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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the weeks ending on Sep 20, 2004
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2004)

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Sep 20 Notes

.. Unusually busy, and so almost no updates for the last 3-4 days .. Sorry about that! ..

Quick updates -- Hello title #31 for Leander!! .. Lee and his new temporary partner ran all over the teams down there in Florida this week -- [R1] (2) L.Paes/ R.Stepanek d. (WC) J.Blake/ J.Morrison, 62 64 .. [QF] d. K.Carlsen/ I.Karlovic, 64 76(6) .. [SF] d. R.Leach/ B.MacPhie, 64 75 .. [F] d. (1) G.Etlis/ M.Rodriguez, 60 63 .. Fantastic job! .. 175 more points to Lee who had gone up to #14 in the rankings last week .. Vijay Kannan finished his terrific run at Delhi, picking up his first big ITF futures title (beating Vinod Sridhar in the final) .. Big congratulations go to Vijay for the serious focus this week - and he did that, playing through an injury that has bothered him for a while too .. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Sandhya Nagraj won the junior ITF titles at the grade-5 in Chennai .. Harsh Mankad and Somdev Varman went down in the Claremont futures last week in the second round, as Prakash fell in the R1 at the China ATP .. Prakash plays this week at the Beijing Challenger .. Tough draw for him, against the 6th seed Glenn Weiner (USA).

One important info -- Leander and Mahesh have entered together for doubles at the Thailand ATP in Bangkok! .. How about that -- Indian Express will be in action next week!!

Sep 16 Notes

LP and Stepanek easily advanced to the QF at the Del Ray beach ATP yesterday - 62 64 win over Blake-Morrison ..

The bad news was that Prakash let go off a great chance and went down 64 46 26 to wildcard Hao Lu (CHN,1095) at the China Open ATP in Beijing .. This match is tough to figure out .. Hopefully PA is not injured, but if not injured, then I am really concerned about what is going on mentally for Prakash .. Buckle up, Kash -- you will be back; just play your game man!

Great news from other quarters though .. Somdev Dev Varman had a fantastic (nay, shocking, I must say) upset at the Claremont $15K .. He won 26 62 63 over Jeremy Wurtzman, who left colleges recently after being #1 in the last season .. Wow! .. This from Buji who is just joining college .. Amazing .. Buji is no fluke, folks .. Also advancing was Harsh Mankad, in a 67(4) 64 61 romp over Benedikt Dorsch, also #1 recently in college .. HM actually won the first set on a completely botched line call at set point at 6-5 off Dorsch's serve, but had to play the tiebreaker where one mistake caost him at 4-4 on his serve .. He had 12 aces and 8 service winner in this match (he is serving really well these days) and just had a strangle-hold after that in the match ..
See the Delhi futures page.

More later.

Sep 15 Notes

Finally good news from the Delhi futures too, as Vijay Kannan ended Aqeel Khan's huge run .. Go Vijay!! .. He plays Chris Kwon in the semi .. Vinod and Sunil Kumar play the other semi.

More later.

Major rain delays for two days at the China Open in Beijing .. Prakash's first round match against the Chinese wildcard is now postponed to Thursday morning.

Leander plays the doubles first round (with Radek Stepanek) at the DelRay beach ATP, this evening at 5.30 pm .. Against James Blake and Jeff Morrison of the US.

Somdev Varman and Harsh Mankad play the singles first round at the ITF $15K in Claremont, California, USA, this afternoon .. Harsh played the doubles first round with a new partner, Zbynek Mlynarik, yesterday .. Tough 62 46 67(6) close loss against Benedikt Doersch (GER) and Kean feeder (USA) .. Somdev and Doug Stewart also went down in the final qualies of doubles after a tough fight - 36 76(3) 46 to the US pair, Derrick Bauer and Chris Surapol .. SKDV-DS had won the Q1 earlier against Brandon Christopher (USA) and Dylan Kim (KOR), 64 62 ..

At the Delhi $10K+H futures, 15 year old Sanam Krishna Singh is creating some waves .. He has now reached back-to-back futures quarterfinals .. Today he upset the 7th seed Toshiaki Sakai (JPN) .. This is very impressive for a kid as you as as Sanam is .. Keep going, Sanam! .. 6 Indians reached the QF in a pretty good day for us, but Vishal Punna could not get past Aqeel Khan (PAK) after winning the first set .. Sunil Kumar seems to be still struggling a bit - he dropped the first set to Martin Sayer (HKG), but came back to win it .. See the Delhi futures page.

At the grade-5 ITF juniors in Chennai, all the girls' seeds reached the QF and five seeds on the boys' side also made it .. The top guns are all alive .. One interesting score came from a a qualifier that I had not noticed before - 15 yr old Aarthi Duraiswmay, who had earlier beaten a talented Janaki Rao is easy straight sets and then took the second seed GK Shweta the whole distance in a 63 26 67 loss! .. Nobody else really troubled any of the other seeds on the girls' side at all .. See the Channai juniors page .. By the way, I am told that this tournament was actually not downgraded from grade-4 to grade-5 .. What used to be the grade-4 event in Chennai was m,oved a couple of years back to Gurgaon, and this tournament is technically a new event and this ITF gives it a grade-5 ..  I had not noticed in the ITF calendar that we now have THREE ITF junior events in September as opposed to two that we have had for a few years .. Now it is grade-5 this week in Chennai, followed by two grade-4 events, at Mumbai and then Gurgaon (Delhi).

Sep 14 Notes

Extremely lucky break for Prakash, for whom some heavy luck like last year seems to have returned .. He made the China Open ATP main draw as a lucky loser .. The bigger break is that he gets the lowest ranked player in the whole draw to play! -- [R1] (LL) P.Amritraj vs (WC) Hao Lu (CHN,1095) .. Lu is an unknown 20 year old .. I was surprised that this guy got a wildcard over better ranked guys like Peng Sun .. This is about as lucky as PA can get! .. 15 points in the bag, unless this Chinese player is some huge secret we don't know about.

Harsh Mankad and Somdev Varman are at the $15K futures at Claremont in Southern California .. [R1] (1) Harsh Mankad (IND) vs (Q) Benedikt Doersch (GER) ..[R1] Somdev K. Dev Varman (IND) vs (Q) Jeremy Wurtzman (USA) .. Tough matches for both, especially Somdev .. Dorsch finished last year as #1 in College. Wurtzman was #1 just before the NCAA tournament and finished #3 in college ... I suppose it is some nice baptism by fire for Buji, in the US. He has joined the Univ of Virginia and is playing only this one futures, sent by the university .. And he gets to play one of the top two guys who turned pro after this past year ... Even for Harsh, the top seed, it is not at all an easy match .. Dorsch, a 23 year old German guy had some decent pro experience before college at Baylor, which finished #1 in college tennis last year .. In doubles, Harsh is playing with Zbynek Mlynarik - surprisingly seeded only third! -- That says about how tough this futures is .. [R1] (3) H.Mankad/ Z.Mlynarik vs Benedikt Dorsch (GER)/ Kean Feeder (USA)  .. Mankad plays doubles R1 this evening and Somedev is playing final qualies in doubles today .. [Q2] S.K.D.Varman/ Doug Stewart (USA) vs Derrick Bauer/ Chris Surapol (USA) .. Buji's partner Doug Stewart is the 5th ranked college player who will be playing #1 spot in the 10th ranked Univ of Virginia team ..

At the Delhi $10K+H, the 6th seed Mustafa Ghouse lost in the R1 to Vijay Kannan - not that unexpected, so it is really not an upset, I suppose .. Young Sanam Singh advanced to the second round .. Ajay Ramaswamy got upset by qualifier Gurmehar Singh .. See the results in the Delhi futures page.

The grade-5 junior ITF has started at the Traiangle Tennis Trust in Chennai this week .. This is the first of two weeks of ITF juniors in India .. TYYhis week on clay in Chennai, and next week on hard courts at Mumbai .. I had not noticed that the Chennai ITF had been downgraded to a grade-5 (next week's Mumbai event is still a grade-4, like last year) .. Not the toughest field there in Chennai, as expected for a grade-5, but a few talentyed kids like Jeevan, Anshuman Dutta, GK Swetha, V.Poojashree, etc are out there .. See the results in the Chennai ITF juniors page.

Sep 13 Notes

Prakash Amritraj had a pretty good start againt the top seed in the Beijing ATP qualies final round, but could not sustain it afterwards .. [Q3] Peter Luczak (AUS,139) d. Prakash Amritraj (IND,308), 67 62 62 .. Prakash is the first in line for a lucky loser spot, if there is any last minute withdrawals from the main draw.

The $10K+H futures has started in Delhi .. There were only 4 R1 singles matches today .. Talented young wildcard Vivek Shokeen put up a big fight in a close 36 75 46 loss to the 7th seed Toshiaki Sakai (JPN,656) .. We have to be impressed by how much improvemen 17 year old Vivek has shown recently .. Rupesh Roy, Vishnu Vardhan, Shivang Mishara, Gurmehar Singh, and Arjun Goutham are the five Indians qho qualified into the main draw, along with three foreigners .. Pretty decent draw, with an intriguing first round match between 3rd seed Mustafa and unseeded Vijay Kannan - not at all easy for Mustafa to get past Vijay, one would think .. The top seed is Norikazu Sugiyama of Japan, and Sunil Kumar is the second seed .. The focused and consistent Pakistani performer, Aqeel Khan, is the 4th seed .. See the results in the Delhi futures page.

I have compiled and posted the results from the $10K last week, in the Hyderabad futures page .. Ajay and Mustafa won the doubles on saturday, with Aqeel Khan (PAK) taking the title.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on Sep 13 ..

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