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LP/MB/NS/Indian-Tennis: Notes for the weeks ending on Oct 6, 2003
(Previous week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2003)

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Oct 8 Note-1

MB-MM have advanced to the second round at the Vienna ATP with a 63 62 win .. At Dharwad, Vishal Uppal pulled a big upset over last week's runner up Childs, and Prakash Amritraj also advanced to R2, making it 4 Indians in the second round .. VVery NNice! .. Harsh could not get past the second seed Mertinak .. See the Dharwad challenger page .. Sania won the R2 and reached QF in Indonesia, but Shruti fell .. Karan reached final-16 at the grade-A Osaka Juniors, but Divij and Arun lost .. Those are the quick updates .. More details later.

Oct 7 Notes

Good news from the Dharwad challenger today, as pluck and luck brought good results for Indians .. #350 Rohan Bopanna upset the 6th seed Vadim Kutsenko (UZB,244), 63 36 76(9) .. He came through against a comeback charge from Kutsenko, the recently crowned Asian champion (at the Tashkent championships) .. To add gravy to that, Mustafa Ghouse hardly had to sweat today, as Alex Bogdanovich retired midway through the first set .. Only four singles maches today, and the other five Indians (Harsh, Prakash, Sunil, Vishal and Vinod) play tomorrow .. The qualifiers were placed in the main draw today, after Aisam Qureshi lost the final qualifying match to Lauri Kiiski of Finland .. (Q) Vinod Sridhar gets Zbynek Mlynarik (AUT) in the first round, and wildcard Sunil Kumar gets Kiiski .. See the Dharwad challenger page.

It turns out that the three Indians I was wondering about, Vijay Kannan, Ajay Ramaswamy and Rishi Sridhar, had to skip this week's challenger (and next week's too) because they are Railway Employees and have to represent Indian Railways at the World Railway Games in Italy .. I am pretty sure no other Railways in the world has three top-750 quality players as employees; so these three should be able to win everything for our railways .. Terrible timing because they end up missing two challengers at home, but hey, they get to have some fun in Italy, not exactly the worst place to have to go to!

The ATP announced today that the $25K+H Bangkok challenger scheduled for Dec 1st, has been cancelled .. I think some of the Indians might have been considering going for that .. I believe it is the same week as the final week of the three Indian futures, though - so this would increase the competition in the Indian futures a little bit.

At the $10K Indonesian satellite, it was a terrible day for most Indians, as 2nd seed Isha, 3rd seed Rushmi, 6th seed Sonal all lost .. Shruti pulled a minor upset and Sania had reached the second round yesterday, to be the only two Indians in the R2 .. Scores so far - (1) Sania Mirza d. (Q) Meng Yuan (CHN) 76(9) 62 .. Shruti Dhawan d. Chattida Thimjapo (THA) 61 62 .. Sandy Gumulya (INA) d. (2) Isha Lakhani 36 63 75 .. Maya Rosa (INA) d. (3) Rushmi Chakravarthi 76(5) 76(4) .. Montinee Tangphong (THA) d. (6) Sonal Phadke 62 61 .. (Q) Eny Sulistyowati (INA) d. Liza Pereira 76(8) 64 .. (Q) Mimma Chernovita (INA) d. Samrita Sekar 26 61 63 .. The sad thing is that all the losses, except Sonal's, were in very close matches .. Sania plays Eny and Shruti plays Sandy next.

The ITF grand slam committee (or whatever they call it) met last week to announce to the world loudly that ITF had made a mistake in the whole drama about junior grand slam bonus points for the doubles winners at the Wimbledon .. They approved giving the 180 bonus points, which has placed Sania Mirza as the #1 junior doubles player in the world .. Her partner in the crime, Alisa Kleybanova, moved up to #4 .. Now, why did ITF have to send this matter to this commitee and waste their time - should have just admitted a silly mistake and moved on after Wimbledon .. Anyway, I was gettingr eady for another tirade ob ITF had they not approved the points, and I am glad this saved me time .. All is well that ends well.

10th seed Divij Sharan has also reached the second round at the grade-A Osaka Mayor's Cup in Japan, joining Karan and ArunPrakash who won yesterday .. (10) Divij Sharan (IND, 107) d. Kirati Siributwong (THA, 237) 76 64 .. The R2 matches are on wednesday.

Oct 6 Note-2

Good news - Vinod Sridhar qualified into the main draw at the Dharwad challenger ! .. He beat P.Vishal, then upset the 3rd seed Paul Logtens (NED,421) and then beat Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) to make the main draw .. Excellent 64 64 upset win over Logtens by Vinod! .. He was the only Indian in the second round of qualies .. That was perhaps expected, with Vijay Kannan, Ajay Ramaswami and Rishi Sridhar not playing the qualies this week for some reason .. The other notable match was Somdev Varman going toe-to-toe with Aisam Qureshi (PAK,494) in a 36 75 46 loss in the Q1 ..  Top seed Leonardo Azzaro, and Kentaro Masuda also qualified in .. I have not seen the score of the 4th qualifying match between Aisam Qureshi and Laurie Kiiski ..

Main draw matchups - Mankad vs (2) Mertinak, Bopanna vs (6) Kutsenko, Amritraj vs Schukin, Ghouse v. Boghdanovich, Uppal vs Childs, Sipaeya vs Qualifier TBD .. Not great for HM and RB ..

Oct 6 Note-1

Mahesh has reached the 30-title mark in doubles .. Wow! .. In the final at the $1M Kremlin Cup yesterday, MadMax did not run into any sudden power-failure like they have occasionally done in some finals .. Took care of business - [F] #1 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi d. W.Black/ K.Ullyett 63 75 .. Congratulations to them .. They took off straight to this week's event in Austria, the $765K Vienna ATP .. These are good prize money events .. They are second seeds this week behind Bjorkman-Woodbridge - [R1] #2 M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi vs Jiri Novak/ Petr Pala (CZE) ..

Also pulling off his first challenger title yesterday was Prakash Amritraj .. PA and Rik DeVoest won the final, beating Michal Mertinak/Branislav Sekac (SVK) 64 63 .. Congrats .. So, within the last three months, all three of our top player have won challenger titles - RB, HM and PA .. Good going .. PA kept in the Indian interest alive at Tumkur till the end, which was nice .. The singles title went to Michael Kohlschreiber of Germany who ended qualifier Lee Child's great run .. See the Tumkur challenger page.

I have not seen the qualies results from the Dharwad challenger yet .. As Mical Tabara withdrew from the event in the last monutes due to injury (he has withdrawn from next week's Belgaum challenger also), Rohan Bopanna made it into the draw .. That freed up one more wildcard for us .. Harsh ended as the second in qualies and got a main draw wildcard .. The other three WCs have gone to Sunil Kumar Sipaeya, Mustafa Ghouse and Vishal Uppal .. I hope Vijay Kannan also gets a wildcard to one of the challengers .. Somdev is in the quaklies this week.  Main draw starts tomorrow, and the draw may have been made by now .. Will update the Dharwad challenger page as soon as I get some news.

Sania has started off the second week of Indoensian satellites with a win today .. Rushmi etc are also there .. More later on it.

Three of our boys are at the prestigious grade-A Osaka Meyor's Cup ITF juniors in Japan this week .. Karan Rastogi is the 4th seed behind Marcos Baghdatis, the Austrakin Open winner (aworld #1 junior), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (USO juniors winner and world #3) and Tai-Wei Liu of Taipe the Asian #1 .. That is a surprisingly good field (I suppose Marcos and Tsonga are there to grab some points to cement down the year end junior rankings) .. Good start today for our boys .. (4) Karan Rastogi beat Kristen Farron Mahon (IRL) 61 64 .. (13) Arun Prakash Rajagopalan d. Tomohira Tohira (JPN)  63 63 .. 10th seed Divij Sharan is playing tomorrow against Siributwong Kirati (THA).

Rupesh Roy won the junior grdea-5 ITF in Islamabad yesterday with a win over Sumit Prakash Gupta(IND) 75 46 62

Oct 5 Notes

Well, Sania showed again today why she is the Indian #1 player, by continuing her long-runing win streak against Indians - [F] (1) Sania Mirza (IND) d. (2) Rushmi Chakravarthi (IND) 63 75 .. It has been over a year and half since any Indian beat Sania .. This is her sixth satellite title in 6 finals, I believe! .. In doubles, Septi Mende and Maya Rosa of Indonesia beat the 2nd seeds Wilawan Choptang (THA) and Shruti Dhawan, 76(6) 64

Oct 4 Notes

Yet another final for MadMax .. Easy win today at the $1M Kremlin Cup in Moscow - [SF] (1) Mahesh Bhupathi/ Max Mirnyi d. (WC) Igor Andreev/ Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) 63 61 .. They run into the 3rd seeds tomorrow - Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett Ullyett of Zimbabwe .. Go Hesh and Max!

Lee Childs is in a dream run at the Tumkur challenger - he upset the 4th seed Baghdatis today .. He faces anither unseeded player, Kohlschreiber of Germany who upset the 5th seed Tabara .. See the Tumkur challenger page.

Good news from the Jakarta $10K -- the top two seeds are in the final .. In the semi today, (1) Sania Mirza beat Shruti Dhawan 75 57 61 and (2) Rushmi Chakravarthi beat Thassha Vitayaviroj (THA) 62 63 .. Very nice! .. In doubles, Sania/Rushmi were upset by the Indonesian pair, Septi Mende and Maya Rosa 62 63 .. Shruti is in the final though, with Wilawan Choptang (THA) .. They beat Sandy Gumulya/ Wukirasih Sawondari (INA) 26 63 60

Oct 3 Note-1

A correction - Ajay and Vijay did not win the doubles QF at Tumkur as I said earlier (:-()  But there is good news -- Prakash and Rik DeVoest got a semifinal walkover after they won the QF and are in the doubles finals.. So, some Indian interest stays till the last day at this event.

Oct 3 Note-1

Very busy couple of weeks for me, and so only brief notes now -- the Tumkur challenger has reached the semifinal stage, with 4th seed Marcos Baghdatis, the world #1 junior player from Cyprus (also among the fastest rising players n the challenger circuit over the last 4-5 months since he turned fulltime pro) has been in good nick .. Harsh Mankad was the only Indian in the second round but he fell yesterday to Marcos in a match which was rather close in two sets .. Vijay and Ajay reached the dubles semi today, as did 4th seeds Prakash and Rik DeVoest of RSA .. See the Tumkur challenger page ..

Qualifier Lee Childs (GBR) has reached the semi today after an upset of the top seed yesterday -- so I believe he takes away one special exempt spot from next week's challenger .. Rohan Bopanna is the next in line for main draw right now - he will need one more wthdrawal from somebody by Saturday night .. Harsh is a couple of spots below and would quite possibly need a wildcard .. Prakash is in .. I have updated the entry list at the Dharwad challenger page.

Sania, Rushmi, and Shruti are in the semis at the $10K satellite in Indonesia.  See the forum thread on the Jakarta $10K (tournaments section) for scores .. Nice run by unseeded Shruti - looks like she is not rusty right now; and she is always tough when that is the case!

Rupesh Roy and Sumit Prakash Gupta have reached the final at the grade-5 ITF juniors in Isalamabad .. Scores later.

Oct 1 Notes

MadMax reached the semifinal of the $1M Kremlin Cup today - [QF] (1) Mahesh Bhupathi/ Max Mirnyi d. (WC) Denis Golovanov/ Andrei Olhovskiy (RUS) 62 61 .. At the Tumkur challenger , Harsh Mankad was the only one to reach the second round, as he went past Karan Rastogi .. Both the youngsters, Karan and Somdev, played competitive tennis today .. Sunil Kumar had a very good start against the 8th seed but could not sustain it in a 3-set loss .. Harsh runs into a very talented player -- Marcos Bahgdatis, who is the world junior #1 player ..  At the $10K Jakarta satellite, (1) Sania Mirza d. Varanya Vijuksanaboon (THA) 61 61 and (2) Rushmi Chakravarthi (IND) d. (Q) Mia Sacca 62 61.. No news on Shruti and Isha who must have also played today .. The Dharwad challenger cut fell a bit more .. Now Rohan is 4th and Harsh 8th in the waiting list .. RB will quite possibly make it - HM may just miss the cut and may need a WC for next week .. Prakash has made the main draw .. That's about the main news itesm today .. Gotta run .. Later.

Sep 30 Notes

MadMax won the first round yesterday at the $1M Kremlin Cup - [R1] (1) M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi d. Tomas Cibulec/ Pavel Vizner (CZE) 63 64 .. They face wildcards Denis Golovanov and Andrei Olhovskiy of Russia tomorrow night in the QF

At the Tumkur challenger, it was a bad day for us, with Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj going down .. RB had the 6th seed Craca on the ropes though, as he evened it in the second set and took the 3rd set to the tiebreaker, where he fell .. PA's match was not was one where Martin Lee had a firm grip on the match and the result was pretty much a foregone conclusion though Kash reportedly played well at times .. Lee was nearly a top-100 player once, so despite his injury-lowered ranking, this was going to be a tough match .. HM, SKS, Karan and Somdev all play tomorrow .. In today's doubles R1, Harsh and Rohan went down - hopefully they will play a few more matches together, as I still believe it is a very promising pairing .. Somdev and Karan upset the top seeds in the doubles qualies and pay final qualies tomorrow afternoon .. See the Tumkur challenger page.

The cut for next week's main draw fell three spots and Prakash has now made the main draw .. See the Dharwad challenger page for the entry list .. RB and HM moved up 5 spots each to 5th and 9th in the qualifying list.  I am sure it will drop a few more spots by friday, but it is doubtful that Mankad will get a direct entry - so we may only have one less wildcard to play with.

I have seen only a couple of results from the Jakarta $10K .. 6th seed Sonal Phadke beat wildcard Maya Rosa (INA) 06 75 76(1) and qualifier Novianti Warsono (INA) beat Samrita Sekar, 62 75 .. Other first round matchups, probably tomorrow, are (1) Sania Mirza v Varanya Vijuksanaboon (THA), (2) Rushmi Chakravarthi v (Q) Mia Sacca (INA), (3) Isha Lakhani (IND) v (WC) Pichittra Thongdach (THA), (5) Liza Pereira v Thassha Vitayaviroj (THA), and Shruti Dhawan v Chattida Thimjapo (THA) ..

Sunitha Rao (USA,206) went down at the $50K Troy Challenger (USA) to Gisella Dulko (ARG,133), 16 67(3) .. She is in the doubles QF there.

Sep 29 Notes

Not much news today .. I still have not got the draws from Tumkur .. Rohan plays the 6th seed Craca, Harsh plays Karan Rastogi and Prakash gets Martin Lee ( a former top-200 player but coming back from injury right now and ranked quite low) .. Not sure whom Sunil and Karan are playing .. Three Indians made the final round of qualies - Ajay, Mustafa and Parantap Chaturvedi (who had a big upset of Vijay Kannan in Q2) .. All three went down to top-400 players seeded in the top four .. Those three are in line for 2nd thru 4th lucky loser spots if there are main draw no shows .. See the Tumkur challenger page .. One piece of good news - I am told Harsh and Rohan are playing doubles together;  if were to guess, it could turn out to be a pretty strong team with all kinds of perfectly complimenting skills, though they have never played together despite being our highest ranked two doubles players (HM at #211 and RB at #219) after LP and MB!

The Jakarta $10K main draw starts tomorrow for Sania, Rushmi and party.

The big bunch of Indian kids who "walked across the Wagah border" for the Islamabad grade-5 ITF juniors have all pretty much advanced to the second round today.

In some late news, Rushmi had gone down in thge QF last week to the top seed Nuria Llagostera Vives (ESP,187), 16 26, at the Lebanon $25K challenger .. She picked up some good 7 WTA points there, though - nice run.

Not much else .. Sunitha Rao (USA) is at the $50K Troy challenger in the US - main draw starting tomorrow.

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on Sep 29 ..

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 player, let me know .. I would like to have a mailing list where I can post general announcements and inquiries from the coaches too .. Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan.