Daily News for the week ending on Sep 29, 2008
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At the $576K "AIG Open" ATP in Tokyo, Leander and Lukas Dlouhy are the
top seeds and face Guillermo Garcia-Lopez/Ivan Navarro-Pastor of Spain
in the first round .. Also in the draw is Rohan Bopanna with Eric
Butorac (USA), but they have a tough R1 match against the second seeds
Simon Aspelin (SWE)/ Julian Knowle (AUT) .. Good to see Bops with
Butorac again .. The last time they played, they won the LA ATP title,
which was Bops' first ATP tour title. At the $175K Tier-III WTA event
at the same Tokyo venue, Shikha Uberoi is in the doubles draw with
Mashona Washington of USA - they face Marta Domachowska (RUS) and Klara
Zakopalova (CZE) first.
Sunitha Rao (IND,186) is seeded 8th this week at the $50K challenger in
Troy, Alabama. She faces Shenay Perry (USA,360) in the first round ..
Shenay could turn out to be tough player - she was as high as #40
in 2006 but is just making a comeback after a year of break with some
good result since July .. Sunitha is seeded second in doubles with
Angela Haynes (USA) and plays Sandy Gumulya (INA) and Tetiana Luzhanska
(UKR) in the first round.
Good news! .. At Bangkok today, Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy won
the $576K Thailand Open doubles title!!.. In the semifinals,
they beat Fabrice Santoro (FRA)/ Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 64 62, and in
the finals, they took out Scott Lipsky (USA)/ David Martin (USA), 64
76(4) .. This is LP's 40th doubles title (take a bow, Lee!) .. First of
the year, and the first in Dlouhy's company .. Lee had reached the
Rosmalen final with Hesh, and the finals at Halle and USO with Lukas so
far this year ..
Prakash Amritraj was at the € 370K Monz ATP qualies over
the weekend .. He beat Lovro Zovko (CRO,504) 64 63
in the Q1 but was upset by Romain Jouan (FRA,440), 46 64 76(5), in the
Q2 .. PA came back from 0-3 down in the third but could not close the
show in the tiebreaker .. He gets back to the US this week and will be
at the Sacramento challenger next week, with Somdev. Also in
action this weekend in tour event qualies were Rohan Bopanna and
Shikjha Uberoi, both at the ATP and WTA events in Tokyo, but they went
down in the Q1 rounds .. (WC) Hiroki Kondo (JPN,589) d. (10)Rohan
Bopanna (IND,350) 63 46 76(4) .. Junri Namigata (JPN,239) d. Shikha
Uberoi (IND,715) 75 36 62.
The SF and the third place tie did not go India's way at the u16 world
finals in San Luis Potosi this weekend .. SF: India l. to USA 0-3 ..
Saurabh Singh l. Evan King 26 06 .. Yuki Bhambri l. Denis Kudla 46 76
46 .. Abhishek/ Saurabh l. King/ Raymond 36 63 46 .. Third-Place: India l.
russia 1-2 to finish 4th .. Saurabh Singh l. Richard Muzaev 06 16 ..
Yuki Bhambri l. Mikhail Biryukov 60 64 .. Bhambri/ Singh l. Biryukov/
Muzaev 64 57 36 .. In fact, the third place tie was close enough and we
could have pulled it off in doubles with some luck .. Anyway, a
fabulous run nonetheless to have finished 4th in the world in u16 ..
YES!!! .. Great news !!! .. India is in the Junior Davis Cup world
semifinals!! .. We beat Brazil 2-1 today, winning both the
singles matches in comebacks! .. Saurabh Singh d. Henrique Tsukamoto 46
62 61 .. Yuki Bhambri d. Guilherme Clezar 36 61 61 .. SV Abhishek/
S.Singh l. H.Tsukamoto/ Tiago Fernandes, 76(6) 76(6) .. Up next in the
semifinal for India are the top seeds USA .. The other semi is between
Russia and Argentina .. Nice company, eh? .. Here are two pictures I
got just now from Mexico, from a very hapy captain Kawaljeet Singh ..
Don't worry, that is actually apple juice he is holding .. Have one
now, captain .. Win a title, and you are allowed to open a champagne
bottle for yourself and get some hot milk for the boys! .. Those are
Saurabh, Kawaljeet, Abhishek and Yuki in that oreder behind the flag,
which looks nice in Mexico!
Of course, this is the very first time that we have reached the junior
davis cup semifinal .. Fabulous that it has happened the same year when
we reached semifinals of the u14 world championship too, and finished
third .. Hope "Kawaljeet's Cavalry" can do even better than third !!
Top seeds Leander and Lukas Dlouhy beat Tomas Berdych and Simone
Bolelli 61 62 today to reach the semifinal at the Bangkok ATP .. In
tomorrow's semi, they square up against the French pair, Fabrice
Santoro and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who upset the third seeds there in a
Rohan Bopanna (IND,355) is the 10th seed in the qualies of the Tokyo
ATP, playing a wildcard Hiroki Kondo (JPN,593) .. If he advances in the
2-round qualies, he may run into the 4th seed Brendan Evans (USA,187)
.. I assume Bops will be in the doubles main draw too. In the
Tier-III "AIG Open" WTA in Tokyo, Shikha Uberoi (IND,737) is in the
qualies .. She also faces a Japanese, 232nd ranked Junri Namogata .. It
is a tough three-round qualies in the women's event, where Shikha is in
the quarter of the 3rd seed Vania King (USA,103).
Eagerly awaiting news from San Luis Potosi, on how the junior Davis Cup
tie against Brazil went today!
A pretty unexpected loss for Somdev at the Bucharest challenger today
.. He went down 16 26 to Gero Kertschmer (GER,490) .. Not sure what
exactly happened, and it is indeed a big surprise, after the way he had
beaten top-100 and top-200 players on red clay recently .. I hope there
was no injuries or anything and some item in his game got exploited ..
That happens when you get on any surface for the first time - and
European red clay is one where the "tricks of the trade" are know
well-enough only by Europeans and South Americans. Somdev is
probably a bit tired too, this being the 4th week of a stretch when he
was contiuously hitting every day .. He needs a break. He gets it
now - as he is off for the next 10 days .. Up next is the Sacramento
challenger, back on the familiar hard courts, starting Oct 6th in
Northern California .. Both Somdev and Prakash are in the main draw ..
Harsh Mankad says he will be there too, playing qualies, as will be
Ashutosh Singh if he gets a visa on time.
Good news from San Luis Potosi, as India beat Britian in the postponed
doubles match today, taking the final game of the second set and
winning the tiebreaker .. 64 76. That puts India at the top
of the pool with 2-0 in the two ties .. Brazil, who had beaten 8th
seeds Britain 2-1 on the first da, lost the postponed doubles tie
against Mexico in a three-setter today. So, BRA and MEX are 1-1
and GBR is 0-2 .. India will top the pool with a win over Brazil
tomorrow. The top teams from the 4 pools move to the world
semifinal. The tie tomorrow may not be easy, but no tie is,
at the world final-16 .. Go Yuki and party!
Somdev, Prakash and Sunitha are in action at the Bucharest (Romania,
clay), Grenoble (France, indoor hard), and Ashland (Kentucky, USA,
hard) challengers this week .. 244th ranked Somdev won the first round
in an upset on Tuesday, 64 62 over the 7th seed Dominik Meffert
(GER,179), and plays a qualifier, Gero Krestchmer (GER,490) in the R2
tomorrow .. 224th ranked Prakash had a good start but went down 75 26
46 against Gary Lugassy (FRA,279) .. Sunitha had the toughest
assignment, as she was up against the second seed Julie Ditty (USA,116)
.. She gave it a go but could not pull the upset in a 67(3) 67(2) match
In doubles this week, the top seeds Leander and Lukas Dlouhy got a
scare from Rohan and Aisam (good job, guys!) but were too good to go
down in a 76(3) 46 (10-7) supertiebreak match at the $576K Bangkok ATP
.. In the QF, LP-LD face Tomas Berdych (CZE) and Simone Bolelli (ITA)
.. At the Grenoble challenger R1, Prakash and Richard Bloomfield (GBR)
beat the French pair, Gary Lugassy and Vincent Millot, 63 61 and run
into the third seeded Austrians, Martin Fischer and Philipp Oswald ..
At Ashland, Sunitha and Angela Haynes (USA) had a heartbreaker loss,
just as in singles for Sunitha, as they fell to Liga Dekmeijere (LAT)
and Jelena Pandzic (CRO) after a big comeback, 36 75 (10-12)
At the world u16 junior
Davis Cup final-16, San Luis Potosi, Mexico this week, the
Indian team (Yuki Bhambri, Saurabh Singh and SV Abhishek, captain:
Kawaljeet Singh) is seeded second .. That is the highest seeding that
any junior Indian team has got in any real world sport ever, that I
remember .. It is primarily on the strength of Yuki Bhambri's junior
ranking .. Seedings do not matter though, and it will come down to how
the second singles and the doubles matches go .. India is in the
toughest pool group too - with 8th seeds Britian, Brazil and hosts
Mexico (are you kidding me? - that was my reaction, seeing that draw!)
had a tough but winning start yesterday with a 2-1 win over Mexico
[Saurabh Singh l. Alexis Carlos, 46 26 .. Yuki Bhambri d. Fernando
Larrea, 75 60 ..Bhambri/ Singh d. Carlose. Carlos/ Daniel Fernandez, 61
64] .. Today India played the 8th seed Britian, who lost to Brazil in a
tight 1-2 tie yesterday .. As the tie was postponed to tomorrow due to
rain, things are hanging on a balance with India in a dogfight in
doubles [Saurabh Singh l. Ashley Hewitt, 46 76(5) 46 .. Yuki Bhambri d.
James Marsalek, 61 60 .. Bhambri/ Singh vs Hewitt/
George Morgan, 64 56, Yuki to serve.] .. Hope the boys will take the
doubles when the match restarts tomorrow morning at 9 am. They
come back later for the tie against Brazil.
At the $576K Bangkok ATP qualies, Rphan Bopanna had a good upset win in
the first round over the 7th seed, but could not get past the 3rd seed
in the second and final qualies .. [Q1] Rohan Bopanna (IND,355) d. (7)
Mikhail Ledovskikh (RUS,263) 76(5) 67(2) 75 .. [Q2] l. (3) Lukas Dlouhy
(CZE,166) 26 62 64 .. Rohan and Aisam Qureshi face Leander and Dlouhy
in the first round of doubles .. Rohan's singles career has really been
getting affected by his playing doubles at the ATP level, as his
singles rank is much lower than his #51 doubles rank.
There were two ITF junior grade-5 (the entry level grade) events in
India the last two weekss - at Chennai and at Hyderbad .. Both the
titles on the girls' side were won by Nimisha Mohan of Karnataka,
who has shown terrific consistency .. Nimisha has always been hurt a
bit by the fact thats she was born on Dec 30th and was up to a year
younger than others at all age levels .. Hope these events helps her
make a late push in her junior career .. The boys' events were won by Saurabh Singh in the
Chennai week and Digvijay S.
Mehta in the Hyderabad week .. Saurabh is our #2 in the u16
junior Davis Cup team behind Yuki and Digvijay is our #2 behind Ronit
Bisht in the u14 team that finished #3 in the world .. Great to see
these two boys making their first moves in the junior ranks .. Saurabh
had to leave for Mexico late last week to join the junior Davis Cup
team in the world finals, and so he only played the Chennai week ..
Digvijay had to play three rounds of qualies and 6 rounds of main draw
for 9 wins in a row - which is tremendous for a boy of his age! .. With
the 60 pts from the two events, 16 year old Nimisha has raised her
point total to 71 pts and her ranking from somewhere below 1400 to #560
.. 15 year old Saurabh has moved up to #431 and 13 year old Digvijay
who turned 14 only last month, gets his first points and ranking to
move to #909 .. Good job by them all ..
.. Previous news
for the weeks ending on Sep 22, 2008 ..
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