first set tiebreaker at 5-3 but an untimely double fault took away the advantage and the Czech guys made them pay, winning 5 of the last 6 points of the set .. 6-7(6-8) .. In the second set, our guys went ahead in the 5th game converting the first of their 10 break chances thus far .. It all looked fine in the 9th game, when we dropped serve while serving for the set .. Once again it was a tiebreaker .. Once again our guys went ahead 4-2 and 5-3  .. But this time they made sure they kept the lead in the tiebreaker, and if I am not mistaken, hit their first ace of the match at set point .. The match remained extremely close, as the scoreline would indicate .. As they finished two sets, it was 2 hours long and the two teams had won exactly 87 points each! .. In the 3rd set, LP-MB were once again in trouble, as the Czech pair converted their second break in only three break points they had in the whole match, in the 5th game .. Then they kept that lead throuh 4 more games, as the Indian Express could not seem to find a crack in the door in two service games from the Czechs .. On to the 10th game and the Czechs were serving at 5-4, two points away from winning the match .. WWEEE BBEELIIIEEEVEE, our old rally-cry in the chatoom during Indian Expres matches, needed to be pulled out once again from cold storage .. And sure they did the job .. Just like that, they forced a break point, converted it, and served off the next game to go ahead 6-5 .. Now, we knew that FC-LF could as well throw in the towel and leave - because you ain't gonna derail our express, ready to run over anybody to stay on track .. As the Czechs served at 40-30, trying to send it to a tiebreaker, it was 117 points to us and 116 to them in the match .. There was no doubt about it -- the dynamic duo won the next three points and converted their first match point, to take a 4 point advantage in a 236 point match that took 2 hours and 37 minutes .. 9 of 12 in break points for us, all the futility being in the first set .. 2 of 3 for the other guys .. 3 aces by us, 5 by them (we had 2 DFs, they had 6) .. How about that? .. Make it an 18 match win streak for our guys -- Up next for LP-MB are once again Knowles-Nestor, seeded third.

On to some more good news .. 21 year old Shikha Uberoi, listed under USA still but possibly changing allegience to India if all goes well, is on a total roll at the $50K Louisville challenger .. I only found out today about her big upset over the third seed yesterday, but she followed that with yet another upset to reach the quarterfinal just now .. [R1] (Q) Shikha Uberoi (USA,301) d. (3) Edina Gallovitz (ROM,149), 63 62 .. [R2] d. Mi-Ra Jeon (KOR,165), 63 06 64 .. Wow, that is 5 wins in a row with 4 upsets including the qualies where she was unseeded .. That scoreline against the top-150 third seed is eye-popping! .. Mi-Ra had beaten Neha earlier, so she got some revenge for her younger sister too .. Up next for her is Aiko Nakamura (JPN,194) who had upset the 6th seed Grandin earlier .. Go Shikha!

Aug 4 Notes

The second round match for the Indian Express at the Cincinnati Masters is scheduled for 11 am Thursday as the first match on court 3 tomorrow .. [R2] (8) M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes vs Frantisek Cermak (CZE)/ Leos Friedl (CZE) .. That is 4 pm London, 8.30 pm India .. Come on into our chatroom during the match for point-by-point score updates and to cheer on our champs as they extend their win streak ..

At the $50K Denver Challenger (Colorado, USA), Prakash Amritraj gave a very good fight to the 6th seed before falling in the R2 today .. [R2] Prakash Amritraj (IND,307) l. (6) Rik DeVoest (RSA,187), 67(4) 62 36 .. Good to see him playing well again .. A good hard-fought win today in doubles as well - which also breaks a losing streak in doubles .. [R1] Prakash Amritraj (IND)/ Wesley Whitehouse (RSA) d. (ALT) Ti Chen (TPE)/ Danai Udomchoke (THA), 67(2) 76(2) 63 .. Up next for them are the British pair, Jamie Delgado (GBR)/ Jonathan Marray (GBR) ..

Sunil Kumar's first singles match on clay in a while, did not go all that well - but he was unfortunate to draw the thrid seed .. At the $25K+H Saransk challenger, [R1] Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND,386) l. (3) Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS,313) 36 06 .. He now goes to St.Petersburg for next week's claycourt challenger .. He will need qualies there, as he is 12 out from the main draw .. The good news is that he is 6 out from the Samarkand (UZB) challenger on clay the week after with a good chance to make it in directly, and is next-in for the Bukhara (UZB) challenger on hardcourts after that, where he will make the draw .. This is a five week challenger sequence for him (hard, clay,clay,clay,hard), and regardless of the wins and losses, the 21 year old will come back with a lot more experience ..

I have not seen all the scores from the $50 Louisville (Kentucky, USA) challenger today .. Young qualifier Neha Uberoi (USA,341) gave a good match to Mi-Ra Jeon (KOR,165) before falling, 67(3) 57 .. No news about the Shikha match which was on at the same time.

At the $10K Wrexham (UK) ITF event, both Rushmi and Sania won their first round matches after some troubles .. [R1] (3) Rushmi Chakravarthi (IND,344) d. (Q) Biljana Pavlova (BLR,953), 06 64 61 .. [R1] (4) Sania Mirza (IND,375) d. Rebecca Llewellyn (GBR,796), 62 67(3) 62 .. In the next round, it will be Rushmi vs (WC) Lara Fakhouri (GBR,NR) and Sania vs (Q) Melissa Berry (GBR,1059) ..

Vishal Uppal, seeded for a 3rd week in a row in the US futures series, got upset in the first round for a 3rd week too, yesterday .. At the $10K futures in Decatur, Illinois, 4th seeded Vishal lost to Daniel Garza (MEX), 67(2) 36 .. Things not going well for Vishal, who will be at another US futures next week Vishal and Matt hanlin (USA) won the doubles first round over Rodrigo Grilli (MEX) and Daniel Garza (MEX), 36 26 .. They play Bjorn Munroe (BAH) and Jamal Parker (USA) in the QF.

Aug 3 Notes

LP-MB will face Frantisek Cermak (CZE) and Leo Friedl (CZE) in the doubles R2 at the Cinci Masters .. The match will be on Thursday .. Go Indian Express, continue your win streak at Cinci..

The big news today is that both the Uberoi sisters qualified into the main draw at the Louisville challenger in Kentucky (USA)!! .. [Q3] Shikha Uberoi (USA,301) d. Daniela Kix (AUT,382), 63 06 63 .. [Q3] Neha Uberoi (USA,341) d. (4) Seiko Okamoto (JPN,253), 63 62 ..  Neha is back to her best form I think, after a few weeks of a bit of a funk .. She upset two seeds in the qualies to pick up two top-275 wins which is great .. Neha plays Mi-Ra Jeon (KOR,165) and Shikha plays the 3rd seed Edina Gallovitz (ROM,149) in the first round, in back-to-back games to start the day on the center court wednesday .. If they can both pull upsets, they will face each other in the next round .. As though that wasn't enough, the girls also upset the qualies top seeds and qualified into the doubles draw as well .. [Q1] (3) N.Uberoi/ S.Uberoi d. Allison Ojeda (USA)/ Jessica Roland (USA), 42 42 .. [Q2] d. (1) Kaori Aoyama (JPN)/ Ayami Takase (JPN), 42 40 .. So, in the main draw they play Sarah Fansler and Kim-Anh Nguyen of USA in an afternoon match today .. It's been an Uberoi show over the weekend there .. KLeep going, ladies!

Fourth seeded Sania Mirza's firt round match at the $10K in Wrexham (UK) against Rebecca Llewellyn (GBR,795) did not get done today .. Postponed to  wednesday .. Third seeded Rushmi Chakravarthi will face the qualifier Biljana Pavlova (BLR,950) in the R1, also scheduled for tomorrow .. Rushmi and Sania are seeded first in doubles and get the British pair Saraj Borwell and Anna Hawkins first, on thursday ..

At the $25K+H in Saransk, Mordovia (Russia) on clay, Sunil Kumar and Norikazu Sugiyama lost to Philipp Mukhometov and Evgueni Smirnov of Russia, 16 36 .  Sunil plays the featured evening center court match against the 3rd seed Gabashvili tomorrow .. At the $25K+H challenger in Gramado, Brazil, Mustafa's bad run continued, as he and Orest Tershchuk (UKR) seeded second, went down 36 57 to the Brzailiab duo, Henrique Mello and Alexandre Simoni.

Prakash gets the day off at Denver and plays tomorrow ..

Aug 2 Note-2 

OK, here is the score of the nice upset win for PA today .. [R1] Prakash Amritraj (IND,307) d. Frederic Niemeyer (CAN,197), 63 57 76(6) .. Niemeyer had upset #54 David Sanchez last week in the first round at the Toronto masters, after getting a wildcard entry, so he is a solid player who is in form .. He had also just raised his rank from the 230 to inside 200 today with that .. Pretty good dogfight from Prakash to get past that guy .. Up next is the 6th seed Rik DeVoest (RSA,187) on wednesday .. He is playing doubles with Wesley Whitehouse of South Africa, but they have a tough pair to face - Australians Nathan Healy and Chris Guccione .. PA gets tomorrow off ..

Hmmm .. Makes you think how much better things are now, compared to a couple of years back when we had nobody even in the top-400 and none with a win against the top-250 in ages .. Nobody except Leander had gone even a round abriad in a challenger for years .. Now guys like Harsh and Prakash are taking turns to do all that .. Hope they will all motivate each other to keep pushing the envelope.

More good news .. Both Neha and Shikha have reached the final round of the qualies at the $50K Louisville challenger in Kentucky ..Neha Uberoi (USA,341) played two rounds today - [Q1] d. (5) Casey DellAcqua (AUS,271), 63 63 .. [Q2] d. Whitney Jones (USA,880), 63 63  .. Excellent top-300 upset in the first match! .. Shikha Uberoi (USA,301) played the Q2 today and beat Tanner Cochran (USA,330), 63 62 ... Tomorrow, [Q3] Shikha vs Daniela Kix (AUT,382) .. [Q3] Neha vs (4) Seiko Okamoto (JPN,253) .. Dad Mahesh Uberoi should be getting some good exercize running between the courts to watch the sisters playing at the same time in the morning! :)

By the way, Rohan Bopann is taking this week also off to rest his arm .. Was in the entry list for the $15K in Iran but he withdrew a couple of days back .. Unfortunate that the injury bug refuses to fully go away .. We will see when he gets back on court.

Aug 2 Note-1

First of all .. Good news doesn't seem to stop .. I believe Prakash Amritraj (IND,307) pulled a big upset over Frederic Niemeyer (CAN,197) today at the  $50K Denver challnger with a third set tiebreaker win .. I am waiting to see the full scores .. Hey, just 4 weeks back we were all down in the dumps about nobody getting a decent win anywhere, and now thinghs are cooking!

The big win in Toronto pushed Leander's rank up to #20, as Mahesh kept his #5 rank .. This week they are at the big Cincinnati Masters awaiting their second round opponents - our guys have a bye .. There were some newspaper articles quoting Mahesh telling everybody that we shouldn't have been concerned about their short preparation period -- "leave the preparation to us" .. That makes sense .. Though I was very impatient a few months back, I had adctually not complained for quitre some time about them playing only two events, as long as both were staying healthy and playing well - which both of them were .. It was a big risk that they took, but the benefit is also that they don't have time to get bored playing with each other and lose their spirit .. Right now, both of them are totally wound up to do well at Athens and they are on a roll .. If anybody thought there won't be a "fear factor" about them at Athens, do not worry at all .. The douboles world has certainly noticed .. Go Indian Express!

By the way, the last time they played together at Cincinnati, in 2001, they took the title, which was their last Masters series title together, before last week .. Hope the winning streak continues this week!

In other news, Harsh Mankad reached career high ranks in both singles and doubles .. #282 in singles and #152 in doubles ..  Fantastic .. Prakash may take away the Indian #1 spot this week itself if he goes a couple of round more in Denver though! .. It is nice to follow some friendly competition on that count!

Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND,386) faces the 3rd seed Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS,272) at the $25K+H challenger in Saransk, Mordovia (Russia) .. In doubles, Sunil and Norikazu Sugiyama play Philipp Mukhometov and Evgueni Smirnov of Russia ..

At the $25K+H Gramado challenger qualies in Brazail, Mustafa Ghouse was the 5th seed .. Won a round over Alessandro Ventre (BRA,NR), 64 46 62 before falling in the Q2 to Rodrigo Guidolim (BRA,1441), 64 36 46 .. In the doubles main draw, Mustafa, ranked #195 in doubles, is playing with Orest Tereshchuk (UKR,175), facing the Brazilian pair, Henrique Mello and Alexandre Simoni ..

The women's side which has been very quiet lately, gets back into action this week .. Sania Mirza is the 4th seed and Rushmi Chakravarthi is the 3rd seed at the $10K ITF in Wrexham, UK this week .. Rushmi faces a qualifier to be determined and Sania faces rebecca Llewellyn (GBR) in the first round.

At the Louisville challenger ($50K) in Kentucky, USA, Shikha Uberoi (USA,301) beat Kaori Aoyama (JPN,506), 75 76(2) in the Q1 and was to play Tanner Cochran (USA,330) today .. Younger sister Neha Uberoi (USA,341) was to play the 5th seed Casey DellAcqua (AUS,271) today in a delayed first round match.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on Aug 2 ..

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