Notes for the week ending on Oct 8, 2001
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Oct 8 Note-1
Only 4 days for the Davis Cup!!
As the India F4 futures is next week and the Davis Cup is next this week, i don't think any of our men are playing any pro events this week.. Will find out if any Indian women are playing anywhere.
Sania Mirza and Jaco Matthew are in the draw at the big Grade-A ITF Osaka Mayor's Cup in Japan .. Sania is the 7th seed and faces Seul-Ki Chin of South Korea in the first round .. Jaco is unseeded and plays Shusei Kanabara of Japan .. Both draws are of size 64 .. I have not seen the doubles draws yet .. A lot of top players are there, as can be seen with #37 Sania being seeded only 7th.
Oct 7 Note-2
The finals have always been tough for Mahesh, without his trusted partner Leander with him .. Today was no different - at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, [F] M.Bhupathi/ J.Tarango l. #4 M.Mirnyi/ S.Stolle, 36 06 .. I think this was the 5th final in others' company for Mahesh and only one time (at St.Poelten last year when MB went on a tear and took over the match to win the title) has it been a win .. Today's match was almost a no-contest, it seemed, and took only 46 minute .. MB-JT fell behind early and could not mount a comeback in the first set .. In the second set, it was all MM-SS, as they put serious pressure on the service with some terrific returns .. Though MB and JT had close to 60% in first serve percentage, a lot of those first serves did not result in points .. In fact, other than once at 40-30 in the 5th game on MB's serve, MB-JT did not even have any game points in the second set .. By the way, there was a customary scene from Tarango after the first game of the second set, on a disputed line-call I believe .. He had some words with the chair umpire and sat down throwing a ball in disgust after they lost that game on their serve after MB had served well twice to save two of the three break points from 0-40 .. As for the stats, MM-SS had 5 aces while our guys had only one .. They converted 4 of 7 break chances, and MB-JT did not have any .. Despite the loss in the final. this was still great work this week by Hesh, in the company of a brand-new partner .. And this was an event with an unusually strong doubles field, and they upset the 3rd and 2nd seeds along the way to the final too .. Mahesh now flies to North Carolina to join the Davis Cup team .. He will get three days of practice there, but he seems to be in good playing shape.
The final gave him 175 points, which is nice because 250 points from the title at Tokyo last year with LP will now be falling off.
Oct 7 Note-1
The doubles final at the $1M Kremlin Cup in Moscow for Bhupathi-Tarango is set for about 7 pm there, as the last match of the day (8.30 pm India .. 11 am New York, +/- 30 min).. 4th seeds Mirnyi-Stolle is another tough team and had beaten the top seeds and the US Davis Cup pair, Johnson-Palmer in easy straight sets in the semis on Friday .. The match will be covered live on http://www.kremlincup.ru/index-eng.shtml with java scoreboard and live vedo (for those with fast enough internet connections) .. The tournament has kept up a very good website, actually.
Oct 6 Notes
Mahesh must be in good form - pretty impressive run so far with Jeff Tarango at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow .. They are unseeded but are in the final after successive upsets of the 3rd and 2nd seeds .. Today, [SF] M.Bhupathi/ J.Tarango d. #2 J.Novak/ D.Rikl, 63 64 .. In the final tomorrow, they face the 4th seeds Max Mirnyi and Sandon Stolle .. In today's match our boys converted 4 of the 5 break points while giving away two breaks to JN-DR on three attempts .. 4 aces to 3 by the others .. Pretty close match in statistics, actually .. MB-JT serving a good 69% of the first serves in.
Oct 5 Notes
Only one week to go for Davis Cup .. Are you all ready? .. Leander is already in the US but will be joining the team in North Carolina over the weekend .. I believe bothe Fazal and Mankad will be reaching Wnston-Salem tomorrow .. Fazal actually told me about being checked over very carefully while leaving from the Tulsa airport (he was at the challenger there this week) .. His Muslim name and a passport showing travel all over, including to places like Dubai (he had a wildcard to the Dubai ATP qualies for winning the Dubai invitational last year) would have caught the eye of the airport security .. But I don't think they were stupid enough to be nasty to a visiting Davis Cup player, who is after all a national guest! .. They did keep him for 10 minutes of scrutiny, but Fazal didn't make an issue of it .. Mustafa will also be getting to North Carolina this week with LP, I believe .. Not sure when Mahesh will get in from Moscow .. If he is in the final on Sunday, it may be as late as Monday or even Tuesday, I think.
Mahesh and Jeff Tarango will play the semifinal against the second seeds Novak-Rikl tomorrow at 1 pm Moscow time at the $1M Kremlin Cup ATP .. That is 2.30 am India, 5 am New York .. Check out the online live video from court 2 and scoreboard at http://www.kremlincup.ru/index-eng.shtml ..
I just got the entry list for the Mumbai $10K futures next week and so far there are only 17 or 18 players entered! .. The top seed was ranked somewhere in the 700s .. Nobody wants to do international travel now, I guess, unfortunately .. Nitin, Srinath, etc are entered ..
Oct 4 Note-2
Mahesh and Jeff Tarango seem to be playing well out there in Moscow .. Today they upset the 3rd seed Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett, 76(5) 63 in the QF .. This was a close match .. The first set went with serve with MB-JT not facing any break points but letting go of the only break chance they got, off Ullyett's serve in the 9th game .. In the tiebreaker, they were behind 1-4, but won 5 in a row including two off Ullyett, to go up to 6-4 .. They lost a point at the set point off MB's serve, but got the next point off Black to win the set .. In the second set, they converted the first break chance, off Ullyett, in the 6th game to go up to 4-2, but had to save three break attempts in the next game on Tarango's serve to go up 5-2 .. Then Mahesh served off the 9th game to win it .. MB-JT had four aces (at least three on MB' serve) to one for WB-KU .. The match took an hour and 23 minutes.
Oct 4 Note-1
Bhupathi-Tarango play the quarterfinal today at about 6.30 pm Moscow time at the $1M Kremlin Cup ATP .. That is 10.30 am New York, 8 pm India .. Check the official scoreboard page, http://www.kremlincup.ru/on-court/currenteng.shtml - they have an excellent ball-by-ball java live scoreboard for all the courts .. The 3rd seeds Black-Ullyett of RSA are a tough team to face.
Oct 3 Notes
Mahesh and Tarango had a good start today with a win over Eagle-Florent, 36 62 75 at the $1M Kremln Cup ATP in Moscow just now .. The match took an hour and 41 minutes .. The 13 double faults from Eagle-Florent helped MB-JT who had only 2 doubles faults to go with two aces .. They play the 3rd seeds Wayne Black and Kein Ullyett in the quarterfinals, probably tomorrow.
Manisha and Courtney Chapman went down after a good fight, 61 46 57 to the 3rd seeds Nathalie Grandin and Kim Grant of South Africa yesterday at the $50K Fresno challenger doubles first round.
Oct 2 Notes
Manisha went down 46 61 67(1) to Annica Cooper (USA) in the second round of qualies at the $50K Fresno challenger .. Main draw doubles remains for Manisha - she is partnering Courtnay Chapman and is scheduled to play this evening against the 3rd seeds Kim Grant and Nathalie Grandin.
At the $50K Tulsa challenger in Oklahoma, Fazaluddin, playing with a new partner Andrew Painter (AUS) went down yesterday in the first round of doubles against the second seeds Fish and Morrison, 67(3) 26 .. I think Fazal will be proceeding to Davis Cup practice soon.
Nirupama doesn't seem to be playing anywhere this week either, as far as I know .. I need to get in tuch with her and find out what's up - she has not played for a very long time now.
Oct 1 Notes
Mahesh is playing with Jeff Tarango (USA) this week, at the $1M Kremlin Cup ATP in Moscow .. They play Eagle-Florent in the first round .. Unusually strong doubles field at Moscow actually, with Johnson-Palmer, Novak-Rikl, Mirnyi-Stolle and Black-Ullyett seeded 1 through 4th .. Teams like Bryan-Bryan, Pala-Vizner, Eagle-Florent, Freeira-Kafelnikov, Damm-Prinosil, Hill-Knowles, Nestor-Zimojic, Adams-Garcia, etc, are also there - as strong a field as a Masters series event .. I think Mahesh will be playing on wednesday - actually I think Tarango and Hesh would be a pretty tough team.
Fazal and Manisha were in action over the weekend in challenger qualies .. Manisha had won one round on Saturday, over Kati Kocsis (USA), 64 62, and was to face Annica Cooper yesterday .. Manisha is still being borthered a bit by her shoulder, though she had taken a few weeks off - hopefully she will get better soon .. Fazal won one round at the $50K chellanger in Tulsa (Oklahoma) beating Josh Cohen (USA), 64 63, before falling to the 6th seed in the qualies, Jeff Coetzee (RSA,395), 67(5) 57 .. In the doubles main draw, Fazal is playing with Andrew Painter of Australia, and they are drawn against the second seeds, Mardy Fish and Jeff Morrison (USA) ..
.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on Oct 01 ..
I am getting some enquiries 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 enquiring 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 enquiries from the coaches too .. Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan.