Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the week ending on Oct 10, 2005
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Oct 10 Notes
Will do an update later today .. Prakash and Harsh play their singles first
round at the sacramento challenger tomorrow .. Sania is at the $200K Tier-III
Thailand WTA, playing Henrietta Nagyova (SVK,216) - they play tomorrow (Tuesday)
evening .. I have added the draw/results from Delhi in the the
satellite masters page .. LP-Zimonjic are the top seeds at the Stockholm ATP and MB-Damm are the second seeds at the Moscow ATP.
As you know by now, sania had lost the SF against Golovin at Japan on saturday
and Sunil Kumar Sipaeya had won the 3rd leg satellite title over Kedriouk
at Gurgaon .. Later.
Oct 7 Notes
As I am away for a day, the next update will be late in the weekend -- hopefully sania would
have won the title by then! :)
Sania pulled off one of the best matches of her career today (she herself
said as much, afterwards) in a never-say-die 2.5 hour comeback marathon to
upset the talented top seed Vera Zvonareva (RUS,24), 57 62 64 at the $170K
Tier-III "AIG Open" WTA in Tokyo .. Sania was up a few times but kept getting
broken back too, in the match .. Twice she was up in the first set and a
mistake on an easy winner in the 12th game at 30-40 caused her to drop the
set .. She kept the pressure on to take the second set without too much drama
.. In the third set, she was up 2-0 quickly, got evened at 3-3, went ahead
immediately to 4-3 with a break and kept that advantage under some pressure
from Vera in the final three games to take the match .. She now faces another
talented youngster, Tatiana Golovin (FRA,25), in the semifinal at around
noon on Saturday .. The win gives Sania 23 more quality points to add
to the 10 she had already along with 55 round points for 88 total .. As she
has 101 WTA points falling off for the rest of the year, she has taken care
of business nicely now .. Afw more wins from here on would help push
her inside top-35 and get a possible seeding at the Australian Open early
Sania and Shahar Peer later lost their doubles SF today to the 2nd seeds,
Gisela Dulko (ARG) and Maria Kirilenko (RUS), 16 46 .. Also going down in
doubles, in the QF, were Mahesh Bhupathi and Justin Gimelstob at the $765K
ATP there, also to the second seeds - Simon Aspelin (SWE) and Todd Perry
(AUS), 05 45 ..
In the third leg of the India satellites at Gurgaon, seasoned pro Vishal
Uppal had enough guile to get past the very talented greenhorn, Karan Rastogi,
in the QF .. The match of the day was between 18 yr old Vivek "Shogun" Shokeen
and 19 year old 6th seed Divij Sharan .. Vivek aced his way to the semifinal
in a close three-setter .. Sunil ended the nice run of Arjun Goutham, who
turned 20 this week .. The now-looking-invincible Alexei Kedriouk (KAZ) stopped
Ravishankar Pathanjali, who has come through beautifully in this circuit
despite being forced to play qualifying the first two legs where he clearly
deserved some wildcard help .. You can find all the scores in the Gurgaon third leg page .. I have also added the circuit point tally
page now - it is nice to see all these youngsters, Karan, Sunil, Vivek, Divij,
Arjun and Ravishankar in the top-10 in the point tally .. Vishal Uppal keeps
the flag flying for the seasoned brigade (who have had a trerrible time -
Vijay Kannan, Vinod Sridhar, Mustafa Ghouse etc) ..
I was quite upset when I saw the entry list for next week's grade-A
Osaka Mayor's junior ITF in Japan, the biggest junior event held in Asia
.. Not a single Indian kid has entered on the boys' or girls' side .. That
is absolutely terrible .. We need to do better planning (both AITA and the
parents) to make sure that our kids are sent to these events .. Come on ..
Let us not start sitting on the laurels of those like Sania -- we should
remember what made somebody like Sania what she is -- that is, playing and
playing and playing .. She went to all kinds of junior events, starting from
trips to Pakistan and all that for years in the juniors .. If you think her
forehand just fell out from the sky for her, you are mistaken .. She has
been hitting that against all these good players who pushed her in the junior
events where she hardly had great success (in comparison to what she is doing
now) .. Did you know that Sania had played the same vera Zvonareva in the
juniors once? -- then she lost 26 46 to her, and now she won against her
.. That she faced a lot of competition and lost and won a lot made her what
she is .. This idea of just sending some players for two or three grand slams
is not enough .. The parents also need to start taking some matters into
their hands rather than wait for help and advice from Delhi and elsewhere
.. Everyone should take a look at the hard work put in by those like Imran/Naseema
Mirza, Rahul Rastogi, etc, to beg, plead, and get along with everybody to
make sure that their kids got a chance to play .. Wea re all giood at complaining
(I am too! :)), but everyone also needs to do the homework at the same time
.. Just some general comments - not directed at anybody in particular ..
I am just frustrated at how we have really lost a lot of momentum in our
junior programs from a few years back .. Somebody take charge, please!!!!
Oct 6 Notes
Pretty good day at Tokyo, as Sania won both her matches and Mahesh won
his match too .. In the second round of the $170K Tier-III WTA, Sania Mirza
(IND,37) had no problems in beating the local favorite Aiko Nakamura (JPN,70),
61 64 .. She was up 4-0 quikly in the first set and basically cruised from
there .. She came back later in the company of Shahar Peer (ISR) to upset
the third seeds Tathiana Garbin (ITA) and Nicole Pratt (AUS) easily, 62 61,
to reach the doubles semifinal as well .. In the singles QF, she runs into
a tough customer, the top seeded Vera Zvonareva (RUS,24) tomorrow .. The
doubles SF (probably on Saturday) will be against the second seeds Gisela
Dulko (ARG) and Maria Kirilenko (RUS) .. Sania has picked up 40 points including
10 bonus so far, which helps, because she is losing 28 and 29 points each
from two Lagos (Nigeria) challenger titles last year in early October ..
She also loses 7.5 and 36.5 from two challengers in late November and early
December .. As she is planning to take a break soon for a long enough training
break now, it would be good to grab some points in these last few events
she is playing this year .. Of course, more than the points, it would be
fabulous to see her pick up another top-25 win with a big upset of Zvonareva
tomorrow .. Go Sania.
Mahesh and Justin Gimelstob finished the postponed match, winning the third
set today, over Jaroslav Levinsky (CZE) and Radek Stepanek (CZE), 45(7) 51
53 .. In the QF tomorrow, they face the second seeds Simon Aspelin (SWE)
and Todd Perry (AUS) ..
At the ITF satellites third week in Gurgaon, it was a very good day
for India, especially the youngsters, as seven Indians reached the QF ..
Sunil Kumar and Karan Rastogi won, as did Vivek Shokeen, Divij Sharan,
Arjun Goutham, Ravishankar Pathanjali and Vishal Uppal .. Vishal's win over
Vinod Sridhar and Vivek's win over Vishal Punna were noteworthy .. Arjun
has been the real revelation of this circuit so far .. P.Ravishankar, who
is one of those "unfortunate" ones who had to play qualies in the first two
legs and do it the hard way, as some less deserving players got wildcards,
came through with a win over Salifu Mohammed of Ghana, the giant-killer of
the last satellites who has not had a good time on his return to India ..
All of the Indians are well-poised to make a big push in the masters leg
now .. See the Gurgaon satellite-3 page for all the results.
Oct 5 Notes
At the Tier-IV WTA in Tashkent, Shikha Uberoi was not in her best health
to try to mount a serious upset bid against the top seed Ekateryna Bychkova
(RUS,72) today, and went down 36 46 .. Shikha has been having both asthma
and a diarrhea problem from the China trip last week .. Bychkova herself
was not playing her best, but said that she "was luckier" against Shikha
who she said was a "serious opponent" (here is the tournament
at rediff.com, about the match) ..
At the Tokyo ATP and WTA events, most of the wednesday matches were rained
out .. Sania's R2 singles match against Nakmura will be on thursday .. Her
doubles QF match may be on friday, as the opponents are to be determined
on thursday .. Mahesh's doubles R1 match, postponed in the 3rd set on Tuesday,
is again postponed - to Friday ..
Prakash Amritraj has moved up from 9th out in the initial list to second
in line as of today for the $50K Sacramento (California) challenger next
week .. Harsh Mankad had made the main draw earlier and is flying from Mumbai
to the US west coast tomorrow, getting ready to play a six challenger sequence
(Calabasas, Carson, Boston, Nashville, Champaigne following it) ..
Oct 4 Notes
Sania has won her singles and doubles first round at the Tokyo Tier-III
WTA in Tokyo .. In singles, Sania, ranked 37 this week, easily beat the qualifier
Vilmarie Castellvi (PUR), 61 63 .. In doubles, SM and Shahar Peer of Israel
beat Jill Craybas and Carly Gullickson in a comeback, 36 63 61 .. Sania's
second round opponent in singles will be Aiko Nakamura (JPN, 70) .. The doubles
QF opponents are yet to be determined in a match postponed to wednesday ..
At the Tier-IV WTA in Tashkent, Shikha Uberoi's first round match against
the top seed Ekaterina Bychkova (RUS,72) is tomorrow ..
Mahesh and Justin Gimelstob (USA) are at the $765K ATP tournament at the
same place in Tokyo .. They are at 45 51 21 when the match was potponed to
tomorrow .. By the way the funny scores are from another messed up scoring
system that ATP is experimenting with, this week .. 5 games to win for a
set and a tiebreaker at 4-4 .. ATP is such a messed up, incompetent organization
that it is mind-boggling - but that is a longer discussion for another time
At the third leg of the India satellites, qualifier Vishal Punna pulled
the big upset over the 4th seeded Clement Rousseau of France to make the
second round .. Vinod Sridhar is in the R2 but Vijay Kannan went down to
Vishal Uppal and Mustafa Ghouse lost to Benjamin Dracos of France .. Mustafa
was a qualifier, and now does not have enough points to make the masters
leg and get any ATP singles points .. His singles career is in a never-ending
slump; This is somebody who had even won a satellite in India once .. Sadly
he just cannot seem to win a match these days .. The youngsters are all doing
well though .. Divij Sharan, who is the 6th seed, had a good win over Ashutoshj
Singh - and now has a good chance to be seeded in the masters leg as well
.. Talented youngsters like Vijay Sundar Prashant, who had to play qualies
while wildcards continue to be given inexplicably to players like Arindam
Dutta who have no results (ever!) that make it deserving, beat the
same player in straight sets .. Everybody who have reached the second round
is basically in the masters leg and a few others too .. 8th seed Arjun Goutham,
so far a bit of a revelation in this circuit, is in the second round against
another of our favorite youngsters, Vishnu Vardhan ..Vivek Shokeen is another
one who has done fine .. Then of course Karan Rastogi and Sunil Kumar ..
All in all, these
satellites are going quite well for the young players ..
See all the results
in the Gurgaon satellite
Oct 3 Notes
The latest rankings show Neha and Shikha Uberoi all the way up to #134 and
#155 respectively in doubles, right behind Sania at #128 .. The great show
the last two weeks have pushed the sisters' combined ranking all the way
up from near 700 to 289 now! .. In singles, Sania is at 37, Shikha at 147,
Sunitha at #163 and Neha at 172 .. On the men's side, Harsh Mankad
is at #234, Prakash Amritraj at #278 and Rohan Bopanna at #304 .. With his
title at Thailand, Leander moved two spots up to #14 in doubles, behind Mahesh
at #12 ..
.. Previous notes are at
for the weeks ending on Oct 3, 2005 ..
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 playera, let me know ..
Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan