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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the week ending on Oct 6, 2008
(Previous weeks' notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2008)

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Oct 6 Notes

Mahesh and Mark are finally back in action this week .. At the € 674,000 Vienna ATP, [R1] (2) M.Bhupathi/ Mark Knowles (BAH) vs Mark Gicquel (FRA)/ Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) .. Leander and Rohan are taking a week off from doubles ..

The main draws are out at the $50K Sacramento challenger .. Both Kash and Somi have tough matches against seeds .. Prakash Amritraj (IND,228) plays the 2nd seed Robert Kendrick (USA,101) and Somdev DevVarman (IND,240) plays the 5th seed Ilia Bozoljac (SRB,119) .. In doubles, Kash and Frank Dancevic (CAN) plays the second seeded Serbian pair, Bozoljac and Dusan Vemic .. Stephen Amritraj and Daniel King-Turner (NZL) are seeded 4th and face Santiago Gonzales (MEX) and Ivan Miranda (PER) .. If the advance, they could run into Harsh Mankad and Ashutosh Singh who square off against Benedikt Dorsch (GER) and Todd Widom (USA) ..  Only Prakash's doubles match is there in today's schedule.

Sunitha Rao is at the $50K in Pittsburgh .. The draws are not out yet, there.

Some good weekend work to reoprt from 18 year old Prajnesh Gunneswaran who has been playing at a noticeably higher level in the last few weeks, as I wrote recently.  He has again qualified into a Spanish clay futures .. He had qualified and reached the QF of another Spanish future in August and had also reached the semifinal of an Indian futures upsetting a top-450 Japanese player and cracking into the top-1000 himself .. Over this weekend Prajnesh, ranked 981, took care of a couple of unranked guys - 60 63 over Inaki Bellos Ausin (ESP) and 63 62 over Benedikt Peischler (AUT) and then beat Emilio Rodriquez-Navarro (ESP,1919) 57 63 62 to make the main draw .. He now gets a wild card, Jordi Samper-Montana (ESP,1134) in the R1 .. Though these are not upsets or anything, it is good to see the consistency from him, because so many of our players have been in qualies in futures in Spain, USA etc - never making it despite being seeded and all that.  So I am quite upbeat on Prajnesh these days, as he is showing some fire in the belly.

Oct 5 Notes

Pretty bad day, as Lee and Sunith both lost their doubles finals today and then HM and Asutosh each went down in the singles Q1 in Sacramento ..

Leander and Dlouhy had their win streak snapped at 7 matches, as the fell in the final of the $576 AIG Open ATP in Tokyo, 36 46 to Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) and Mischa Zverev (GER) .. An early break on Dlouhy's serve at 0-1 in the first set when he threw in two doubles faults, set the tone for the match and our guys never recovered, as they were unable to convert any of about 4 or 5 break points they had .. A break in the 5th game of the second set put them in a hole they couldn't get out of .. So, LP and Dlouhy have gone down in three of the four finals this year.

At the $50K at Troy (Alabama, USA), the second seeds Sunitha Rao and Angela Haynes appear to have been no match fr the top seeded American pair, Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spear in the doubles final - a 26 06 loss there.

At the $50K Sacramento challenger singles qualifying first round, Harsh Mankad (IND,565) could not sustain a good start (like he has had in a few losses lately), going down to Filip Krajinovic (SRB,890) 61 36 46 .. Ashutosh Singh (IND,662) lost to the 8th seed Cecil Mamiit (PHI,329), 16 36 .. Now we await the main draw for Kash and Somi .. I think Harsh and Ashutish will try for the doubles main draw too.

Oct 4 Notes

Another week, and another final for Leander! ... LP and Lukas Dlouhy have reached their third consecutive doubles final .. At the $576K "AIG Open" ATP in Tokyo, they beat Robert Kendrick (USA) and Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 64 76(4) .. They didn't face any break points but did fail to convert a whole bunchof them as they managed only one break in the match .. But they do know how to raise their game and close the deal like they did today .. In the final on Sunday, LP-LD are up against Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) and Mischa Zverev (GER), who upset the thirdseeds in the semi.

Also in a good doubles final are Sunitha Rao and Anglea Haynes (USA) .. Seeded second at the $50K Troy (Alabama,USA) challenger, they beat the 4th seeds, Madison Brengle (USA)/ Anna Tatishvili (GEO), 62 64 to reach the final against the top seeded American pair, Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.

Prakash Amritraj and Somdev DevVarman will be at the $50K Sacramento challenger in hardcourt country, California, next week.   Both had made the intital entry, but the main draw is not out yet .. The qualifying starts today with Harsh Mankad and Ashutosh Singh in the draw.  Harsh plays Filip Krajinovic, a very talented 16 year old Serbian - the one who beat Yuki and went all the way to the US Open junior final; He has also had some top-400 wins in the pros lately .. Ashutosh plays the 8th seeded American-turned-Filippino, Cecil Mamiit, today .. If they both win the Indians can play each other in the Q2 tomorrow.

Oct 3 Notes

At the $576K Tokyo ATP, the top seeds Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy extended their winning streak to 6 matches, by getting to the semifinal today after a 62 76(4) win over Philip Petzschner (GER)/ Alexander Peya (AUT) .. In the semifinal on saturday, they play the unseeded pair, Robert Kendrick (USA) and Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) .. LP-Dlouhy had won the Thailand Open last week and had reached the final of the US Open before that for 11 wins in 12 matches.  A pretty good run which has propelled them to the 5th spot in the ATP doubles race in 2008.  They have 418 race points (2090 ATP points) together this year, of which nearly half the points have come in the last three events.  Though they have not yet qualified for the year end doubles championships in Shanghai, they are close to it, as are Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles who are at the the 4th spot with 502 race points.  The top three - the Bryan twins, Nestor-Zimonjic and Erlich-Ram are the teams already qualified for Shanghai where the best eight teams of this year take part.

At the  50K Troy Challenger (Alabama, USA) the second seeds Sunitha Rao and Angela Haynes (USA) won the quarterfinals yesterday with an easy 62 61 win over the American wildcards, Lauren Embree and Alexa Guarachi .. The semifinal is against the 4th seeds, Madison Brengle (USA) and Anna Tatishvili (GEO).

Earlier this week, Navdeep Singh (IND,924) has qualified into the $15K+H FRA F17 futures in Nevers, France .. Seeded 4th and with a Q1 bye, he beat unranked Thomas Kostro (AUT) 46 62 63 to make the main draw .. He had a pretty good match against the main draw 8th seed Razvan Sabau (ROU,408) who was a top-75 players three years back .. 22 year old Navdeep lost 57 57 to Sabau, and was unable to pick up any ATP points ..
He could not make much headway in doubles as well - playing with Valentin Sanon of Ivory Coast, Navdeep fell in the R1 to the French pair Vincent Millot and Pierrick Ysern in a one-sided match, 26 06.

Oct 2 Notes

At the $576K Tokyo ATP, the top seeds Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy reached the QF today with a 64 75 win over the Spanish duo, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Ivan Navarro .. They play Philip Petzschner (GER)/ Alexander Peya (AUT) in the QF on Friday ..

At the Tier-III WTA at Tokyo today, Shikha Uberoi and Mashona Washington (USA) faced the second seeds, Vania King (USA) and Tiantian Sun (CHN), in the QF .. An upset turned out to be beyond their reach in a 36 46 match.

Also at Tokyo yesterday, Rohan Bopanna and Eric Butorac had a heartbreaker R1 loss after coming very close to upsetting the second seeds Simon Aspelin (SWE) and Julien Knowle (AUT) in a 76(4) 67(4) (4-10)
match.  Our guys even had two match points at 5-4 in the second with Aspelin serving 15-40, but then it all fell apart for them.  That is the learning experience against top ranked doubles players.

Sunitha Rao went down 16 16 to Shenay Perry at the $50K Troy challenger yesterday .. I expected Shenay, former top-40 player on a comeback trail and probably playing top-100 quality tennis based on recent results, to be tough - but the scoreline of this matchw as worse than I expected .. Sunitha and Angela Haynes (USA), the second seeds in doubles, had no big problems in the doubles R1, as the advanced with a nice 60 75 win over
Sandy Gumulya (INA) and Tetiana Luzhanska (UKR) .. Up next are the American wildcards Lauren Embree and Alexa Guarachi.

Oct 1 Notes

Pretty light week, as the only one playing a singles draw is Sunitha Rao at the Troy (Alabama, USA) challenger.  LP, RB and Shikha are in doubles.  Shikha won the first round of doubles today at the Tier III 175K AIG Open WTA in Tokyo with
Mashona Washington (USA), getting past Marta Domachowska (RUS) and Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 64 64

Sep 29 Notes

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.

.. Previous news are at 
Notes for the week ending on Sep 29, 2008 ..

.. Please email questions/comments/criticism to me email me - R.Jayakrishnan