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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for week ending on Aug 30, 1999

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Aug 30 Notes

Here is the doubles draw till semifinals at the US Open doubles for Leander and Mahesh:

 1 M.Bhupathi (IND)/ L.Paes (IND)      vs  P.Norval (RSA)/ K.Ullyett (RSA)      \
   A.Kitinov (MKD)/ J.Waite (USA)      vs  J.-M.Gambill (USA)/ A.Peterson (USA) / \
   J.Blake (USA)/ T.Blake (USA)        vs  N.Marques (POR)/ T.VanHoudt (BEL)    \ / \
15 J.Gimelstob (USA)/ R.Reneberg (USA) vs  B.Coupe (USA)/ R.Koenig (RSA)        /    \__ SF
10 Y.Kafelnikov (RUS)/ D.Vacek (CZE)   vs  B.Ellwood (AUS)/ M.Tebbutt (AUS)     \    /
   N.Broad (GBR)/ P.Tramacchi (AUS)    vs  J.Oncins (BRA)/ D.Orsanic (ARG)      / \ /
   P.Goldstein (USA)/ C.Woodruff (USA) vs  N.Godwin (RSA)/ M.Ondruska (RSA)     \ /
 8 E.Ferreira (RSA)/ R.Leach (USA)     vs  D.DiLucia (USA)/ M.Sell (USA)        /
Let us hope that LP and MB would put in a couple of days of practice and be ready, because this is by no means an easy draw, for them to defend their semifinal points from last year .. The first round match against Norval Ullyett will be tough, to satrt with, as are matches against any reasonable established pair .. Gambill-Peterson is a possible team for R2, and they are some sort of a dark horse here .. Our pair will then have to go through a very promising team - hard-serving Justin Gimelstob in the company of veteran Richey Reneberg .. Then come potentially Ferreira-Leach (a team our pair has handled in the past), or the always tough Kefelnikov-Vacek, the team that LP-MB lost to in their first semifinal, at US Open in 97 .. Goldstein-Woodruff is my true "dark horse" pick right now, in this draw ..

The bottom quarter in the top half has 4th seeds Adam/DeJager and 6th seeds Black/Stolle, and also the 13th seeds Tarango/Ivanisevic the Fo finalists .. The bottom half of the draw has 2nd seeds Haarhuis/Palmer, 3rd seeds Woodies, 5th seeds Delaitre/Santoro, 9th seeds Knowles/Nestor, 11th seeds Lareau/O'Brien, etc .. Since Rafter is skipping doubles this time due to too much of tennis lately, Bjorkman is playing with Byron Black - they are seeded 7th and are in the bottom half .. Not real unseeded dark horse teams that I can identify in the bottom half.

It will all depend on how prepared our pair is, mentally and physically .. Here are two reports for everyone to read, about what the two dads, vece Paes, and Krishna Bhupathi, said late last week on where the pair stands .. PTI report in Times of India and an article in The Telegraph, Calcutta .. Now there are two reasonable and level-headed dads who are certainly aware of the LP-MB relationship being not solid now, and are concerned .. Basically it's all things that only LP and MB can solve by sitting together and discussing their differences (keeping everybody else away) .. I can probably type a lot more of the complicated details I know about it, but I really don't want to .. Let us just hope for these two to get their act together .. I will just say that LP and MB are quite incommunicative with each other lately - not so much because they are irreparably upset at each other, from what I know; probably more because they don't know where to start in clearing out all the confusion around, and figuring out what is true, what is not, who meant to do what, who did what, when, why, and based on whose advice .. I actually typed a lot more of the details on this yesterday, but I then chose not to post it .. Let me just say this - The talk about them having to seriously decide on whether to continue, etc, is correct - but I personally feel they will work it out .. So, for now, let us get on with the US Open business ! .. They are the top seeds, and professionals who are #1 in the world have a duty to go out there and play their best .. I suspect they will.

Aug 29 Notes

I was out till late night and did not find out the results at the Hamlet doubles semi till this morning -- anyway, Mahesh and Ferreira lost a three-setter, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6 to Gambill and Humphries ..

The US Open doubles draw is out, and Paes-Bhupathi are th top seeds, playing Norval-Ullyett in the first round .. More details later.

The AITA ranking mini- and sub-junior torunament was completed yesterday at Chennai - see the full results at the Chennai Subjuniors page .. The Boys u16 title was won by CS Mohanty (Delhi) over 7th Vivek Jhaveri (MAh) .. Vivek had upset the top seed Amanjot Singh in the QF and 4th seed Rohan Gajjar in the semi - but otherwise there were no big surprises .. The u14 boys final was won by 4th seed Chatwinder Singh of Chandigarh, over top seed Vikrant Sane of Maharashtra .. R. Arun Prakash of Tamil Nadu had some good results - he lost to Chatwinder Singh in the u-14 semifinal, but had upset him in the u16 first round, both three-setters .. On the girls under-16, the only surprising result was a PQF upset of the second seed C.Nandita by Radha Devendrappa of Karnataka (who has the bait of picking up some upset wins here and there!), but Radha then lost to Preethi Rao of Tamil Nadu .. The u16 final was won by the top seed Megha Vakharia of Maharashtra over Preethi Rao .. Unseeded Preethi Rao had a good tournament, with an upset of 3rd seed T.Yamini in the semis .. Megha justified her rankings easily with good wins, including a win over the 8th seed Isha Lakhani (the u14 winner) .. Liza Pereira, fresh from her trip to African ITF junior internationals, did not have a great tournament, and was upset by Isha in the u16 QFs .. In the girls u14 draw, 11 year old sanaa Bhambri from Delhi has been beating a lot of players older than her - she upset the top seed Sania Mirza of AP in the semis .. The u14 title went to 2nd seed Isha Lakhani over Sanaa Bhambri  .. Another u14 players of note is Priyanka Parekh of West Bengal - she had pulled 2 upsets last week in the u18 tournament - she upset the 5th seed Sandra Sashidharan of Kerala in the QF of u14 here, before losing to Isha .. In u16, she had a close 64 64 loss to top seed and winner Megha Vakharia .. I am not sure, but these AITA tournaments age limits are different than that of ITF junior tournaments which are 16-and under, 14-and-under, etc .. Not under-16, under-14, etc.

Aug 28 Note-1

2nd seeds Mahesh and Wayne Ferreira will play unseeded Jan-Michael Gambill (USA,177) and Scott Humphries (USA,85) in the semifinal today at the $325K Hamlet Cup at Commack, Long Island .. The match is scheduled for about 9 pm, the second in the night session .. A win could put Mahesh in his first doubles final in a big tournament in the company of somebody other than Leander, since the final at Los Angeles in 97 July with Rick Leach.

Nirupama will be taking the next 2 weeks off, and will next play in a challenger in upstate New York starting on Sep 13th (not sure if she is in the draw - may have to play qualifiers) .. That is unless she decides to play the challenger in Mexico starting on Sep 6th .. A minor correction on her points from USO qualies .. She may have got 20 points, not 18 as I gave earlier .. I don't have the latest points table from WTA, but the two upset wins may have given her 4 bonus points each, not three ..  Nirupama's point total stands at 112 now - the main points are, 20 for the final round qualies at the Australian Open, 20 points for the final round qualies at USO, 16 points for the QF at the $75K challenger last December in Delhi, 13 points for the SF at Port Pirie and 9 points for QF at Mount Gambier (both $25K challengers last November in Asutralia), and 9 points for qualifying in at the Santa Clara challenger last September .. She had not picked up more than 5 points at any place since the Australian Open qualifiers this year, but had used some extensive breaks to work on fitness .. Some of her work paid off at USO now, but she may need yet another break to get back to where she wants to be in weight and fitness.

I will write some later about the latest on the LP-MB doubles partnership, on which something has come out in the press today.

Aug 27 Note-2

Strange to see the flip flop from one match to another like this - 61 61 yesterday and 16 16 today ..  Jelena Kostanic (CRO,138) d.  Niruapama Vaidyanathan (IND,219), 6-1, 6-1 ..  Niru's poor record in the final qualifying rounds of tournament continues .. She has lost quite a few in the final round like this .. In some of the qualies she would have a chance to be a lucky loser entry, but at US Open, since she was one of the lowest ranked players in the draw, no such luck .. Still, I am rather happy to see her pull off two good wins and pick up some money and good points (as many points as in getting to the semifinals of a challenger) ..

Thoroughout the match today, Niru seemed to be able to take points off Jelena's serve, but had serious trouble in her own service games The break sequence was [set1: NV broken in game 2 and 4], [set2: NV broken in game 1,3, 5 and 7 .. JK broken in game 4] .. She was down 0-4 quickly in the first set, but then had Jelena serving 30-40 ..  Niru then had 4 more break points at ADs out, but could not force the break .. After Niru held serve for the first and only time in this match, it was 1-5 and JK won the set easily .. In the second set, Niru was broken immediately .. She tried to get the break back and had JK down 15-40 and once again could not force a break as she let go the 6th and 7th break chances in a row .. She again went up to triple break points on JK's serve in the 4th game and finally forced a break .. But after that, it was just a question of JK easily breaking Niru again ..  Susan Thomas and Gautam Belday were the onsite fanclub members there, and sent reports .. Nothing much to report, but both felt that there was no problem with Niru's ground strokes and service .. She was doing those fine .. It was just her mobility on the court that they felt was the problem .. JK was running all over the place and Niru seemed to be a bit sluggish today .. It goes back to something Niru herself said recently when she was in LA .. Though she has lost a bit of weight from a few months back, she feels she needs to lose a few more pounds and get the mobility and endurance up .. She might work on that later this year with a few weeks of break.

Niru will not be able to make it into the doubles draw, I believe, as her ranking is a bit too low .. You need to be around 150 or 160 to have a chance at that ..  She will be off next week, and may play a challenger in Mexico (not sure), and another one in NY the week after.

I have updated the Thursday results from the AITA mini- and sub-junior tournament in the Chennai subjuniors page ..

Aug 27 Note-1

Nirupama's final qualifier match is scheduled for 11 am this morning (8 am PST, usa .. 8.30 pm India) .. She goes up against Jelena Kostanic, and 18 yr old who was top 10 in ITF world junior ranking even at the end of 1997 ..  Kostanic is obviously a talented player, to have come up to #138 already .. I believe she is a lefty ..  Hopefully the match will start on time without rain delays like yesterday ..  Our chatroom will be open as usual.

Mahesh and Ferreira have reached the semifinal at the $325K Hamlet Cup .. Last night's quarterfinal match got over only at about 11.15 there, due to rain delays .. Bhupathi-Ferreira d. Djordjevic - Greenhalgh, 6-2, 6-4 .. The next opponent will be decided in a match from last night, to be completed today .. The doubles semis will be on Saturday ..  Good to see that Mahesh had an easy match yesterday .. He may be getting back to good shape, getting ready for US Open doubles.

I will compile the results from the Chennai juniors from yesterday, soon ..

Aug 26 Note-2

I think Nirupama must have eaten a lot of spinach for lunch today .. She was on fire, and finished off Katalin Marosi (HUN,165) in 42 minutes flat .. Nirupama won 6-1, 6-1 !! ..

I followed the match online, and was prepared to make the usual report, but there is nothing much to write about, except that Marosi rarely seemed to take a point off Niru's service .. The only time Niru let go of break chances was in the second game of the second set when KM was down 0-40 .. The breaks for Niru were in games 1 5 and 7 in the first set and 4 and 6 in the second .. Actually most of the time she converted the very first break chance she got .. It was clearly a case of total domination by Nirupama .. Niru has picked up 18 total points so far, which will bring her inside the top-200 again .. She now goes up against the 28th seed, Jelena Kostanic of Croatia (#138), tomorrow.

Aug 26 Note-1

Nirupama is scheduled to play her second round qualy match against Katalin Marosi (HUN,165) on court 15 today .. Second match on that court where play starts at 11 am .. Niru's match should be at about 1 pm EST (10 am PST .. 10.30 pm India), plus or minus half hour ..  Nirupama has played Marosi once before and beat her 46 60 63 .. That was in 98 July at the Gexto challenger in Spain, on clay .. Marosi has come up over 100 spots from then, including some challenger titles (won the Copa Ericsson challenger last November in Mexico) .. There will be ball-by-ball in our chatroom.

At the Hamlet Cup in Long Island, Bhupathi and W.Ferreira play Nebosa Djordjevic (YUG,108) and James Greenhalgh (NZL,130) in the quarterfinals today .. That match should be at around 7.30 pm.

There is an AITA mini and sub-junior (u14 and u16) national ranking tournament going on in Chennai .. There have been so many tournaments at Chennai lately .. Anyway, nothing much interesting happening there yet, except for a couple of upsets .. See the results till yesterday, at the Chennai subjuniors page.

Aug 25 Note-3

Mahesh and Wayne Ferreira pulled out a tough win, 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-2, over Silcock/Taino just now in the first round of doubles at the $325K Hamlet Cup at Commack, Long Island ..  No other info available right now.

I have not talked to Leander yet, after the match, but I am sure he is terribly disappointed that the losing streak in singles, which has reached 5 matches and 10 sets in a row, has not ended yet ..  Susan Thomas of the fanclub was there as the onsite reporter for us, but she was too sad to send me a regular match report .. She said that Leander was a bit unlucky with a couple of bad calls early in the first set when he was broken in game 2, and perhaps even let that affect him throughout (she said there were bad calls both ways, though) .. He kept having trouble with that forehand, and in the end screamed "it is meant to happen" when Hill won the last 4 points after LP was a up a minibreak in the tiebreak and serving two ..  Sounds awfully like somebody who is frustrated with his own game and needs to relax and get his game going ..

If you are wondering if this is the first time LP has lost this many matches in a row, it isn't ! .. In Mar-Apr 97, he went through a 6 match losing streak to Knowles, Etlis, Norman, Blanco, Sinner and Koenig (the last one was to a qualifier in a challenger! .. some may not even know a couple of those names!) ..  He bounced back then .. He will do that again, but I am not sure when .. I am of the opinion that it won't happen till he takes a good break all by himself down in Orlando with his phone and everything else off the hook .. At least looking at the shots he plays in doubles and seeing that his reflexes and speed have not really gone down yet, I am  sure he will be back .. He needs to get his confidence back to make proper shot-selection at crucial points (he has gone perhaps 1 of 25  or something - I have lost count - in break points during this stretch!) ..  Anyway, I suggest those of you who think he is over the hill and done in singles should wait just a little bit longer before writing obituaries (take a look at some of the comments in the guestpage) - he may make you eat your words .. Just my opinion .. Will talk to Lee some time and see what he plans to do.

Aug 25 Note-2

At this point it is pretty clear that Leander is in a full-fledged slump in his singles game - I have not seen him play since the loss at Los Angeles, but I just have to imagine that he needs to get some mental aspects of the game worked out .. Michael Hill (AUS,205) d. Leander Paes, 6-3, 7-6(4) ..

The match started with LP dropping serve in the second game and falling behind 0-3 quickly .. LP had break chances in game 4 at 30-40 and then at AD out .. He could not pull it off, and it was 1-4 .. Then LP had to go through a couple of deuces before holding serve at 2-4 .. After that both traded love games and MH wrapped up the set in game 9 with no hiccups .. In game 1 of set 2, after being up 30-0, LP quickly faced a break attempt at 30-40, and three more attempts at AD out, finally falling behind 0-1 after 6 deuces .. He tried to fight back, and had MH at 0-40 immediately, but wasted 3 break chances, as MH held to go up 2-0 .. Then LP was again down 30-40 and in serious trouble .. Then something happened and LP seemed to come to life for a while .. He held there and went after MH .. It was 2-2 in a hurry with LP finally converting a break point .. Then again in game 5 he had two more break chances, which he did not convert .. served three very easy games at this points to go up 5-4 .. Then MH was down 0-30, and then fought off a set pt at 30-40, but he held .. Then LP was probably disheartedned again and was down 0-30 on his serve and once again in trouble .. He held on after four deuces and one break attempt though .. We were in a tiebreaker soon .. LP was down a minibreak at 0-2, but then took two points off MH's serve, and was up 4-3 and serving two .. MH won the last 4 points in a row to finish it off and extend Leander's misery.

Aug 25 Note-1

Leander plays the first round qualies at US  Open, today .. Paes vs Michael Hill (AUS,205) at about 4 pm EST (1 pm PST, 1.30 am India) .. The official site provides real-time updates, and so we will have ball-by-ball in our chatroom ..

Michael Hill is a 25 yr old 6 ft 2 guy, who has been slowly climbing the rankings in the last 4-5 years .. He has been inside the top 350 for the last 2-3 years, crossed 200 a year back, and reached a career-high 168 when he  won the Aptos challenger a few weeks back .. Other than that, he has generally not had a great year though .. Good hardcourt player - has the groundies and not too shy about coming to the net .. He played collegiate tennis at the University of California, Berkeley, till the summer of 97, and was also in the St.Louis Aces world team tennis roster, last year ..

Mahesh and Wayne Ferreira are scheduled to play Grant Silcock (AUS,126) and Eric Taino (USA,84) at the $325K Hamlet Cup in Long Island .. By the way, Eric Taino is playing pretty well now, as his win over Leander a few weeks back shows .. He also qualified into the singles main draw at LI .. I just saw an article on how well he played yesterday, despite his loss to the top seed Kafelnikov in the first round.  Anyway, it doesn't look like a very difficult team for MB and WF to handle, but one can never be sure in doubles involving partners who haven't played together.  No online results from LI, but we will try to update results at the Mahesh page soon after the match.

Aug 24 Note-2

How about Nirupama ? ..  She just plainly ground out a win today over the 14th seed (ranked about 100 spots above her)  in the qualies in two tough sets! .. Nirupama d. Tathiana Garbin, 7-6(2), 7-6(1)  in the first round of the US Open qualies ..  The momentum kept swinging back and forth throughout this match, and Nirupama came up really big in both the tiebreakers .. The match started with Niru taking Tathiana to deuces, but she held .. Niru went ahead first in game 5, breaking TG in the first chance she got at 30-40 .. It did not last too long as Tathiana charged back in the 8th game to tie it up at 4-4 ..  TG served the next 2 games without giving Niru many points and seemed to have the momentum with her, going into the tiebreaker .. Now it was Niru's turn to turn it up a notch .. She went up a minibreak immediately .. After TG made it 2-2, Niru won the next 5 points in a row to finish the set off .. In the second set the momentum continued, as Niru served the first game at love and immediately broke TG to go up 2-0 and then 3-0 .. TG steadied herself up and it went to 3-1, when TG once again picked up steam and broke Nirupama to bring it back on serve and to 3-3 .. Then, at 4-3 with TG serving, the real fight started .. Niru seemed to want that break badly .. She took it to two break chances at 15-40, but could not convert either .. Perhaps the disappointment of wasting a golden chance to go up 5-3 affected Niru, as she quickly was down 15-40 on her own serve in game 9 and was broken by Tathiana who was now up 5-4 and serving to tie it up .. Just in the nick of time Niru got her composure back and broke her right back to tie it at 5-5 .. TG was not done, as she took Niru to 15-40 once again in the next game, trying to go up 6-5 .. Niru wouldn't let her, and fought off 2 break attempts and two deuces to go up 6-5 .. It seemed like a real catfight at this point, but TG held serve to send it to a tiebreaker .. Once again Niru came up with what was needed, as she went up 5-0, which meant she had won 10 points in a row, in the two tiebreakers! .. The match was over soon thereafter, and Niru had scalped the highest ranked player in her bracket! .. So, just like in 97, Niru again beat Tathiana in straight sets .. The match took an hour and 55 minutes to comeplete, which shows how much of a fight it was.

She picks up 9 points (including 3 quality bonus) for this win, which is enough to move her ranking up by 15 spots already .. But much more work needs to be done .. She next faces Katalin Marosi (HUN,165) .. That match will be on Thursday .. They have also played each other before ..  Others to win in her bracket are 28th seed Kostanic (#138) and Bachmann (#163) ..

Aug 24 Note-1

Nirupama's match against Tathiana Garbin starts at about 12.30 pm EST (9.30 am PST, 10 pm India) .. There will be some score updates at the Nirupama page, but come to our chatroom for ball-by-ball updates and discussion.

You may remember that #121 ranked Tathiana Garbin was the winner of the challenger in Delhi last December .. She was then ranked #155 and was the 6th seed .. Here is the article in The Hindu on her title match at Delhi .. Here is the report on her semifinal win there ..  She is about the same age as Nirupama .. Tathiana is a good player with a power game and good mobility around the court .. Niru has one thing in her favor though .. She had beaten Tathiana in the only match they have played .. Niru beat her 60 63 in the qualifiers for the Bad Goggong challenger in Germany in late 1997 .. Let us hope Niru can repeat the job!

Here is the draw for Niru:

28 Jelena Kostanic (CRO,138) vs Linda Wild (USA,252)           \
   Radka Zrubakova (SVK,531) vs Angelika Bachmann (GER,163)    / \ _ main draw
   Katalin Marosi (HUN,165)  vs Laurence Andretto (FRA,192)    \ /
14 Tathiana Garbin (ITA,121) vs Nirupama Vaidyanathan (IND,219)/
Here is the draw for  Leander:
11 Michael Kohlmann (GER,117)  vs Takahiro Terachi (JPN,297)   \
   Frederic Niemeyer (CAN,298) vs Goichi Motomura (JPN,168)    / \ _ main draw
   Leander Paes (IND,178)      vs Michael Hill (AUS,205)       \ /
21 Nicolas Massu (CHI,133)     vs Jean-Rene Lisnard (FRA,172)  /
Mahesh and Ferreira are not scheduled to play doubles today at the Long Island tournament .. Eric Taino, whom they will face in doubles, qualified into the main draw and is playing Kafelnikov today.

Aug 23 Note-5

Leander is drawn to play Michael Hill (AUS,205) in the first round of quals - the draw shows 21st seed Nicolas Massu (CHI,133) and 11th seed Michael Kohlmann (GER,117) placed in the same 1/16th as LP .. LP is not in the schedule for tomorrow (Tuesday), and gets an extra day to practice, if he can find a court! :-) .. Nirupama is drawn to face the 14th seed tathiana Garbin (ITA,121) in the first round .. Niru plays tomorrow (Tuesday) .. She is drawn in the same 1/16th as the 28th seed Jelena Kostanic (CRO) ..

Aug 23 Note-4

Correction - the US Open qualifying rounds start tomorrow, not on wednesday, as I thought (Thanks, Vas param, for alerting me) .. Since they started having the 128-size draw for women's qualies also from last year onwards (the only grand slam that has more than 64) they have a lot of matches to go through before deciding the 16 players on the men's and women's sides .. So LP will only get a day of practice out there, before playing a match probably tomorrow - unless they spread the first round over two days, which is possible..

By the way, Leander has been the #1 player from Asia since late 1996 when he took over from Shuzo Matsuoka of Japan, and had stayed there for close to 3 years, only relinquishing the spot to Oleg Ogororov of Uzbekistan for a couple of weeks in Dec 97 .. Ogorodov had fallen below #200 and Japan's Takao Suzuki had come up inside the top-110 this year, but Leander stayed up just ahead, and Takao has now fallen to below 200 .. The one who takes over, once again, is Oleg Ogorodov, who has come up to #130 and has been playing well again after over a year of bad results .. Anyway, right now LP has fallen to #4 in Asia, behind Ogorodov, Goichi Motomura (JPN,168) and Vadim Kutsenko (UZB,176).

On the women's side, the new rankings show Nirupama at #221 in singles and #261 in doubles .. Manisha and Sai stay at around the same rankings, 386 and 423 .. I am told that Rushmi Chakravarti is still in the European tour and reached a saemifinal of a $10K satellites last week, picking up 3 points .. She is at #665 now, but should move inside 600 soon with those points .. I have had trouble finding the results from those European satellites .. Nirupama is in the qualifier entry list for US Open and will be playing this week.

Aug 23 Note-3

Those dreaded rankings just came out -- weird to see Leander as low as #178, his lowest in over 5 years .. Mahesh is at #302, Srinath is at 321, fazal at 429 and harsh Mankad at 603 .. In doubles, Leander and Mahesh are at #1 and #2 with 5048 and 4633 points respectiavely, followed by Nitin and Sandeep Kirtanes at 293 and 303, Fazal at 337 and Harsh at 577 .. Leander has 36 points to defend in October (Shanghai and HongKong), and has nothing after that till early February .. His ranking will only go up from now on ..  He sounds serious about doing something in singles - let us hope he starts the comeback right this week at the US Open qualies ..

Just had a chat with Mahesh, who said there is nothing to be concerned about, in him and Leander playing with other partners - just dictated by the injury rehab schedule .. He expects to do well with Leander at the US Open .. His trainer advised him to give it a few more days before going all out in singles, for fear of reaggravating the injury, and so he chose to skip the qualies at US Open - same reason why he chose to skip the qualies at Long Island though he was there for this weekend .. Some match practice from doubles this week would be good to get back to shape, he felt .. He expects to be close to 100% for doubles next week at US Open .. Hesh also said Srinath was originally planning to try the qualies at LI, but skipped it due to an ankle injury which he picked up during the second round qualies against DiPasquale last weekend .. Srinath will get to New York and sign in for the qualies for US Open though.

Aug 23 Note-2

Mahesh is playing doubles at Long Island with Wayne Ferreira (RSA,42) .. I am surprised that Wayne is playing only doubles there - he has not entered the singles, where he would have easily made the etry with his #36 singles rank .. Anyway, MB-WF are the second seeds .. Here is the bottom half of the draw:

4 M.Damm/ D.Vacek            vs WC J-M.Gambill/ S.Humphries \
  D.DelRio/ M.Puerta         vs  Q Qualifier/Qualifier      / \ _ final
  N.Djordjevic/ J.Greenhalgh vs    P.Pala/ P.Vizner         \ /
2 M.Bhupathi/ W.Ferreira     vs    G.Silcock/ E.Taino       /
The top half has the #1 seeds Delaitre/Santoro and 3rd seeds Novak/Rikl .. MB-WF play Grant Silcock (AUS,126) and Eric Taino (USA,84) in the first round, probably tomorrow or on Wednesday ..

Aug 23 Note-1

Had a short email last night from Mahesh, whom I couldn't get hold of at Indianapolis at all .. He has gone to Long Island for the $325K Hamlet Cup this week .. He said he is playing doubles there, but no other info yet .. I assume he felt he might not make it into the USO qualy draw, or he wanted to give the stomach injury a bit more time before playing singles again ..  Will find out soon about who MB is playing with this week, and also if he or Srinath tried the singles qualifiers at Long Island .. As for Leander, he left for New York immediately after the final at Indi yesterday - he will be at the USO qualies, and wanted to get a couple of days of practice before the matches start on Wednesday ..

.. Previous notes are at Weekly Notes, ending Aug 23 ..