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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for the week ending on Sep 18, 2000

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Sep 18 Notes

Leander Paes' singles match is not on the schedule for Sep 19th Tuesday at Sydney ..

At the $15K USA F22B futures in East Setauket, New York, Fazluddin advanced to the 3rd round of qualies with a 64 61 win over unranked Taric El-Bassiouni of USA .. Fazal had a first round bye in the qualies .. He faces unranked Brendon Gaentner of USA in the qualifying round today.

Sep 17 Note-2

Here is an article in the India-Today online, by Leander Paes -- "We are ready for the Challenge", he says! .. Here is an article by Amit Sharma of Wahindia.com from Sydney ..

An early reminder to the fans in Sydney .. DO NOT forget to sing "Saare Jahan se Accha, Hindusthan Hamara" loudly out there when the Indian Express gets on court .. There is nothing that fires them up more than that song ..  If you don't know the song or the tune, go find it somewhere and learn it! You have a day or two to pick it up .. I am sure the song will work on Envy Eminem also ..

Some news from the US -- Congrats go to Vikrant Chadha .. At the $15K USA F22B futures in East Hampton today, Vikrant and James Shortall won the doubles title, with a 64 26 63 win over Daniel Montes De Oca (URU) and Juan Carlos Parker (PER) .. The title gives him 18 ATP points to add to the 40 he has and it will take his ranking up by over 100 spots from the #647 now .. Good job by him.

Sep 17 Note-1

Before I write on any news today, here is an important thing for all of us to do ..

First read this column by Prem Panicker on Rediff.com.

Prem hits the nail on the head, on what has been messing up Indian sports for years .. That outdated, incompetent, arrogant organization called Doordarshan .. They are the ones who are most responsible for the mess than Indian sports has been in .. TV is the big money machine in most modern countries, and the sponsorship for events comes from TV viewership, and if there is no attempt for TV to build up the fan base and viewership properly, it affects sports in ways that these idiots at DD do not seem to ever understand (no we are not asking for them to be the catalyst for anything -- we are just asking them to show competence in understanding where the money is for their own sake) .. The opportunities lost by DD by not showing LP-MB's grandslam matches, etc, just makes my blood boil .. The story about today's opening round win by our spirited hockey team (for once there is some cockiness and confidence in these guys, which all kids in India should see - but I am told they did not get to see the 3-0 win over Argentina) was another case in point ..  Do these guys have any shame at all at DD ? .. Read Prem's article first.

Then, read this followup article at Rediff.com.  And send emails to flood DD.

Please do it! .. We Indians and sportsfans have for too long acted as though we are totally helpless and allowed these vision-less old bureaucrats who run our country to mess us up .. Let's start showing that at least internet has brought some ways to show that we have a voice .. And don't you negative people say that "none of it is going to help" (another of the favorite pastime of Indians - saying that anyone who tries to do anything is "wasting time and not going to get anywhere") - I don't want to hear any of it! .. Every positive protest helps in some ways .. Please do your part.

Sep 16 Notes

Rain spoiled the final at the Bangalore satellite today, robbing a chance for 18 yr old Radhika who had just won the first set when the skys opened up, to win her big title .. As the players were against postponing the final to tomorrow, the title was shared by Radhika and Rushmi .. I assume the doubles final was also not played .. Yikes.

Vikrant Chadha and James Shortall, partners for a long-time at the Univ of Mississippi, upset the top seeds Fazaluddin and Gergio Galimberti, 64 64 yesterday in the doubles semifinal at the $15K East Hampton futures .. That is 12 big points for Vikrant in doubles .. Chadha-Shortall will face unseeded wildcards Daniel Montes De Oca (URU) and Juan Carlos Parker (PER) in the final there .. Incidentally, the 8th seed, 539th ranked Dimitri Vlakov who beat Fazal 60 61 yesterday upset the top seed Galimberti (ranked in the top-300), 60 62 in the QF .. This Russian guy has only dropped 7 games in three matches - he must be really good to take out Fazal, Galimberti, etc, that easily!

Fazal is the top seed with a first round bye in the qualifying rounds for the USA F22B futures at East Satauket (New York) next week, for which the qualies are starting now.

Sep 15 Note-2

The more I think abut it, the more I am convinced that the draw that pits our guys against the Woodies in the second round is perfect ! .. The Woodies have lost two of their last three matches .. Actually, since losing the semifinal at Indianapolis on Aug 19th, they have played only 2 matches, which were the two rounds at the US Open by Sep 4th .. As the second round doubles at Olympics won't be until Saturday Sep 23rd, the Woodies would have gone close to three weeks without any match-practice .. When you are talking about two top teams so close in abilities, the extra match that Indian Express would have had in the first round is really a pretty big advantage .. On top of that, LP would have played at least one singles match by then too (I am going to go out on a limb and predict that he will beat Tillstrom in the first round too -- heck, I am feeling good today! :-)) .. Anyway, I think this was certainly the worst draw that the Woodies could have expected .. What do you all think ? .. Sound off in the forum.

Lot of interesting things today at Bangalore .. Rushmi had one of her luckiest days .. If the PTI report is right, she was behind 16 25 and facing match points against the 7th seed Raimrova in the postponed QF, when Raimrova's back spasm problem became unbearable and she conceded ! .. Then Rushmi pulled off a very good comeback against Shruti (who had upset 5th seed Archana in the QFs earlier today) in the semi, 06 63 63 .. So she is in the final .. In the other half, Radhika showed that she is not ready to give the mantle as the top junior to Sonal without a fight, and beat her in three sets 64 16 60 .. Radhika faces Rushmi tomorrow in the final ! .. Though Rushmi probably didn't need much luck in doubles with Sai, she got a walkover in the semis of that also, with Raimrova and Sonal unable to play .. After having played two matches in singles, Shruti lost her doubles semi in Radhika's company to Jyotsna Vasisht and Karishma Patel, who face Rushmi-Sai tomorrow .. This is getting to be quite interesting, with Sonal, Radhika, Shruti, Rushmi and Sai able to beat each other on any given day and also able to beat some good top-500 foreign players too .. Such competition is certainly good for women's tennis and the development of the three 18 yr olds .. And these girls would get two more futures and a challenger after a few weeks to add to the nice points they are all picking up - and they will also get Manisha in their midst to play against.

At the East Hampton futures, Fazal lost his second round singles against the 8th seed Dimitri Vlasov (RUS) 16 06 .. He has reached the doubles semifinal with Galimberti - they won the QF yesterday against Eric Drew and Eric Nunez of USA, 63 64 .. They face Vikrant Chadha and James Shortall in the semifinal there! .. Chadha-Shortall upset the 4th seeds Bjorn Jacob (GER) and Uwe Ustundag (TUR), 46 63 75 ..

Sep 15 Note-1

Here are the draws for the first three rounds for LP. LP-MB and NV-MM at Olympics

16 Michael Chang (USA)    vs Sebastien Lareau (CAN) \
   Leander Paes (IND)     vs Mikael Tillstrom (SWE) / \ _ QF
   David Prinosil (GER)   vs Roger Federer (SUI)    \ /
 7 Tim Henman (GBR)       vs Karol Kucera (SVK)     /

1 T.Woodbridge/ T.Woodforde (AUS) vs Bye                          \
  M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes (IND)        vs A.Pavel/ G.Trifu (ROM)       / \ _ SF
  S.Iwabuchi/ T.Shimada (JPN)     vs D.Hrbaty/ K.Kucera (SVK)     \ /
8 M.Bertolini/ C.Brandi (ITA)     vs G.Koves/ A.Savolt (HUN)      /

6 J.Dokic/ R.Stubbs (AUS)     vs M.Malhotra/ N.Vaidyanathan (IND) \
  J.Pullin/ L.Woodroffe (GBR) vs C.Boogert/ M.Oremans (NED)       / \ _ SF
  M.Mesa/ F.Zuluaga (COL)     vs B.Sangaram/ T.Tanasugarn (THA)   \ /
4 N.Miyagi/ A.Sugiyama (JPN)  vs Y.Basuki/ W.Prakusya (INA)       /
None of them can be called easy draws .. But who cares ? .. This is Olympics .. You have to go for it .. I remember looking at Leander's draw at Atlanta and seeing big seeds like Enqvist and Reneberg and all  in it .. He went for it .. It doesn't matter when you play the big teams - you can't get the medal without beating them, right ? .. So, whether it is early or late in the draw, should not be a concern .. Go Lee! .. Go Indian Express! .. Go Envy-Eminem !!

#1 Safin and #10 Squillari are in the top 1/8th of the draw, pitted to face the winner from LP's 1/8th in the semi .. The team that beats the Woodies (which will almost definitely be Indian Express :-)), should reach SF with no further problems .. #3 Novak-Rikl and #6 Kulti-Tillstromn are in the other quarter in the upper half with LP-MB .. Actually I won't be surprised if the big Mirnyi-Voltchkov upset Kulti-Tillstrom in the first round and advance to semi from that quarter (to face the Indian Express :-)) .. Corretja-Costa (ESP) could reach R2 and give trouble to #3 Novak-Rikl in the second round but the Czechs should be alright at least in that match .. In the bottom-most quarter with second seeds O'Brien-Palmer, they could get intro trouble against Kafelnikov-Safin in the second round .. The top three seeds have byes .. 4th seeds Larueau/Nestor faces a decent team in the first round - Kuerten-Oncins of Brazil .. The bottom half seems to be relatively easier .. My prediction is for a title match for gold between the Indian Express or the Woodies (only a very small chance for them :-))  and Lareau/Nestor or Kafelnikov-Vacek  (Sorry, #2 O'Brien-Palmer - somehow I never pick you! :-)) .. But crystal balls don't work all that well at Olympics and Davis Cup, as a lot more surprises happen than is usual in ATP events.

Sep 14 Note-2

Sorry it took me a couple of extra hours before I could post this info on the Olympics draw (Thanks Prasenjit, Holla and Ujwal for forwarding the info quickly!) .. The draw for LP in singles shows him playing unseeded Sweded Mikael Tillstrom in the first round, followed by potential matchup against 16th seed Michael Chang, followed by 7th seed Henman and top seed Marat Safin in the QF .. Tough draw.

I have not seen the full draw for doubles as of now, but our boys get Andrei Pavel and Gabriel Trifu in the first round followed by (guess who?) - THE WOODIES!! in the second round ..  The Woodies have a first round bye, which means our boys will be match-fit and going after them in R2 .. Whoa .. This will be fun!

Nirupama and Manisha have a tough match against the 6th seed Jelena Dokic and Rennae Stubbs in the first round .. They are in the same quarter of the draw as 4th seed Miyagi/ Sugiyama .. I am off to bed - will post more detailed draw info a few hours later

Sep 14 Note-1

The Olympics tennis draws will be made by 11 am Sydney time on Friday there (5 pm Thursday Los Angeles) .. I will try to bring draw news, as soon as possible, after that .. Niru, Manisha and Mahesh will land in Sydney in a few hours.

Leander was spotted working out in the Gym today by reporters at Sydney .. He was enjoying his time there, joking around with Dhanraj Pillay and the reporters.

Good news from the $15K USA F22 futures in East Hampton, New York .. Fazal beat qualifier Oren Bellilti of Canada, 76(5) 63 yesterday to move to the second round, where he will be playing the 8th seed Dimitri Vlasov (RUS,539) today .. Vishal Uppal and Oren Bellilti could not upset the 3rd seeds Diego Ayala and Ignacio Hirigoyen and lost 26 36 yesterday in the doubles first round .. Vikrant Chadha and James Shortall, who played together at the Univ of Mississippi last year have reached the doubles QF after their first round win yesterday over Ahnahn Liu and Nick Quatrocchi of USA, 46 76(4) 64 .. Top seeds Fazal and Galimberti had won the doubles first round on Tuesday, as I reported yesterday .. Vikrant, by the way was in the singles qualies, but lost in the second round after a bye, to a guy who went on to qualify and has reached the second round of the main draw.

At the $10K Bangalore satellites, rain played spoilsport today, but not before ensuring that there will be three Indians in the semifinals and that a teenager will be in the final .. 4th seed Sonal beat Jennifer Schmidt of Austria, 63 62 easily using strong "double-fisted forehand and backhand shots," as PTI reports .. Radhika beat T.Yamini 62 61 to reach semis too .. Sonal and Radhika will play one semifinal tomorrow - these two have played each other many times; though Radhika had the upper hand earlier on, Sonal has edged her out lately a few times .. This will be an interesting teenage duel .. Rain messed up the QFs tomorrow, and the other two matches could not be finished - teenager Shruti had already gone up 3-0 in the first set over 5th seed Archana before the match got postponed .. #3 Rushmi vs #7 Raimrova is the other QF postponed to tomorrow ..  See the Bangalore staellite page.

Sep 13 Note-2

Oh yeah, everything is set! .. Manisha got her Visa in Paris today, and Niru helped make the travel arrangements for her (on Air France, leaving today, wednesday eastward to Sydney) .. Niru leaves tonight from New York via Los Angeles on Air New Zealand westward .. Mahesh leaves tonight from London on British Airways eastward .. They are all expected to reach within 2 or 3 hours of each other in Sydney, on Friday morning .. Both Niru and Manisha hope to walk with the contingent on Friday evening - that is, provided the officials manage to find two extra Indian-color sarees for them to wear, I guess (:-)) ..  This was excellent last-minute work by everybody, after a spot got freed in the entry list just two days back with Anke Huber withdrawing (Huber was supposed to play with Jana Kandarr) ..

By the way, Ramesh Krishnan is already there as the coach, and he is pumped about all this too .. It will be great if our Lady Express gets some practice sessions against the Indian Express under RK's supervision, actually .. Hey, we need an official name for Niru-Manisha .. Any suggestions? .. Go ahead and put your thoughts and best wishes for the team in the readers' forum!

Sep 13 Note-1

Leander has arrived in Sydney by wednesday night .. Of course, this is the time for the press "creating" news, and so there was even an agency report about some panic in Sydney about whether LP would arrive at all (:-)) .. India's Chief-de-Mission AK Matoo had received a fax from Leander before he left from the US but there was no news after that, and they were supposed to do a rehearsal of the opening ceremony flag stuff by evening .. An alternate plan was made for Dhanraj to do it for the rehearsal, but he himself was playing an exhibition match .. etc, etc .. Anyway, as it turned out LP was delayed a bit with his luggage getting misplaced and all that, but he got there safe and sound .. So, the panic is gone now, and the favorite son has reached there to fire up the whole Indian contingent ! .. Mahesh had apparently reached London and would be reaching Sydney by Friday too .. Mr. AK Matoo said that all efforts are being made to make sure that Niru and Manisha can also join by Friday for the opening ceremony .. I will update later today about whether Niru found an airticket and if Manisha got her visa to Australia from Paris today.

Our young brigade is really taking over at the satellite in Bangalore .. So nice to see them making use of the opportunities .. Today there were three more upsets .. 18 yr old Shruti Dhawan, who upset Sai last week on hardcourts in Delhi, did it again today, this time on clay, 76 75 .. Not to be outdone, 18 yr old Radhika Tulpule upset the second seed #470th ranked I-Ting Wang (that too 62 63!  yeah!) .. 18 yr old Sonal Phadke easily reached QF, as did 18 year old T Yamini, who upset the 8th seed Arthi Venkatraman .. 3rd seed Rushmi is the only older player who made the QF, actually, along with the four teenagers ! .. So the top seed Sai has had another poor week .. She said lack of match practice and stamina were the problem .. Actually, she was quoted in a newspaper article yesterday to be saying that going to Europe to play club tennis did not help much .. That caught my attention, because frankly, results-wise I have not seen ANY of our players showing anything special after playing club tennis in Europe .. Sai and Rushmi did better when they were going around playing the far east satellites in Thailand, Indonesia, etc (which is perhaps cheaper too) .. Forget that club tennis idea, is what it looks like to me, but I may be wrong .. Anyway, I am very very happy to see our youngsters doing so well .. They certainly can get inspired also from the news today that for the first time we have an Indian women pair at the Olympics as well .. Niru and Manisha deserve a lot of credit for giving confidence to the youngsters that they can also look for bigger things if they work hard .. See the Bangalore satellite page ..

Fazaluddin and Vishal Uppal are at the $15K USA F22 futures in East Hampton (New York) .. Fazal plays qualifier Oren Belillti of Canada in the first round .. In doubles, Fazal and Georgio Galimberti of Italy are the top seeds and they have won the first round 64 64 over a good USA team of Jonathan Beardsley and Brandon Cramer .. Unfortunately, Vishal Uppal fell in the first round of singles yesterday to 320th ranked 3rd seed Mark Hilton (GBR), 06 62 26 .. A decent fight from Vishal though .. Vishal and Oren Belillti made it in as the last entry in doubles and will face the 3rd seeds Diego Ayala (USA) and Ignacio Hirigoyen (ARG)

The preseason rankings came out this monday for the new US college season from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).. Harsh Mankad in his second year at the Univ of Minnesota starts the season ranked #41 and Ajay Ramaswamy (Lousiana State Univ) starts as #57 .. Those are pretty impressive rankings .. I don't believe Harsh has played yet, but Ajay Ramaswamy was at an ITA-sanctioned event at the Rice university .. He won the title there  too! .. Pretty good start for the new season by Ajay who is in his senior (4th) season .. I should also mention Nick Rainey (a long-time member of this LP-MB fanclub) in his 3rd year at the Univ of Southern California, who starts the season ranked #1 in doubles, with Ryan Moore .. Actually he is coached at USC by Dick Leach, the legendary coach, who will soon have a legend as his assistant coach, Rick Leach, his son .. On the women's side, Jahnavi Parekh in her final year at Baylor University, starts the season ranked #13, the highest ranking for an Indian since Manisha was at #11 two years back .. Uzma Khan in her second year seems to have transferred to Univ of California (Santa Barbara) and is ranked #62 .. Uzma has done fine in college so far, but I think many expected her to do better - and I guess now she has to go through another period of adjustment after transferring to UCSB .. Arti Venkatesan of Australia, in her final year at the Univ of Georgia, is ranked right at the top as #2 which is something special .. Kavitha Krishnamoorthy of Canada, in her second year at Princeton University, is ranked #36 ..

Sep 12 Note-2

Flash News !! .. YES!! .. Nirupama and Manisha will be off to Sydney within a day if all goes well .. You may have seen my temporary note here, trying to trace down Manisha .. Niru heard from AITA a few hours earlier today that they have made the Sydney draw for doubles - the problem was that Niru did not have a contact for Manisha, who is in Paris where she was planning to play club tennis for a couple of weeks .. Niru sent me a frantic email, which I forwarded to Mahesh .. Luckily Mahesh had Manisha's mobile number and within an hour he got hold of Manisha who then called Niru ..  And they are set to fly to Sydney if they can find airtickets and Manisha can get her visa for Australia from Paris quickly .. They would like to wear the Indian sarees and join the opening ceremony, but it's doubtful if they can get on a plane by Wednesday night .. They will somehow get there to play, in any event (doubles starts only on the 20th) .. Fantastic!

There is a story about all of this, that I had wanted to write about for a while .. I had decided to do it after the Olympics .. What we had heard a couple of weeks back was that something had gone wrong (AITA or IOA or somebody made a mistake, probably - but I don't know the details) and Niru and Manisha were not in the entry list with ITF by May 10th, which was the deadline .. At that time, nobody expected that they would make the draw anyway, and nobody worried .. Once we saw where the draw cutoffs were, it appeared that our pair had a chance, at least as a wildcard from Asia - because teams ranked much lower were in as wildcards .. Needless to say, Niru and Manisha were very disappointed that they missed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play at the Olympics .. I am not sure what the heck AITA did in the end, but as of today, in the very last minute, it turns out that these two will indeed play at Sydney .. Whoever pulled this off deserves credit for the work, probably .. Don't quote me on these things, as I have not investigated any details .. Anyway, it doesn't matter - all is well that ends well!

So, that is the great news ! ..   Hello Sydney, our women can play doubles too .. and here they come!

Niru will have to withdraw from the three challengers in the US -- she had finally made two $75K challengers main draw and did not have to play qualies, and will miss the chance .. She is not thinking about that, but is really excited about Sydney .. I am sure Manisha is too!

Sep 12 Note-1

At the Bangalore satellites, no surprises today and all the 4 seeds who played advanced .. Top seed Sai dropped the first set and struggled a bit againt Jyotsna Vashisht but pulled through in the end .. 2nd seed I-Ting Wang, Sonal Phadke, Radhika Tulpule, etc have advanced .. 6th seed Raimrova seems to be not well, but won today .. Shalini Thakur gave Sonal some fight .. See the Bangalore satellite page.

More later ..

Sep 11 Note-2

The draw just came out for the $25K Hopewell Junction challenger .. Nirupama is the 4th seed and plays 287th ranked Kelly Liggan of Ireland in the first round .. She is in the top half of the draw, drawn in the same quarter as the 6th seed Petra Rampre (SLO,192) .. Top seed Jennifer Hopkins (USA,98) and the 7th seed Jolene Watanabe (USA,197) are also in the same half ..

Nirupama fell eight spots to #172 today (she lost 10 points, as she picked up 10 pts from the US Open qualies this time and lost 20 from last year) .. By the way, she has now made the draw for next week at the $75K challenger in Kirkland, near Seattle .. It looks like she would squeeze into the draw at the $75K Santa Clara the week after, as well ..  Good for her, not to have to play those qualies.

In the men's rankings, Leander fell out of the top-100 for the first time in many many years - he is at #113 this week .. Mahesh is at #58 .. Don't worry - all it means is that they will not be seeded at the Olympics .. They will anyway need to beat some good teams to get a medal; why not do it early, eh ? .. I would prefer a first round match against an unseeded team though - the first match is always a bit tougher .. As for plans after Olympics, they will be at the $375K Hong Kong and $800K Tokyo events (they will most probably skip the $375K Shanghai that follows) .. Then they have a one week break followed by the $1 Million Swiss indoors (Basel), $2.95M Stuttgart masters, $800K Lyon and $2.95M Paris masters .. Then depending on how much they have played, they may play the $800K Stockholm Open as well .. They should be OK for entries in places other than the two masters events where they may need wildcards (which should not be too difficult, I would think) .. Then a two week break in India and it will be Banglaore WDC - I will expect them to be ranked inside the top-25 easily by then .. Including 400 pts maximum at the Olympics, the tournaments before Bangalore offer over 2500 points .. Expect them to pick up at least 1250 points, injuries permitting .. That will put them back inside the top-20 and top-25 respectively by Bangalore time; perhaps inside top-15 in team ranking as well .. I am pretty sure of at least that.

By the way, I was commenting earlier on the bad luck our top 1998 junior Sheetal has been having with the draws lately .. Apparently she had a big fight back going in the 3rd set after being down 1-4 against Shruti (Sheetal had already done one comeback attempt pulling the second set back) .. She evened it up and avoided 5 match points on her serve in the 10th game but then had a ridiculously bad call go against her to cause another match point which she lost .. She was in tears .. I can understand .. On the other hand, according to The Hindu, Shruti says the time away from tennis has made her learn the importance of fighting for every point and she has been doing that .. Good to have matches like this in the satellites for the youngsters to learn.

How about Safin ? .. How the heck did he beat Sampras in straight sets just like that yesterday ? .. Always good to have new guys come up to the top - Safin appears to be ready to stay in the tick of things for a few years.

Sep 11 Note-1

Talked to Leander this morning - he is taking off to Sydney today from New York .. Will reach there on wednesday, and will get settled in for the flag ceremony on the Friday .. Mahesh also leaves soon for Sydney and will get there by Friday morning, before the flag ceremony ..  Leander said they had a nice week of practice, and he too feels pretty good .. He said Mahesh's shoulder is looking fine .. Kim Das of the fanclub (our roving reporter normally at US Open, whose plans got shot this time with our pair losing early, and didn't get to do much at USO), caught them practising a couple of days back on an outer court, and had a nice chat with the duo .. Kim says they looked to be in good nick with "both of them stroking the ball pretty well" .. By the way, when LP and MB are doing well, it's really good fun to see them practice - I have had some reports in the past about their lighting fast volley exchange routines, etc .. Looks like they are getting there .. The key to confidence is always practice .. I am glad to see that they wasted no time at all in putting everything behind after Lee was rady to play, and have been putting in the hard work towards Olympics .. Oh yeah -- Sydney, here they come !!

But I shudder to look at the ATP doubles ranks today -- as their 550 odd points have fallen off, LP and MB would have fallen a lot in the rankings .. I believe MB will be inside the top-60 or so, but LP will fall off the top-100.

I saw the ranks of the players in the qualifying draw for the $25K Hopewell Junction challenger in New York, and it seems like Niru has made the main draw comfortably .. Will await the main draw info .. Also awaiting the draw at the East Hampton (New York) USA F22 futures where Fazal may be playing this week.

The $10K ITF Bangalore satellite has started .. The draw is considerably weakened from the last two weeks with a bunch of talented players missing -- Manisha, Monique, Suchanan and Orawan  are not there this time .. It will give a better chance for Sonal, Sai, Rushmi and Shruti to do some damage .. I-Ting Wang becomes a favorite, though Sai is the top seed (she has not looked her best in this series yet) .. In today's matches, Shruti Dhawan and Sheetal played a good match (once again, poor girl Sheetal cannot get an easy matchup - her bad luck with the draw continues ..) .. Good to see Shruti continuing her good run -- she beat Sheetal in a close three setter, 64 36 64 .. See the Bangalore satellite page.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on Sep 11 ..

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.