Notes for the week ending on Sep 03, 2001
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Sep 3 Note-1
In the mixed doubles QF at the US Open, the second seeds Leander and Lisa raymond face Elena Tatarkova and Mark Knowles tomorrow (Monday) at about 2.30 pm (7.30 pm London .. 12 midnight India), plus/minus 30 min .. I missed their last two matches - OK, I am going to do some cheering today in the chatroom!
Sunil Kumar advanced to the second round of the boys' draw today at the US Open, in that process also making a bit of a statement too .. Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (IND) d. Stephen Amritraj (USA), 75 63 .. Here is how the match went .. It was close for a while in the first set, but then Sunil Kumar seemed to take control .. Sunil had Stephen at deuces at 4-4 trying for a crucial break, and stephen held .. Then after he was broken in the 11 the game, stephen had sunil having to go through dueces, trying to close out the set .. Sunil converted his 3rd set point to go up 7-5 .. In the second set Sunil had Stephen down 0-40 in game 3 and broke him immediately .. Sunil then faced a 30-40 break attempt, serving at 4-3, but he saved it and went up to 5-3 .. That was the end of Stephen's resistence, as he fell to 15-40 on serve in the next game and was broken for a 3rd time to lose the match .. Stephen does not get any main draw points but he did well qualifying into the draw, etc .. Rajeev ram (USA) advanced in a tough match today to the second round .. He won 36 62 75 over Marcus Egger of Austria.
Forgot to mention earlier that the ITF $10K satallite in Chennai is this week .. Most top Indian players are there except Niru, Manisha and Jyotsna Vasisht .. I have added today's first round results and the qualifying results at the Chennai satellite page .. Bad news once again about Sai Jayalakshmi, whose utterly poor form is really puzzling .. The top seed went down in straight sets today to a Turkish player in the first round itself .. 2nd seed Sonal, 4th seed Sonal, 5th seed Radhika Tulpule and 7th seed Sheetal advanced easily .. Wildcard Karishma Patel, who looks to have improved a bit in the last few months had a pretty good win against a talented Isha Lakhani in three sets.
Jyotsna Vasisht lost in the first round of qualies at the $50K Denain challenger in France, to Evgenia Subbotina (BLR), 76 46 46 this weekend ..
Sep 2 Notes
Leander and Lisa Raymond did not have much trouble reaching the mixed doubles QF with a 75 63 win today over Barbara Schett and Joshua Eagle .. Once again I could not follow the match to find out any details .. They seem to be in good form at the US Open .. They now face Elena Tatarkova and Mark Knowles tomorrow (Monday) at about 2.30 pm ..
First, in the morning at 11 am (4 pm London .. 8.30 pm India), we have Sunil Sipaeya playing Stephen Amritraj (USA) in the juniors first round .. This should be a good match .. We will be in the chatroom during the match and later during the LP-Lisa match .. Sunil will be coming back for doubles first round by about 3 or 4 pm too ..
Sunil Sipaeya is playing with Jacob Olson of New Zealand in doubles .. They play Daniel Kollerer and Stefan Wiespeiner of Austria in the first round .. Sania is playing doubles with Dominic van Boekel of Netherlands and they face Theresa Logar and Tory Zawacky of USA in the first round .. Sania is not in the schedule for Monday for singles or doubles, surprisingly - I thought the first round was supposed to get done by monday? ..
Sep 1 Notes
Lisa-Lee are scheduled to play the second round of MxD tomorrow (Sunday) against Barbara Schett (AUT) and Joshua Eagle (AUS) .. Scheduled for about 6 pm tomorrow.
I guess Sunil must made the USO junior draw after the ITF site showed the first entry list but by the time the qualifying draw was made .. So, unlike what I said yesterday, Sunil Sipaeya is of course in the main draw .. And he runs into (who else?) Stephen Amritraj of USA, who must have upset the 5th seed Amanjot Singh today in the qualies to make the main draw .. Sunil is in a tough part of the draw near the top seed .. If he gets past Stephen, he could run into the 14th seed and then the top seed Gilles Muller in the round of 16 ..
Sania Mirza has a tough first round match .. Against the 12th seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia .. She is drawn in the bottom part of the upper half between the 12th seed and the 7th seed Ashley Harklerod (USA) .. Sania will probably find the competition at this level tough, as she has only played 2 or 3 top-50 players, despite being ranked #37 .. Actually she only has a couple of top-100 wins, even though she has been incredibly consistent in beating top-200 players much older than her - she is still 14 .. Her ranking gives her a great chance to play against top players like this and improve, as time is on her side!
Sorry that our forum page is giving some weird errors -- I will find some time to fix it soon.
Aug 31 Notes
LP and Lisa Raymond advanced today without too much trouble against Els Callens and Tom Van Houdt, 63 76(4) .. They get tomorrow (Saturday) off - they should be playing the MxD second round on Sunday ..
Sunil Kumar is not in the entry list at the US Open juniors, and I don't see him in the qualifier draw that came out today which has players ranked below top-80 (Sunil is #69) .. I wonder if he is injured or something - he did have a couple of bad losses the last few days, and I think he would have made the main draw easily .. Amanjot Singh is the 5th seed in the qualies and has a first round bye, after which he will face the winner of 11th seed Stephen Amritraj (USA) vs Eric Langencamp (USA) .. Sania is in the girls's entry list - the main draw will come out in a day or two.
Reaminder to those of you in the US -- HAVE YOU MADE YOUR PLANS FOR THE DAVIS CUP TRIP ? .. GRAB THE LAST FEW SEATS IF YOU HAVE'NT .. See my August 23 notes for all the details.
Aug 30 Note-2
Despite being seeded highly, I expected MB-Dokic to run in to some trouble facing the Black-Black combo today, as they were playing together for the first time against a pair who have played together a lot .. They had quite a few chances but could not capitalize on the break points and got upet - [MxD R1] #6 M.Bhupathi/ J.Dokic l. Wayne Black/ Cara Black, 46 46 .. One break each in the middle of each set proved fatal .. So, that is one of the quickest ends in grand slam draws for MB .. He gets another good period of rest now .. He will stay in New York and practice before joining the Indian Davis Cup team in North Carolina in two week's time .. Actually it would not have been a bad idea to play singles at the Tarzana (California) challenger or somewhere week after next, but I think he will need wildcards even for qualies and so no adventures like that .. After the Davis Cup, it will be a week of break and then Moscow, Vienna, Stuttgart, Basel, Paris, Afro-asian Games and the ATP World Doubles for MB .. I think LP will be joining him from Vienna onwards - I will cross-check the schedule later.
Injury-wise both LP and MB are fine right now - and that's the good news .. Both have hardly played any good singles in a while and that is the bad news, as far as Davis Cup is concerned ..
Second seeds LP and Lisa Raymond play the first round mixed doubles tomorrow against Els Callens and Tom Van Houdt tomorrow at about 4.30 pm at the USO.
Vikrant Chada has gone down at the Mexico F6 $10K futures first round and Jyotsna Vasisht in the Netherlands $10K satellite first round this week ..
Aug 30 Note-1
MB and Dokic play the first round mixed doubles today -- against a tough team, Cara Black and Wayne Black of Zimbabwe .. The match should be at around 4 pm (1.30 am India) , plus/minus 30 minutes ..
Sunil Kumar and Amanjot Singh went down 16 26 to the 6th seeds Christian Johansson and Robin Soderling of Sweden in the doubles round of 16 yesterday at the Canadian Open grade-1 ITF juniors .. They had won the first round 76 46 63 over a canadian pair, David Goulet and Alexandre Malka earlier in the round 1 .. Not at all a great North American season for Sunil Kumar so far ..
Aug 29 Note-2
Disaster today - [R1] #5 M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes l. S.Roitman/ A.Schneiter, 67(4) 16 .. In the first set, our guys were cruising with a break in the 6th game off Roitman's serve, going up to 4-2, with LP making it 5-2 .. At 5-2 LP-MB had two set points off Schneiter's serve at 40-30 and AD out, but they could not do the job - this was a turning point, as LP-MB soon fell behind at 30-40 and were broken - suddenly it was all even at 5-4 and soon it went to 6-6 .. In the tiebreaker, at 2-2 off LP's serve, LP-MB lost a point and it was trouble as they fell to 2-3 and soon to 2-5 .. The other guys made the Indians pay for letting go off the earlier chances, holding on to win the tiebreaker at 7-4 .. (I think our guys had won 10 of the last 11 tiebreakers they had played before dropping this one .. That is how it goes, when things go wrong!) .. In the second set, again, our guys had chances in the first game at 15-40 off Schneiter's serve and could no tcapitalize as LP-MB fell to 1 of 5 in break point conversion .. Then in the 4th game, LP dropped serve at 15-40 and it was trouble again .. That became worse in the 6th game, as MB dropped serve at 30-40 .. The other guys had now converted 3 of 4 chances they got .. The match was over in just 45 minutes flat, and the Indian Express had dropped serve 3 of the last 4 times they served, winning just 2 games in the last 12 .. Among all the first round losses, this goes as one of the most shocking losses .. I hope there are some explanations - and hopefully it's not injury!
The record in the last 9 grand slams - 3 titles, 5 finals, 4 first round klockouts .. That makes no sense .. Come on Hesh and Lee, do something about these first round problems, guys! .. Well, now it looks like MxD is a good idea - after all LP will get some match practice, rather than go almost 5 weeks with hardly much tennis before the Davis Cup.
Aug 29 Note-1
Come to the chatroom during the LP-MB match today, which starts at about 6.30 pm there (plus/minus an hour) .. That is 11.30 pm London, 4 am Thursday India .. I don't know much about either of these two players our guys are facing ..
Not too many of our players playing abroad this week .. Harsh Mankad was listed in the $10K Mexico F6 futures draw as the 4th seed when it came out on Monday, but I am not sure if he ever went there .. I have not been in touch with him for a couple of weeks but I think there was some US student visa problem that was giving him trouble about traveling to Mexico and he was unsure of gettin g there, when I spoke to him last .. The good news is that Vikrant Chadha qualified into the main draw there - he beat Caesar Schwarz (USA) 62 63 in the Q2, and Juan Carlos Maldonado (MEX) 64 61 in the Q3 after a first round bye .. Vikrant is also in the doubles draw as the second seed withe Eric Nunez of USA .. They play Guillermo Carter and German Maldonado of Mexico in the first round.
Also there are a couple of events going on in India in the domestic circuit where those like Ajay Ramaswamy are in action .. I have not had enough time to compile the results from the domestic events this month still :-) ..
At the grade-1 ITF junior event, the prestigious Canadian Open at Repentingny that is the warmup for the US Open, Sunil Kumar and Amanjot Singh went down in the first round in three-setters .. They are in the final-16 of doubles after one win .. Sania is not playing there.
Aug 28 Notes
Sorry for disappearing without any warning for a couple of days again - had to travel urgently ..
US Open doubles for the Indian Express starts tomorrow (wednesday) .. 4th match after three men's singles matches on court-4, from 11 am .. First round against Sergio Roitman (ARG) and Andres Schneiter (ITA) .. Start time should be around 6.30 pm, plus/minus 1 hour ..
Both LP and MB are playing mixed doubles .. As usual I express my displeasure (whatever that's worth :-)) about them playing MxD, for the record .. OK, now that they are playing, we will cheer them .. LP playing with Lisa Raymond, and MB with Jelena Dokic, seeded 2nd and 6th ..
More tomorrow ..
.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on Aug 27 ..
I am getting some enquiries 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 enquiring 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 player, let me know .. I would like to have a mailing list where I can post general announcements and enquiries from the coaches too .. Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan.