.. Leander Paes Page .. Mahesh Bhupathi Page .. Nirupama Sanjeev Page ..
.. Indian Calendar/Results/Rankings .. Indian-Tennis Chat .. Fan Club ..

Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the weeks ending on Oct 18, 2004
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2004)

.. Add your thoughts/messages in the Forum page ..

Oct 18 Notes

Neha Uberoi  (USA,339) had another good win, at the Cary challenger Q2, over Milangela Morales (USA,392), 61 67(4) 63 - Morales had upset the 2nd seed in the qualies, earlier .. Neha meets Krysty Marcio (USA,529) in the Q3 .. Shikha Uberoi (USA,168) is drawn to play James Jackson (USA,190) in the R1 ..  Sunitha Rao (USA), who had a great run last week with a runner up finish at the $25K Mackay challenger in Australia, is playing at the $25K in Rockhampton, Queensland, AUS, this week - 230th ranked Sunitha is the 2nd seed there.

Harsh Mankad's Q3 qualifying match against Andrew Piotrowski at the Burbank challenger was basically postponed due to rain at 2-3 (on serve) in the first set .. Hopefully they will get the matches done tomorrow  ..

No news yet from the $15K futures in Nigeria, where Sunil Kumar and Mustafa are playing this week ..

At the grade-2 ITF juniors in Thailand, 6th seed Punam Reddy was upset by Nudnida Luangnam (THA), 63 61 in the R1 .. I was VERY disappointed in finding that only ONE junior player from India went for a good grade-2 event in Thailand .. The junior players' plans really need to get streamlined again .. Things have been quite inconsistent all through this year, after the juniors seemed to be doing well for the last three years or so .. We cannot let the pipeline dry up .. I wonder if the juniors are again listening to the bad advice from various coaches in India who play down the importance of the ITF junior tour and the benefits from playing at the higher grade events in the ITF juniors .. If anybody is giving that old story about the odd top player who did not play or didn't do well in the juniors, that is basically BS .. I will write more on that later ..

Speaking of that, I heard recently that AITA has now appointed a new junior development officer.  As I have not seen an official press release on this, I will wait for confirmation .. That is good .. There is much work to be continued on that front - things that Sunil Yajaman did so passionately for some years at AITA before leaving for personal reasons a few months back.

Oct 17 Notes

A somewhat surprising result today at the Moscow ATP final - the unseeded Russians, Igor Andreev and Nikolai Davydenko upset the top seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Jonas Bjorkman, 36 63 64 .. But a good run, nonetheless by Mahesh there.

MB-Mirnyi and LP-Rikl will be at the big Madrid Masters this week, and both teams could use some points to qualify into the Houston draw .. But the news wasn't great as the Madrid draw threw a monkey-wrench in that plan with these two teams facing each other in the first round .. Yikes, I absolutely hate it when these two face each other in anything other than a final ..

At the $25K+H Burbank challenger qualies Q2, Harsh Mankad had a 64 63 over Robert Yim (USA,522) today .. HM bascially sparred with the guy from the baseline, movbing up for some 10-15 put-aways, as Yim hardly moved away from the baseline .. HM broke him in the first game of each set .. Kept the break through the first set, and hardly faced any trouble .. Had a second break to go to 5-2 in the second, but Harsh got broken while serving for the match - just a bit of a lapse in concentration, basically .. He came right back and broke Yim again to finish the match at 64 63 .. Up next is a talented 19 year from Canada, Andrew Piotrowski, who seemed to be in great form today in his upset of the seconmd seed in the qualies, former top-75 player Brian Vahaly, now ranked 218 .. Harsh plays the Q3 tomorrow morning.

Prakash Amritraj, who missed the singles qualies due to illness, felt good enough to enter the doubles draw today at the Burbank challenger .. He plays with Eric Taino (USA) and they got a good draw with an R1 match against a qualifier team to be determined - he won't have to play the R1 till tuesday or wednesday .. Harsh Mankad continues with last week's partner, Ladislav Svarc (SVK), but they got a tougher match in the R1 - against the top seeded Brazilians,  Andre Sa and Bruno Soares.

Also advancing in a challenger qualies was Neha Uberoi (USA) who won the Q1 at the $50K event in Cary (North Carolina, USA) over a talented Viktoriya Kutuzova (UKR,445), 76(4) 62 .. Kutuzova is only 16 years old but was ranked as high as #7 in the world last year as a 14 year old, reaching the junior Australian Open final .. She was also ranked as high as #235 in WTA this year and has wins this year over top-100 players like Marissa Irwin and Lina Krasnoroutskaya when she got wildcards into WTA events .. So, this was really an excellent win for Neha today .. She runs into Milangela Morales (USA,420) next in the Q2 ..

Oct 16 Note-2

Another final for Bhupathi and Bjorkman (who had won the first event they played together, earlier this year at Bastad, Sweden) .. Today at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, MB and Jonas Bjorkman reached the final with a nice 62 76(8) over the third seeds Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett of ZIM .. The second set became quite tight with both teams holding serve all through .. MB-JB had one break point at 4-4 to go ahead but the Zimbabweans held tough .. In the tiebreaker, our guys did the job in the end .. The final will be against Igor Andreev and Nikolai Davydenko of Russia .. By the way, if you are wondering who is playing the AD court, it is Mahesh .. Bjorkman normall plays the AD court when he is with his usual partner Woodbridge .. He normally plays with deuce court players - like Leander (Jonas and Lee had reached the final at Dubai) .. Of course Mahesh is probably the very best AD court player out there - and probably one of the few who could ask Bjorkman, then ranked #1, to move over to the other side! .. When MB and JB played at Bastad, they first tried with JB sticking to the AD court for one match which they won in a struggle .. From then on they switched and Hesh has been playing AD court as usual .. Bjorkman is a great doubles player and he is probably good enough to win some matches even standing in the doubles alley all day! :-)

Great news from Nigeria - Sania Mirza won her second consecutive challenger title today with a very tough final, upsetting the top seed Chanelle Scheepers (RSA, 240), 46 76(3) 75 .. Chani is a really good player, who was ranked as high as #161 last year .. This match saw some really good fight from Sania, who even saved a couple of match points in the second set .. She was at 3-4 in the third set as well, before winning 4 of the last 5 games to finish off the match and win her second title in two weeks .. The title gives her 29 points .. She will move up inside top-230 this coming monday (with last week's challenger points) and will move inside top-200 by the next monday! .. Wow, what a furious stretch by Sania, with two challenger titles and a challenger final in the last 6 weeks! ..  She will be the first Indian to make the singles top-200 since Niru in 1996.

At the $25K+H Burbank challenger qualies forst round, Harsh Mankad completely took apart the world junior #4 who had given him some trouble last week in a three-setter .. HM beat Scott Oudsema, 60 63 today in a quick match .. He plays the Q2 against Robert Yim (USA,522), a talented 19 year old.

Oct 16 Note-1

Bhupathi-Bjorkman play the doubles semis at the Kremlin Cup ATP, late in the evening at about 8 pm against Black-Ullyett.

At the Burbank challenger qualies, Harsh mankad is seeded 5th and plays Scott Oudsema (USA) - the same guy, the world junior #4, whom HM neat in three sets last week in the Q3 at the Tiburon challenger .. HM is drawn in the draw with 2nd seed Brian Vahaly (USA,218) ..

Oct 15 Notes

Mahesh and Bjorkman advanced to the semifinal at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow with a 75 64 win over Yves Allegro (SUI) and Michael Kohlmann (GER) .. They next run into the third seeds Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe tomorrow .. The latter pair has just qualified into the Houston Masters Cup as the 4th team ..

Leander and Rikl went down today, though after a tight match, against Martin Damm and Cyril Suk of CZE, 57 64 36 .. Shoot.

Great news keeps on coming from Lagos whioch will have to be renamed "Saniaapuri" at this rate .. Sania Mirza reached her third consecutive challenger final (following from her final in delhi and titile at Lagos last week) .. She beat Vasilissa Bardina (RUS,828), 64 60 today in the semifinal .. She is also in the doubles final again, as SM and Shelley Stephen beat Fernanda Caputi (BRA)/ Mayumi Yamamota (JPN), 64 76(7) today .. IN the final, the top seeds face the second seeded pair, Surina deBeer (RSA) and Chani Scheepers (RSA) .. This is a fantastic run .. Gives Sania now 19 more points this week, which added with the points last week should be taking her closer to #205 by Monday the 25th .. A win tomorrow will be enough for her to crack into the 200 by then.

I should mention the nice results from Sunitha Rao (USA) who is in Australia for the $25K challenger in Mackay .. She has reached the semifinal there .. [R1] (2) Sunitha Rao (USA,230) d. (WC) Bianca Acquistapace (AUS,775), 60 61 .. [R2] d. Mireille Ditmann (AUS,379) 63 62 .. [QF] d. (Q) Daniella Dominikovic (AUS,646), 67(5) 62 75 .. Sunitha is also getting closer to #200 now .. It would be wonderful to see Shikha, Sania, Sunitha, all inside top-200 soon.

Harsh Mankad will be playing the qualies at the $25K+H challenger in Burbank, California, USA, this weekend .. I have not seen the draw yet .. Prakash Amritraj was also planning to play there this weekend in the qualies, but I heard today that he is running a temperature and won't be able to play (if he gets better in a couple of days he will at least try doubles) .. Damn, Prakash could have really used some points from his hometown event.  Oh well.

The DSCL Open National Hardcourts under-14 titles went to Vinay Kamineni (AP) who won a tough threesetter over N. Shriram Balaji (TN) and Poojashree Venkatesh (KAR) who won an easy final against GS Janaki Rao (AP)  .. Vinay has not made a whole lot of big noises so far, though he is the top ranked u14 player in the AITA rank list, ahead of Shriram who is ranked second .. He is from Vishakhapatnam, and is coached by Vishwanath Gopi, according to The Hindu yesterday .. V.Poojashree is coached at AITA's National Tennis Academy at Gurgaon ..
See the DSCL Under-14 page for scores ..

Oct 14 Notes

Nigeria has been in the grip of some serious strikes due to rise of oil prices .. For a couple of days the country basically ground to a halt - no cars moving on the highways and students protesting with police on the streets etc ..  The players are all fine at the tournament, though they probably wish they could strike and disrupt the tournament to prevent the authoritarian rule of a Hyderbadi girl there .. Sania Mirza keeps on going - today she reached yet another $25K challenger semifinal, with a 63 64 win over the 7th seed Simona Matei (ROM,386) .. She had beaten Jennifer Schmidt (AUT,436) 62 61 yesterday in the second round .. In doubles, Sania and Shelley Stephens (NZL) continued their streak, reaching the semis with a walkover from Maria Abramovic (CRO) and Mathilde Johansson (SWE) .. They play Fernanda Caputi (BRA)/ Mayumi Yamamota (JPN) next.

Things were not as good on the men's side at the $15K in Lagos .. 7th seed Sunil Kumar had a poor day, losing to Joseph Nesticky (CZE,855), 46 26 .. IUn doubles also SKS went down as he and Raven Klaasen (RSA), seeded 4th, were upset in the QF by Roger Anderson (RSA)/ Luka Gregorc (SLO), 46 36  .. Top seeds Mustafa Ghouse and Sebastien Fitz recahed the SF beating the Nigerians, Candy Idoko and Lawal Shehu, 62 36 63 .. Up next for them are the 3rd seeds Juan-Ignacio Cerda (CHI) and Jasper Smit (NED) ..

At the grade-A Osaka Mayor's Cup ITF juniors, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan could not pull an upset over the 6th seed Weerapat Doakmaiklee of Thailand, losing 36 36 .. Jeevan did pick up 50 nbig points for the PQF of a grad-slam gade event which will help his ranking .. He has a couple more years in the juniors to try to win more at these bigger events ..

At the DSCL u14 hardcourt nationals in Delhi, there were no big surprises today .. Shriram Balaji and Vinay Kamineni won the semis on the boys side .. Poojashree Venkatesh and Janaki Rao reached the final on the girls' side .. Poojashree is in line for a double crown, as she won the doubles title with Sweta Kumari Solanki .. On the boys side, the doubles title went to Abhijit Tiwari and Vikram Reddy .. See the DSCL Under-14 page for scores .. I like the under-14 players getting the spotlight on them this week at the DSCL .. The u18 players' events get a bit messed up due to the seniors' event being there ast the same time, as in last week's DSCL and some of the players playing both draws, etc.  No confusion on the u14 level .. Pretty much all the top talents were there for this week's event and I think the four players who are in the finals are among the cream of the crop at that age .. That is nice to see! ..

The entry list for the $10K women's ITF event (Oct 25th) which came out this week looks pretty good with all top Indians except Sania and Meghaa participating - actually it is one of the tougher $10K fields I have ever seen .. The $25K challnger that follows in Mumbai has an OK player field for a challenger, but Sania adds a lot of color to the field .. Check out the entry lists I have posted at the Pune $10K thread and the Mumbai $25K thread in our forum.

Oct 13 Note-2

At the $15K+H Nigeria F6A futures in Lagos, 7th seeded Sunil Kumar Sipaeya beat Candy Idoko (NGR, 1259), 75 63 to advance to the second round against Joseph Nesticky (CZE,855) .. Mustafa Ghouse lost to Jakub Hasek (CZE,618) 36 26 in the R1 .. Top seeded pair, Mustafa and Sebastien Fitz (GER) beat the Swiss pair, Fabien Roetschi and Benjamin Rufer, 64 75 .. Sunil Kumar and Raven Klaasen (RSA), seeded 4th, beat Komlavi Loglo of Togo and Valentin Sanon of Cote d'Ivore, 46 76(9) 63 to reach the doubles QF.

One of our top u16 players, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, has been doing fine in the big grade-A Osaka Mayor's cup so far .. He reached the third round in the field of 64 today, with a 64 64 win over Kenta Inaba (JPN) .. Up next is the 6th seed Weerapat Doakmaiklee (THA,93) .. Though the event gives as much points as a grand slam (except for the champion's bonus), the field is relatively poor - but all the top Asian players are there .. Jeevan turns 16 only next week, but has now picked up enough points to move his rank to around 125 in the world .. He is a very talented player and let us hope he could keep going - a QF would be great .. Jeevan is a very talented player with all the tools to do very well, and we have a lot of hopes on the boy!

The quarterfinals got done at the DSCL u14 National hardcourts today, with quite a few upsets .. The top two seeds in the girls' draw went down .. GS Janaki Rao upsetting Supriya Mallaya and V.Poojashree beating the second seed Sweta Solanki .. On the boys' side the top seed Vijay Kamineni and the second seed Shriram Balaji are in the semi .. Good to see Shriram (who had represented INdia in the Nike u12 world competition along with Poojashree a couple of years back) looking strong so far. So has Poojashree. .. If I am not mistaken, Shriram had not done all that great since the nice Nike show two years back, but he has picked up steam lately it seems .. Delhi's young Yuki Bhambri went down in the boys' u14 to the giant-killer Karun Uday Singh who has taken out the 3rd seed and 5th seed in back-to-back matches .. See the DSCL Under-14 page for scores.

Oct 13 Note-1

LP-Rikl and MB-Bjorkman have rest day today, and they await the R2 opponents at Vienna and Moscow ..

Yet another impressive match against a top-200 player yesterday by Harsh Mankad .. He lost but he went down with guns blazing in a 64 57 67(4) loss to the 5th seed Hugo Armando (USA,160) in a three hour match at the $50K Tiburon challenger .. That is the eight straight match against top-200 competition that HM has played, where none of those guys have been able to beat him without a struggle .. That shows without any doubt that Harsh can play top-200 tennis .. He would have liked to gain a few more ATP points from these matches though; he has 3 wins in those matches and lost at least three matches basically by one or two points of difference .. Against Armando, HM was up a set and a break before Armando got back into the match with some solid tennis .. Harsh also matched him from there on till the end where a passing shot from Armando in the tiebreaker made the difference .. HM said his serve is again working well .. He has increased his serve speed quite a bit and now uses it as a strong part of his game .. Till a year or so back, Harsh used to get broken way too often even though he was breaking the opponent with his return game .. Now that is not at all the case, and his service is a strong point rather than a liability - and that is really what has changed his level of tennis .. Good to see him get back to form after struggling with a bit of rust in three futures events .. HM now goes to the Burbank challenger qualies this weekend in Southern California .. He is going to fight it out in the challenger series in the US, rather than play easier futures events abroad for the time beinmg .. He seems pretty confident about qualifying into the most of the remaing four challengers in the US (Burbank, week off, Homestead, FL, Nashville, TN, and Champaign, IL) ..

Sania has advanced to the second round of singles and QF doubles at the $25K Lagos-II challenger, continuing her win streak from last week .. She won 61 61 over Amadin Osara (NGR) .. She and Shelley Stephen (NZL) won the doubles R1, 62 63 over Franziska Etzel (GER) and Jennifer Schmidt (AUT) ..

The DSCL hardcourts Nationals under-14 draws are in progress at Delhi this week .. Both the boys'  and girls' draws have reached the QF stage .. No big surprises so far, but some of the seeds have fallen .. Take a look at the DSCL Under-14 page to see who are the top performers at the very young age bracket .. The only complaint I have is that I suspect that there are at least one or two players there who are over-age (based on some names that I have seen for a while; and their photographs show rather clearly that they can't be 14 or younger) .. It really is a pity that some parents continue to pull this stunt .. Ultimately, after 3 or 4 years everybody figures out who is a true performer and who was showing results only because of an age advantage ..  Nobody really gains in the end ..

Oct 12 Note-2

Some great news today!! .. Sania Mirza has just got a Asian wildcard to the main draw of the next Australian Open in January!! .. This was earned from her runner-up finish at the Asian Championship in Tashkent last month .. As it turned out, the winner there, Na Li, ended up with a top-100 rank high enough to make the AO draw directly - and so with some serious luck which always rewards those who are determined, Sania gets a big break into a grand slam .. It is the first time since 1998 that we will have an Indian in a grand slam (apologies to Shikha who is technically still listed under USA) .. In 1998 Niru got the Asian wildcard for being the highest ranked Asian from a country not already represented in the main draw .. Niru fully made use of the chance with a big upset of Pizziccini there - let us hope for Sania to go one step further and win a round or two more! .. Go San!!!!

Both Mahesh and Leander won their R1 matches today .. LP and Rikl beat Dent/Ginepri, 64 63 .. They face either Damm-Suk or Palmer-Vizner in the second round .. MB and Bjorkman beat Aspelin/Thomas 64 46 64 - so they had a tougher outing, but pulled through  .. They next face either Allegro-Kohlmann or T.Johansson/Soderling .. This is a good time for LP and Rikl to grab some crucial ATP points .. They have 337 race points from 10 events together this year and are ranked 10th in team rankings currently .. Only three more weeks remain on the ATP tour (two of them masters events at Madrid and Paris) before the Houston Doubles Masters Cup .. Another 100 or so more race points (500 entry points) would cement their position in the top-8, to make the masters cup entry .. Mahesh and Max play together next week at Madrid .. They are ranked 6th with 407 race points and are quite close to be assured of a top-8 finish and an entry to the Houston field .. See the latest points list at our LP and MB points page.

Oct 12 Note-1

OK, this week's news -- Leander Paes and David Rikl are the second seeds at the $683K Vienna ATP, and play Taylor Dent (USA)/ Robbie Ginepri (USA) in the first round, at about 4 pm today .. Mahesh is playing with Jonas Bjorkman (SWE) at the $1M Moscow ATP, where they are the top seeds .. They play Simon Aspelin (SWE)/ Jim Thomas (USA) in the R1, at about 5 pm today.

Good job at the $50K challenger at Tiburon, California, USA, by Harsh Mankad, ranked #295 this week .. He qualified into the main draw yesterday, after a Q1 bye, an easy 62 63  Q2 win over Fritz Wolmarans (RSA,859) and a tough 36 63 64 win over the 4th ranked junior player and the top US prospect Scott Oudsema in the Q3 .. Harsh has been struggling a bit over the last three weeks, trying to mix in some serious workout regime at Dr. Sunil Hegde's Huntington Elite Athlete Training program in Pasadena, along with trying to play the futures circuit .. He seems to have adjusted to the changes, and is playing well again .. Hopefully he will do well back in the challenger circuit over the next few weeks .. He has a tough match today in the R1 against the 5th seed Hugo Armando (USA,160), who was ranked as high as #100 a coupleof years back and player and has  moved up from #300 back to #160 in the last three months - so he is playing well too ..

Prakash Amritraj is not playing this week - I will try to find out if he is doing fine .. He lost his points from last year's semi at the Dharwad challenger, and has dropped to #330 in rank .. Hope he will get back soon to the tour and pick up some serious points.

No news yet on the draws for Sania at the $25K and Sunil Kumar and Mustafa at the $15K+H - all in Nigeria ..

A couple of our juniors are at the prestigious ITF grade-A Osaka Mayor's cup, the highest grade event held in Asia .. 11th seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan beat Shinta Fujii (JON) 62 60 in the first round but 13th seed Punam reddy lost 26 57 to wildcard Emmy Fritz-Krockow (USA) .. I had hoped to see Vive Shokeen, Sanaa, Tara, Sanam, Rupesh  etc also there, but most of them were quite tired after the DSCL Nationals and could not have gone to Japan .. 16 year old Tara Iyer was at the qualies for the $25K challenger in Ashburn, Virginia (USA), where she played avery good Q1 match in a 36 62 36 loss against #442 ranked 8th seed Liga Dekmeijere (LAT) ..

The u14 tournament at the DSCL Nationals is on this week at Delhi .. I will compile the results soon.

Oct 11 Notes

Lots of updates to do .. First last week's news --  The big story is of course Sania Mirza, still not 18 just yet winning a challenger double crown at the $25K in Lagos, Nigeria .. This is the  first time since a 19 year old Nirupama Vaidyanathan did that in a German challenger in 96, that we are having such a great show from an Indian girl .. Here are all the scores of her big run - singles: [R1] (2) Sania Mirza (IND,254) d. Ludmila Nikoian (ARM,688) 61 62 .. [R2] d. Vasilissa Bardina (RUS,832) 64 60 .. [QF] d. (6) Shelly Stevens (NZL,328) 62 62 .. [SF] d. (4) Magda Mihalache (ROM,284) 76(2) 62 .. [F] d. (3) Tiffany Dabek (USA,303) 63 57 63 .. Doubles: [R1] (1) S.Mirza/ S.Stephens d. Daputi Fernanda Caputi (BRA)/ Katarzyna Siwosz 62 63 .. [QF] d. Maria Abramovic (CRO)/ Nathilde Johansson (FRA) 62 76(4) .. [SF] d. Simona Matei (ROM)/ Gabriela velasco-Andrieu (ESP) 64 64 .. [F] d. Chennelle Scheepers (RSA)/ Surina Debeer (RSA) 61 64 .. She only dropped one 5-7 set in those 9 matches .. Man, she was on fire last week! ..  The singles title gives her 28 WTA points which will take her point total to 132.5 next week and raise her rank to just outside #225 .. That is incredible .. She is not done, as she goes for anmother run this week in a second challenger right there in Nigeria.

The other big story last week was the tremendous run of Sanaa Bhambri who turned 16 only a few weeks back, winning all three events she entered at the DSCL Nationa Hardcourts .. Sana was in full flow, and won the women's title, the girls u18 title and the women's doubles title (in the company of Isha Lakhani) .. The men's title went to Pakistan's Aqeel Khan, his only real test coming against Karan Rastogi in a three-setter in the semis (Karan really let one slip through after being up a break in the third set -- but it is great to see him playing very good tennis after a few months of not making much news; he turned 18 only this week and we hope a lot out of the young fellow soon) .. Vinod Sridhar had a nice quiet run to the final where a groin injury prevented him from doing much against Aqeel .. On the women's side, one relatively surprising thing was a re-emergence of talented Sonal Phadke who has been MIA for a while and reached the final there - her best win being against Isha Lakhani in the semi, Isha herself coming back after nearly 9 months of time away from the tour with an injury .. On the girls' side there was nothing much to look for - as it was a foregone conclusion that nobody there could match Sanaa - though GK Shweta did take a set off her in the semi .. Parul Goswami who reached the u18 final upsetting the 8th, 4th and 6th seeds before losing to Sanaa, was a bit of a surprise too .. Preethi Subramaniam also played well in getting to the semi .. On the boys' side, the latest big news in the juniors, Vivek Shokeen, fully lived up to his rising reputation and took the title .. Top seed Rupesh Roy did show his class in reaching the final without dropping a set and played hard in a three-set loss to Vivek .. Unseeded Rahil makharia's run to the semi was another notable thing in the u18 boys .. The men's doubles title went to Ajay Ramaswami and Vinod Sridhar .. The junior doubles titles went to Rupesh Roy/ Anshuman Dutta, and to GK Shwetha/ Preethi Subramaniam .. See trhe scores in the DSCL Open page.

Mazhesh Bhupathi amd Max Mirnyi lost in the semis at the $790K Lyon ATP .. [R1] (1) M.Bhupathi/ M.Mirnyi d. X.Malisse/ V.Spadea, 63 64 .. [QF] d. D.Hrbaty/ J.Johansson, 46 64 63 .. [SF] l. J.Erlich/ A.Ram, 76(3) 36 46 .. A bit of a surprise that they let the SF match slip away .. Mahesh is at the Moscoq ATP with Bjorkman next ..

Meghaa vakharia (IND,468) lost the first round last week to the 7th seed Lina Stanciute (LTU, 332) in a tough match, 75 46 62, at the $25K in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA .. The Uberoi sisters were off from the tour last week ..

Sunil Kumar had a couple of wins at the $15K+H at Lagos, Nigeria, falling in the QFs .. [R1] (5) Sunil-Kumar Sipaeya d. Alexandre Koudriavtsev (RUS) 61 61 .. [R2] d. Lior Barbash (ISR) 63 61 .. [QF] l. (2) Sebastian FITZ (GER), 06 26 .. Mustafa fell in the first round to the 7th seed .. [R1] (7) Filip Urban (POL) d. M.Ghouse 63 64 .. In doubles,  Mustafa and Aisam Qureshi (PAK) were top seeds but got upset Abdul-Mumin Babaloa and Sunday Maku of Nigeria, 63 26 75 .. Sunil Kumar and Raven Klaasen, seeded 3rd, reached the QF defeating . Tobias Raab and Henrych Seeger of Germany 62 62 before losing 67(5) 26 to the Swiss pair, Fabien Roetschi and Benjamin Rufer .. Sunil Kaumar came out with 4 points in singles for the QF, which is not bad .. Hope he does better in the two futures still to go in Nigeria.

Somdev Dev Varman had a pretty good run at the College All-American Championships, the first leg of the "collegiate grand-slam" of 4 big tournaments over the year .. Somdev upset a couple of ranked guys to reach the main draw through qualies, before losing a tight 3-setter to the #28th ranked player, but then pulled off 4 more wins to reach the consolation final, again with a couple of top-50 wins etc .. Buji looks more ready for college tennis than any other freshman that I can remember - and he has been there only for 3 weeks!

There was a grade-5 ITF ju8nior international in Pakistan, where Indian kids swept the titles .. Inayat Khosla won the girls title, and Jitin Bishnoi won the boys' title .. Not too great in competition, but always good to see Indian kids win these titles and grow in confidence .. Hey, it was in Pakistan that Sania Mirza won her very first ITF junior title! ..

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on Oct 11 ..

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