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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for week ending on Sep 28, 1998

(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index)

Please read the newly-added page, a collection of notes, especially on the important topic of Indian players needing support .. We need responses and help from everybody ..

Sep 28 Notes

Good news from Santa Clara : Niruapama has won two rounds and is in the final round of qualifiers at the $75K Santa Clara Challenger .. She upset #128 Karin Miller of USA today, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to advance !! .. Karin Miller was seeded in the qualifiers here, and if I am not mistaken, this is the highest ranked player that Niru has beaten since her huge upset of Gloria Pizziccini at the Australian Open in January .. Yesterday, in the first round of qualifiers, Niru she summarily defeated #176 Jessica Steck of South Africa, 6-1, 6-3 .. In the final round of qualifiers, she faces Irina Selyutina of Kazakhsthan, ranked #188 .. She has a score to settle with Irina, who had beaten her 7-5, 6-2 at the Lexington Challenger in the first week of August .. Let's hope he continue her good form and moves into the main draw. Nirupama has picked up 6 points including 4 quality (bonus) points for beating two players in the 120-250 ranking range, to add to the 121.5 points she has this week .. A win tomorrow will give her 2.5 more points. Go Niru !!

In the latest WTA rankings, Nirupama has moved up 2 spots to #175 in singles and 3 spots to #230 in doubles ..

I just noticed that I forgot to mention that Mahesh played a good match yesterday evening to make it respectable for India in the end at Nottingham .. He defeated Chris Wilkinson (#140) in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 .. Even though it was a dead-rubber match, I don't think Wilko wanted to lose it, as he knws it is one of the rare Davis Cup matches he would get to play from now on, and I am sure he wasn't throwing the match .. It shows good spirit and attitude by Mahesh to do what was needed to take the match seriously and upset a player much higher ranked than him, rather than hang his head and get one more loss added to our record .. India ended up losing 2-3 to Britian, as all of you surely know by now. I have not seen any details of MB's match in any of the British or Indian newspapers. Apparently, immediately after Henman beat LP in the 4th match to clinch the tie, Greg Rusedski produced a Doctor's Certificate (ah, the funny things they do in the dead rubber Davis Cup matches!) and was replaced by Chris Wilkinson .. You cheat, Greg !

Fazaluddin had said earlier that he might play the British futures for this week and next .. No news yet.

Sep 27 Notes

All the fight in Leander wasn't enough to get past the cool-headed, tough, talented player that Henman is .. LP went down fighting, 6-7(3), 2-6, 6-7(5) in this match .. GBR has clinched the issue at 3-1 and advances to world group (final 16) for 1999 .. India will be relegated to Asia-Oceania Group-I .. Other than losing a year away from world group, this does not pose any huge problems, as India should have no problems moving out of the regionals, and depending on who we face next September among the 8 first-round losers of worldgroup 1999 (which we will know by April 99), India should be back in the world group in 2000 .. For now, Mahesh has just started the 5th match of the tie, against Chris Wilkinson (it seems Rusedski was scratched as the match does not matter now) .. will report later how that turns out.

LP was fighting back from behind throughout the first set .. henman went up 3-1, breaking LP in the first set, but LP broke Henman right back to 2-3, only to get broken once more to fall behind 2-4 .. Then when Henman was serving for the set at 5-3, LP broke him again .. Leander was chipping and charging, and attacking Henman's second serve, which was giving Tim some problems, but he styed on .. Then it went to a tiebreaker, where 2 volley-mistakes from LP and a fine backhand return from Henman gave the set to "Murghiwallah" (thanks to whoever came up with that yesterday in the chatroom!) .. LP started alright holding serve in the first game of the second set, but then seemed to get outplayed by Henman for 5 games in a row, with Lee dropping serve twice .. He got his touch back in the 7th game to make it 2-5, but Henman served it out for a rather easy 6-2 second set .. LP was back to his fighting ways in the 3rd set, not giving up just yet .. It went to yet another tiebreaker, this time Henman once again managing to stay just ahead, winning the tiebreak at 7-5 ..

That's the recap .. we will hear from the onsite newspaper folks later today on more details (that is if they can all agree on any story .. It was funny to read the reports in the Indian newspapers yesterday .. each seeing the game differently .. Nirmal Shekhar (The Hindu) seemed to say our boys showed up ready, but Prajwal Hegde (Deccan Herald) seemed to think they were a bit off-color .. Indian Express' report was the most confusing, with A. K. Dhar saying LP and MB were having all kinds of trouble in the second set, even getting their raquets entangled, to lose the set 3-6 !! .. fine, except that he got a minor detail wrong - that LP-MB *won* the second set 6-3! .. we had a good laugh at that .. The man was at a pub up somewhere ? .. kidding .. I know that mistakes happen to even the best of scribes out there (to be fair, a PTI report was quoted there, which perhaps caused the confusion?).

Nirupama is at the $75K Santa Clara challenger .. She played the qualifiers yesterday, but I don't have the score yet ..

Sep 26 Notes

OK, It went according to script today and India is now 1-2 behind GBR after the doubles match .. Here are the details based on the PA Sports report in Sporting Life online : In the first set, at 5-5 they had had five break points on Broad's serve and in the tiebreak they were clearly superior, winning the game by seven points to two. Henman lost the opening point in the tie breaker on his serve and then with Britain, trailing 2-5, Henman also lost his next two service points for India to take the set after 54 minutes .. In set 2, H/B had a break point on the Bhupathi serve in the fifth game and two more on Paes' service in the seventh game but they failed to convert .. Then Broad lost his own delivery in the eighth game - the first service break of the match - for the British pair to go 5-3 down after Paes had hit two storming backhand winners .. Then Bhupathi served it out to take the set 6-3 .. The third set was the most fluctuating of the match with Broad losing his service in the third game but Paes immediately dropping his serve in the fourth .. Then Britain had their first set point in the 10th game but Paes saved it with a backhand volley. Henman and Broad had two more set points in the 12th game but Paes saved the first with an ace and the second with a service winner. In the tie-breaker India moved into a 5-2 lead, Paes hit a backhand service return off Henman to go to match point and Broad was forced to hit a forehand out to end the contest. Final score, 7-6(2), 6-3, 7-6(3) ..

The match took 2 hours 20 minutes .. It was probably a tougher match than many expected, but Henman and Broad is a good doubles team and I am not surprised that they played LP-MB closely .. But our guys know what to do to win these matches .. Now it's all up to LP to pull something out of his hat and take it to a 5th tie .. Mark my words, records completely fly out the window in the rubber 5th matches in Davis Cups .. Hold on, folks .. This ain't over.

Sep 25 Note-2

In the second match today, Mahesh had a good start breaking Henman at the right time in the firt set at 4-4 and winning the set at 6-4 .. From then on, Henman had control of the match, as Mahesh went down 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 3-6 .. Here are some excerpts from Prajwal Hegde's article in the Deccan Herald : Mahesh started his match true to plan, rushing the net and unsettling the in form Henman. Henman, for his part, took time settling into the match and watched the first set slip by him. The 24-year-old Indian kept up the good work early in the second set when he broke Henman in the very first game ... That was perhaps when Mahesh should have stepped up his level of play and cut off all escape routes for the English player. Instead he let his concentration slip and watched Henman break back in the very next game ... With the break back in the second set, Henman was on a roll. He closed the set at 6-3 and then put away the third set in similar fashion. And just when he looked like he was riding away with it, with a 2-0 lead in the fourth set after breaking Mahesh in the second game, the Indian broke right back and then held serve to level scores ... That was the wake-up call that Henman needed to lift his game which he did in fine fashion to close out the set and the match at 6-3 .. Looks like Mahesh did not reach the kind of miracle-levels of play he had to, to have a chance at Henman today .. the article in Sporting Life online did say that Henman was having some problems with MB's two-handed backhand returns .. Hey, I am an optimist, and if they win the doubles tomorrow, and then LP shows up one more time, as he certainly can, to pull one off from Tim, who knows what can happen in the 5th match when Mahesh can be counted on to bring out his very best ..

The doubles match is scheduled for 1.30 pm in the afternoon saturday. That is 8.30 am EST, 5.30 PST in the US and 6 pm in India. We will have score updates in the chatroom based on the 15 minute updates from BBC radio-5 .. Those morons at Doordarshan never helped us; at least BBC does something .. I never call people names here, but I make an exception for Doordarshan .. pardon my indulgence .. I have decided to scream at the top of my voice to wake up somebody at Doordarshan, the ones who single-handedly kill whatever budding enthusiasm there is for tennis in India .. I heard today from somebody important in tennis in India, who had faxed Doordarshan about this 4 days back and told them that Vijay Amritraj would be doing the BBC television color commentary and that they should pick up the feed and show it in India .. They apparently did not even seem to know that there was a Davis Cup this weekend ! .. Incredible incompetence..

Back to tennis - The reports keep trickling in about how great a match LP played this morning .. Nirmal Shekhar of The Hindu, never at a loss for words to paint exrtavagant pictures on any tennis match says, "Seasons change. So do the opponents. The stage changes. So does the audience. The playing surface changes. So do the conditions. Changelessness is as alien to the world of sport as it is to life itself ... But, in Indian sport - in Indian tennis to be precise - there is one thing that seems permanent, one enduring, eternal and glorious constant: Leander Paes's heroism in Davis Cup play" .. Yes, we all know this; we have seen it time and time again, but Leander keeps doing it every time he steps up for India .. When you battle for three hours and more in near- freezing conditions - the fingers turned numb and it was difficult to hold a pen and write anything - shutting out the ear-shattering noise from the railway lines and the industrial estate nearby, and then find yourself denied what might have been an epic victory by the whims of a netcord, it must be a shattering experience ... But Paes, nevertheless, hung in there on tired legs, barely able to raise his arm to toss the ball up for the serve, before destiny caught up with him and took away what, for a long time in the match today, he might have believed was his - a victory ... In sport, heroes don't always win just as all winners are not necessarily heroes. It takes a certain strength of character as a performer for a professional sportsman to be celebrated as a hero even in defeat. And today, more than in any other five setter that he might have lost, Paes showed that rare virtue. ... According to Nirmal, it may have been a bit of a physical problem that caused the loss in the end late in the 5th set .. LP's shoulder was giving him trouble, and he was not tossing the ball up high enough (this was a comment from Naresh Kumar, our revered former player and captain) .. AITA's decision to find a professional trainer for a Davis Cup tie, something they have not done in the past, may turn out to be a very good one this time .. The article says, ``It was a tough loss. He has a little bit of a twinge cramp on both legs, high up. His bottom half wasn't moving too well in the end,'' said Bill Norris, the reputed ATP trainer who now works with the Indian team .. Norris spent a good hour with Paes in the dressing room after the match. And Paes emerged from the session cheerfully and said, ``I did almost everything right to have won that match. But I didn't make it.'' .. the article concludes with this: That was a shame really, for Paes happens to be one of the fittest sportsmen India has ever seen. But this much is sure: there was no shame in that defeat. There was no more honourable way to go down.

Incidentally, there was also another article in The Hindu (by our friend Kamesh Srinivasan) on, of all things, our fan club and this site ! .. I am blushing a bit, but it is good reading with a lot of Kamesh's thoughts on how AITA can improve on what they are doing, and pointing out a lot of pitfalls and dangers in the current plans they have for junior development, etc .. I liked the first couple of lines of the article, "If Anil Khanna, the main spokesman of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) sneezes in Delhi, Indian tennis fans in the U.S. catch cold." .. that's funny, but I am sure AITA never knew there were people who follow their every move so closely .. Here's the link to the article: "Whither Indian Tennis" ..

Sep 25 Note-1

What a match ! .. 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-11 .. India lost the opening tie about half an hour back .. the match started with LP having it easy in the first set 6-2 .. We knew it would be back and forth when a Rusedski came back strongly with a quick break in the 4th game to tie it up at 1 set each .. the pendulum swung again to India's side with Greg making way too many error in the 3rd set, and LP won it at 6-3, with Greg surviving a set pt on his own serve at 2-5 .. the momentum went back and forth in the 4th set .. LP fell behind after a break in the second game at 0-2, but broke back to 2-2 .. and then while serving at 15-15 at 2-3, LP suddenly lost his touch and Greg came up with 11 points in a row to force two breaks out of LP and tie it up at 2 sets each .. then the historic final set .. LP was up a break early, but was broken back while serving at 5-4 .. The next serving game from Rusedski had the stuff legends are made of, if I am to believe the BBC radio5 which cut the game right then .. LP was up 30-0, then Greg had a shot that fell just in, and LP was crest-fallen .. It went to 4 deuces, inluding a service ace from greg at a break pt, the call making LP 'furious' .. 5 deuces and LP converted the 3rd break pt there .. 6-5 .. LP then was serving for the match and was up at 40-30 when a heartbreaker netcord from Rusedski fell jut over the net leaving no chance for LP to get it. Then a magnificent shot from Rusedski after 3 deuces, at his second break pt chance, and we were tied again 6-6, with 3 games in a row being breaks .. LP had triple break points at 6-6 and then a break point at 7-7, on Greg's serve but he somehow hung on .. in the end LP got broken in the 18th game when he was down two match points at 15-40, survived one with a nice passing shot, but then ended it with a double fault .. Oh my God, what an opportunity missed .. Great match, Leander ! .. somebody had to win it .. and I have to say that Greg Rusedski showed everybody something by coming back again, and again, and again, and fighting .. Let's tip our hat to him !

MB vs Henman starting soon.. Come to the chatroom, we will have some score updates ..

By the way, I have a few choice words for the IDIOTS at Doordarshan who will need to someday answer to the Indian sports fan. It is unconscionable that they did not show this match. The Indians once again missed a tremendous match. I saw yesterday that they announced their plans to televise cricket matches from Zimbabwe.. and they cannot show such a significant Davis Cup match from UK .. It is a crime, it is frustrating .. These boneheads at Doordarshan are the single most guilty party in not allowing tennis to become as popular as it deserves to be in India .. We can see the commonwealth losers (I mean cricketers, and yes, I am a cricket fan, too) in mercenary matches all the times, and we cannot get the true heroes on TV .. There is no bigger hero in Indian sports than Leander Paes and some of his best matches (foreign Davis Cup ties) are never seen by Indians..

Sep 24 Note-2

So, we are all set to go, at Nottingham .. LP vs Rusedski match is the first one, and is set to start at 11 am Friday (that is 6 am EST, u.s.a, and 3.30 pm in India) .. I am not sure if we will have any source for live score updates at this site, but we will be in the chatroom .. I hope some kind fans who are watching the match on television either in UK or in India would come to the chatroom with score updates, if nothing lse works .. See you all there.

The newspapers report: UK coach John Lloyd said though they were overwhelming favourites the British camp was keeping their fingers crossed as the Indian duo were capable of upsetting any opponents in Davis Cup ‘on their day’. "This is true more on grass courts. We had the option and we went for acryllic court as we know Indian perform well on grass," Mr. Lloyd added after the draw .. I don't completely agree with that view that many people have, though. It is true that many of the LP and MB triumphs have come on grasscourts in India, but there have been upsets by Indian on other surfaces too .. Don't ever forget what LP did to France in 93 at Frejus, France .. and don't forget LP upsetting a top-50 Jiri Novak at Czech Republic in 1997 on indoor clay, and then scaring the daylights out of Petr Korda winning the first set in the fifth and deciding match, before losing after an injury took its toll .. Don't forget MB ranked around 250 upsetting Davide Sanguinetti (#47 now) in 3 easy straight sets on red clay in Italy just 5 months back .. Indians are capable of upsetting people on even the worst possible surfaces, thank you, and don't give me that crap about grass being the sole reason for all the upsets. Heart counts about as much too !

Interestingly, this is the first time LP-MB are playing on hardcourts in Davis Cup .. They normally get grass in India, or clay outside, supposedly their best and worst surfaces. Since UK is too chicken to select their favorite surface, grass, we end up with hardcourts. It will be interesting to see how we do on that surface. Speaking of the surface, LP has been quoted to have said that the surface is a bit slower and the balls they are using are a bit heavier than he would have liked. LP said, "they have certainly done their homework' .. I wonder if LP is playing some real smart game here, giving the Brits a false sense of security .. :-)

Now that we are looking for worldgroup final-16 for our seniors, let me talk about the terrific achievement by our kids at Cuneo, Italy in the 16-and-under world final-16 last week .. I had reported earlier that India had finished 9th .. Here are the detailed scores I had promised .. [Round 1] Croatia d. India 2-1 .. Roko Karanusic d. Akshay Vishal Rao 6-2, 6-3 ; Mario Radic d. Kamala Kannan 6-0, 6-1 ; Kranusic-Radic d. Kannan-Rao 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 .. India drops to 9-16 spots .. [Round 2] India d. Brazil 2-1 .. Jose Carlos Pinto d. Karan Doctor 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 ; Kamala Kannan d. Thiago Alves 7-5, 6-3 ; Kannan-Rao d. Alves-Soares 7-6(5), 6-4 .. India moves into 9-12 spots .. [Round 3] India d. China 3-0 .. Kamala Kannan d. Bin Wu 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 ; Akshay Vishal Rao d. Miao Cui 6-3, 6-3 ; A. V. Rao - Kamala Kannan d. Miao Cui - Wei Wei 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 .. India moves into 9-10 spots .. [Round 4] India d. Mexico 2-1 .. A. V. Rao d. Mario De Loan 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 ; Jacobo Hernandez d. Kamala Kannan 6-3, 6-3 ; Kamala Kannan - A. V. Rao d. Bruno Echagaray - Jacobo Hernandez 6-1, 6-3 .. India placed 9th (source: International Tennis Federation) .. I am sure that India would have placed even higher, had we not run up in the first tie against a tough Croatian team that went all the way to the final and finished #2 .. But, rather than lose heart, our kids made the best of what remained and made sure that they were tops among the 8 teams which lost the first round. I am told by a press friend that India did not qualify for the final-16 last year, and had finished dead last as #16, losing 4 ties in 1996 when we had even Vijay Kannan playing in the team .. That shows how well Akshay Vishal Rao, Kamala Kannan and Karan Doctor have done. The three kids deserve all the praise we can shower on them, and so must we congratulate the coach, Gajendra Singh of Dhaita (now AITA's junior development officer, so he has a flying start!) .. What clinched the issue for India in the 2nd and 4th ties were our doubles proficiency in the deciding 3rd matches. The coach had apparently prepared them very well for doubles, mixing and matching doubles combinations. Great job, guys !! .. My press friend tells me that this has received only scant attention in the Indian press, and that is not good.

OK, the kids have done their job and finished 9th .. Now, let us get our seniors to go into the final-16 for next year in Davis Cup .. How about that for motivation ? .. just kidding ! .. LP, MB, etc do not need anybody to motivate them for Davis Cup !

GO INDIA !!!! .. Let us send Britain back to the Euro-African zonals !!

By the way, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, etc, have sent reporters to Nottingham; so we will see match reports, but I hope any fanclub member out there in UK would send exclusive reports for us anyway !

Sep 24 Note-1

A quick note: The Davis Cup draw was done this afternoon at UK, and it is not a bad one for India .. LP will start it off tomorrow first, against Rusedski (that is India #1 vs UK #2), then MB will play Henman .. On the 3rd day, LP plays Henman and then MB plays Rusedski. On Saturday, LP-MB play doubles .. Everyone seems to think it will be Broad/Henman playing doubles. We will know for sure soon..

It all starts tomorrow at 11 am UK time, according to the schedule I have seen. I will chek up once more on if there is any time change .. We will be in the chatroom, updating scores from some source or other .. That would be 6 am EST, 3 am PST in the US, and 3.30 pm in India, I believe..

More details and news later today .. Still no news on whether Nirupama is playing doubles at Seattle..

Sep 23 Note-2

Continuing on my soliloquy from yesterday on the Asian Games, here are some more details .. The basic rules on the tennis events are, up to 2 doubles teams each for men and women allowed from each country, up to two mixed doubles teams from each country, and up to 2 singles players each in the men and women individual draws from each country .. If two teams or singles players from any country are in any draw, they will be in the opposite halves of the draw .. The entries and seedings will be based on published ATP, WTA rankings, and if no such ranking is available for a player, it will be based on national rankings. Minimum of 3 and maximum of 6 players each for the mean and women contingents from each country (source: Tennis event handbook, 13th Asian Games, Bangkok) .. My expectation are 4 golds (men singles, men doubles, men team, mixed doubles) and may be a couple more medals if Nirupama and Mahesh can pull some out in the singles events .. Leander is on a mission to get a gold in singles which he did not manage in 94, losing in the semis and ending with a bronze - That's something that hurts him to this day, and we can all count on him to be ready to go out and earn that gold this time ..

Why am I hyperventilating this early about the Asiad ? - here is why - India had 5 golds in 1986 at Seoul (four of them by PT Usha), *one* gold in 1990 at Beijing (embarassing), and 4 golds in 1994 at Hiroshima (two of them in tennis, men's doubles by Paes/Natekar and men's team competition) .. That is a total of 4 golds in the last three asiads if you take the lioness from Kerala and the Lion from Goa/Calcutta out ! .. Now, think about what doing well and earning 4 golds in tennis can do to India's standing at Bangkok .. This is the best opportunity we have, with everyone at the top of their games, and it bugs me to no end that we hear nothing about what the plans are. We *must* ensure that we get those four tennis golds .. At least then people will understand the importance of Tennis in India .. By the way, I am still mad that the prima donna cricketers couldn't even get a bronze medal at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, whatever were the details of the circus the authorities created with Tendulkar, Jadeja, etc .. If people mess up our chances at Asiad by messing up the tennis events, that will be unpardonable. Our players do seem ready to do it for their country, and that's the saving grace .. if only the authorities don't mess up in the paperwork involved in making sure that we enter the appropriate teams and plan our travel and training arrangements.

End of soliloquy - But I will restart it again and again, till we hear some details from the authorities.

Sep 23 Note-1

Nirupama lost to Maureen Drake (Canada, #150), 6-2, 6-1 last evening .. Seems to have been no fight at all, which is uncharacteristic of Niru. Will find out today if she has entered in the doubles draw..

Sep 22 Notes

The new rankings show Leander down 4 spots to #88 .. The doubles ranks and team ranks for LP-MB remain the same as before .. MB is at #363 in singles .. Prahlad Srinath lost the 21 points he had from the Indonesian satellites last year and dropped about 100 spots to #543 .. He has hardly played anywhere in the last 6 months (except for the qualifiers for two challengers in the US last month) and need to play somewhere to bring his ranking up, and I believe he deserves a much higher ranking. On the women's side, Nirupama stays at #177 in singles .. She is at #234 in doubles ..

Nirupama is drawn to face Maureen Drake (#152) of Canada in the first round at the $50K Seattle Chalenger .. Still have not got the complete draw that the tourney folks had promised to send me .. Not an easy first round match for Niru but an upset is possible.

Had another chat with Niru the other day and asked her about the Asian Games .. She confirmed that nobody has contacted her about it, despite the newspaper reports we had heard last month about her being there. She did not feel that this is something AITA has much control over, though .. The Indian Olympic Committee makes most official decisions on this. Whatever the deal is, somebody needs to start doing something. The information I have is that the preliminary list of participants were supposed to be submitted for the Bangkok Asiad (Dec 7-20) earlier this month by Sep 7th, and the final lists were due by November. No news yet on who the Indian tennis representatives are. Are we playing women's doubles ? .. If so, who will play with Niru ? .. Are we playing mixed doubles ? .. By the way, there are 7 medals at stake here (team, singles, and doubles for men and women, and mixed doubles). The team competition starts first during the first week with 3 matches in each tie between two teams .. The individual singles, doubles and mixed doubles start during the first weekend and go through the second week. Mixed doubles is absolutely one event that India should take part in, and probably has the best team available. While there are quite a few Asian women ranked above Niru in doubles, none of those countries have any male in the top 150 to partner with. In fact, only two Japanese men (Motomura and Suzuki, both around #175) are in the ATP top-300 ! .. That means, other than two pairs of Japanese (Ai Sugiyama, #24, and Nana Miyagi, #25, paired with Motomura or Suzuki), nobody else has a higher ranked team available. Yayuk Basuki of Indonesia is ranked #12 in doubles but has to play with somebody like Adrian Raturandang ranked in the 400s .. Shi-Ting Wang of Taiwan (#40) has someone in the 400s, Sung-hee Park of Korea (#44) can only partner someone in the low 500s, Tammy Tanasugarn of Thailand (#75) will need to play with one of the Srichaphan brothers in the 400s .. so on .. Based on current sum-rank, a pairing of LP or MB with Nirupama will be seeded a close #3 behind the two japanese with no other team anywhere near in sight, but realistically, they are the the best team out there (Niru has been in the 150-175 range in doubles for the last couple of years and is only temporarily down in rankings, and will be playing with one of the best doubles players Asia has ever seen!) .. The question is: Have we entered a team for mixed doubles ? .. If so, when are we planning to tell the players ? ..

.. Previous notes at Weekly Notes, ending Sep 21..