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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 juniors ..

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 player ..

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 left.

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