Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the weeks ending on Sep 30, 2004
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Aug 31 Notes
.. I am traveling in the DC and NY area till Friday the 3rd
.. Hence the lack of frequent updates .. Hope you have been reading the updates in
the forums by fanclub folks ..
Wow!! ..What a show!! .. Shikha Uberoi (USA/IND,275) beat Saori Obata (JPN,56) 63 36 75 to advance to the second round at the US Open tonight .. I was there to see the biggest win ever by an Indian-born player
(if I am not mistaken Niru's win over #66 Pizziccini at the AO in 1998 is
the biggest in the open era before this) .. She went ahead 3-1 in the first
set but got broken back at 3-2 .. broke again to 4-2 and made that hold up
.. In the second, she dropped serve in the 4th game to fall 1-3 .. Had a
few deuces and break points in the next game but Saori held there .. In the
3rd set it all looked lost at 0-3 when SU dropped serve twice .. But then
an incredible comeback where she played out of his skin and pulled off three
breaks on the world #56 in 5 service games .. Amazing .. 2 hour 20 minutes
match .. This girl is for real in every which way .. She has power, height,
athleticism, and a complete all court game .. She likes to move up all the
time but has the ground game to win almost every one of the 20+ shot rallies
in the match .. Amazingly accurate, she pays an extremely enjoyable brand
of tennis .. OK, it is 1 am out here in NY, and I have to sleep .. Take a
look at some more stuff I posted in the forum US Open thread ..
Forgot to mention that Mahesh and Max won the first round 46 64 76(3) in
a really good high-quality doubles match, over Martin Garcia and Sebastien
Prieto .. That was expected though .. LP and Rikl play only Thursday I believe
Vivek Shokeen and Vijay Kannan are in the QF in the Pakistan satellite masters
.. Other news later, if I manage to find time and internet.
Aug 29 Notes
Just a couple of quick updates .. Sania Mirza reached her first challenger
final at Delhi and will now move up to just about #300 in her rank!!! ..
Go Sania .. She will skip next week's Delhi $10K and will be going to Tashkent
for the Asian championships where a title would give her an entry to the
Australian Open .. The big news was an Indian lady qualifying into a grand
slam main draw for the first time in the open era - Shikha Uberoi
(USA), born in India, who pulled two top-200 upsets and made the main draw
as the only American girl to qualify in .. She has picked up some 38 points
and will now move some 60 spots to inside top-220!! .. I had a chance
to see her at the USO a couple of days back (see my forum match report in
the USO 2004 thread) and was thoroughly impressed with what tremendous tennis
she can play .. Watch out folks! .. By the way, Nirupama Sanjeev is the only
Indian with a grand slam main draw win in the open era .. Shikha may pull
another upset and match her next week .. In other news, young Vivek Shokeen
is the 4th seed, based on circuit points so far, at the Pakistan satellite
masters where Vijay Kannan and Vishal Punna have a lot of work to do (like
the final or something) to make any decent ATP points .. Will try to put
more updates next week, but please keep checking the forum for news.
Aug 25 Notes
A late update again -- actually I am traveling for a few days now and
the updates will be patchy .. I will leave links for the forum threads here
.. For those who do not want to wade through the forum, I will try to round
up things here a few times till the end of next week.
Well, Harsh Mankad ended up as the first one out (DAMN!) at the US Open qualies
.. Well, about 240 spots were there in the main and qualifying lists .. Harsh
was 29th out when the qualies list closed ... Moved 28 spots up and ended
up as the first one out .. This is the second time such a crazy thing is
happening to Indians, as Prakash was in exactly the same situation at the
Australian Open and ended up not getitng to play .. Harsh has signed in for
ALT if there are no shows from the qualies draw, but none so far, after half
the Q1 matches got done yesterday .. He will wait today also .. The worse
thing is that though he was first out from the list, now he is second in
line, as a highr ranked Galimberti (ITA) showed up and signed in also ..
Exactly the same thing as what happend to PA in AO again .. Somebody higher
signed in, there was one ALT spot which went to that guy .. What are the
odds of this happening to the ONLY Indian trying to get in to a 240+ player
field? .. But then we know that near-misses are the story of Indian sports,
even when the players do their part very well . A cut at #278 at the
US Open qualies is the highest in recent years.
Good news from the hot-playing Shikha Uberoi (USA) .. Impressive win yesterday for the wildcard at theUS Open qualies .. [Q1]
(WC)Shikha Uberoi(USA, 275) d. Ivana Abramovic(CRO, 183) 61 62 .. What
a scoreline - I mean, that's how one should pull an upset! .. Next up in
the Q2 is the 15th seed Anne Kremer (LUX, 121) .. Go Shikha .. Younger sister
Neha also played an excellent match but could not pull off an upset - [Q1] (WC) Neha
Uberoi (USA,333) l. Cory Ann Avants (USA,243), 46 76(4) 46 - great fight
from Neha who fell behind a break in the third set and just could not get
over the hump after that though it was a tight match all along .. Today,
Sunitha Rao (USA,262) plays the Q1 against Natalie Grandin (RSA,157) .. Check the forum thread on US Open 2004 for results updates
At the New Delhi $25K Challenger, Rain has pretty much prevented play for
most of two days .. Only about 5-6 first round matches seem to have been
done .. Some good results from Indians though .. Big win for Sanaa Bhambri
who upset 422nd ranked Kyung-Mi Chang (KOR), 63 63 .. It was around this
time last year that Sanaa got badly injured and missed a whole bunch of months
.. Good to see a big win from her .. Also noteworthy was the excellent show
by 17 yr old Punam Reddy, who stretched Ankita Bhambri all the way
in a 64 26 57 loss .. Punam qualifying into the main draw it self was impressive,
as she upset the world #61 junior, I-Hsuan Hwang in a 61 62 match along the
way, after I-Husan had uposet the 8th seed in the qualies .. That is the
highest ranaked junior player that Punam has betan (her own ranking having
just come up to 120, after the nice showing with successive QFs in RSA a
few weeks back) .. Also in the first round, Rushmi Chakravarthi, who
strangely plays at a totally different level in India beat a talented Su-Wei
Hsieh (TPE,374), 62 62 - who was a top-10 junior player and was as high as
#130 two years back (as a 16 yr old!) .. Why can't RC never seem to do this
kind of stuff abroad, I have no idea! .. Here is the forum thread on the Delhi $25K - I will compile and have the results in the usual archives later.
Some very good results so far from Indians at the 3rd leg of the Pakistan satellites .. Here is the forum thread for scores.
I thoughty Tara Iyer was originally in the entry list for the grade-3 juniors
(US Intl. Hardcourts) in New Jersey this week .. She is not in the draw though
.. I assume she would be at the canadian Open grade-1 and then the US Open
Aug 23 Notes
Sorry for a very late update .. Had a busy weekend .. Harsh Mankad played
yet another good match against Olivier Mutis (FR,114) in the Q2 at the tough
long Island ATP qualies but lost 57 46 on Saturday afternoon .. HM had something
like 9 break points but could convert only one - reportedly he did not make
mistakes on all but one of the BPs, but Mutis came up with the good on the
other points .. It is great to see Harsh being consistently competitive against
top-200 and now top-100 quality players too .. That takes his record against
top-200 to 3-4 in the recent matches, with all the losses seeing some close
sets and tiebreakers .. This turned out to be good practice for Harsh as
he goes to the US Open qualies starting tomorrow .. He is right now 4th out
from the draw, and I hope he will squeeze in somehow, as at least an Alternate
The $25K ITF women;s event has started in Delhi .. Young Punam Reddy
made it in through qualies, along with Iciri Rai and Karshma Patel (correction from earlier!) ..Sania, Rushmi, Ankita, Sai, Sonal,
Archana and Sanaa are also in the draw .. More later on that .. Anyway, it
was a complete rainout today at Delhi, so we start Tuesday.
Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND,374) went down after a great start against the 2nd
seed Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS,263), 64 67(4) 06 today .. He still has doubles
Rushmi and Sai went down in the semis of the Colombo $10K over the weekend but won the doubles title.
.. Previous notes are at Notes
for the weeks ending on Aug 23 ..
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