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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for week ending on Oct 26, 1998

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Please read the newly-added page, a collection of notes, especially on the important topic of Indian players needing support .. We need responses and help from everybody ..

Oct 25 Note-1

The doubles draw at the $2.4M Stuttgart Super-9 has come out, and it's not a pretty picture .. Here it is:

1-J.Eltingh/P.Haarhuis            Bye                      \
  J.Eagle/ A.Florent        vs    N.Broad/ R.Koenig        / \
  O.Delaitre/ F.Santoro     vs    P.Norval/ K.Ullyett      \ / \
8-M.Damm/J.Grabb                  Bye                      /    \_
3-M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes              Bye                      \    / |
  R.Reneberg/ J.Stark       vs    M-K.Goellner/ D.Prinosil / \ /  |
  Y.Kafelnikov/ D.Vacek     vs    Qualifier/ Qualifier     \ /    |
5-E.Ferreira/ R.Leach       vs    Bye                      /      |_
6-S.Stolle/S.Suk                  Bye                      \      |
  S.Lareau/ A.O'Brien       vs WC-A.Agassi/ B.Becker       / \    |
  D.Adams/ J.DeJager        vs    T.Haas/ N.Kiefer         \ / \  |
4-M.Knowles/D.Nestor              Bye                      /    \_|
7-Johnson/Montana                 Bye                      \    /
  L.Lobo/ J.Sanchez         vs WC-S.Hirzon/ G.Ivanisevic   / \ /
  J.Bjorkman/ P.Nyborg      vs    N.Kulti/ D.McPherson     \ /
2-T.Woodbridge/ M.Woodforde       Bye                      /

It's a "challenging draw" to say the least - actually it's a very tough draw .. LP-MB have the first round bye, but the two teams playing each other in the first round could both be troublesome in R2 for our guys .. Then comes, either Kaf/Vac or Ferr/Leach .. The last time LP-MB played those two teams (Kaf/Vac at the USO 96 semi and Ferr/Leach in the Toronto 98 semi) they lost in straight sets .. Kaf/vac were having a terrible year, ever since the USO title last year, but suddenly seem to be playing well again and won a title last week, their first this year .. Ferreira/Leach have not looked as good lately, though .. The potential semifinal opponent is then Eltingh/Haarhuis (I really can't see anybody upsetting them in the top quarter) .. But, then again, that's what you get in these Super 9s .. Much tougher to pick up points here than in Grand slams .. There is no margin of error for LP-MB and they need to be 100% .. MB must have almost recovered from the viral fever last week .. They surely can beat all these teams if they are fit and focused - if they win it, or even reach the semis here, they would have fully earned every point they get ! .. Go LP-MB !! .. By the way, Agassi and becker are playing together in doubles, as a wildcard team .. They do whatever stunts they can at these tournaments to makes some extra gate collection money ! .. Like, either of them are serious about playing doubles now ! .. :-)

Oct 24 Notes

[Sorry, I uploaded the file to the wrong place, and didn't notice till later that this update did not appear at the website]

We had to expect that Prahlad was not going to be fresh today, after six sets of tennis yesterday and still not fully recovered from the viral fever he has had for 3 days .. And Frederico Rowai played very good tennis - The result was PS losing the final of the second leg satellites in straight sets .. The Deccan Chronicle said PS looked "fagged out" :-) .. Prahlad had a chance to even things up with a couple of break points late in the second set, but he was too drained out by then. PS gets 15 more circuit points, to go up to 36 total points to lead the pack .. The Kirtane cousins who are definitely the second best doubles team in India, had no problems with the youngsters Harsh Mankad and Vijay Kannan in the doubles final - still I am glad that Vijay and Harsh at least reached a doubles final .. See the men's satellite leg-2 page.

Sai Jayalakshmi and Montika Anuchan played a final which saw tons of breaks back and forth in the first two sets, but Sai closed the issue with an easy 6-1 third set .. She now has a title (16 points) and a runner-up position (last week) for 28 circuit points .. Rushmi Chakravarti who beat her in last week's final and lost to her in the semis this week, has 8 points here for 24 total points .. Of course, the points don't mean anything, other than for qualifying for the masters' week for this special-case developmental ITF satellites - now they are playing basically for the prize money, as all these top players have basically enough points to be in the final week 16-player draw .. The WTA points are only for the 4th week .. Rushmi and Sai won the doubles title for the second week in a row, this time beating the Venkatraman sisters. See the women's satellite leg-2 page.

Oct 23 Note-2

At the men's satellites (Hyderabad), Prahlad has been continuing his winning ways .. Today he still had the fever, but did not show much of it in beating the 4th seed Johan Hede (SWE) in three sets at Hyderabad. He faces another Swede, second seed Fred Rovai in the final .. Rovai beat 3rd seed Patrick Erhardt (GER) of the "I- heckle- my- friend's- opponents- from- the- stands" fame (remember Prahlad asking Erhardt to be removed from the stands as he heckled PS during the match against another German, G.Fahlke last week?) .. Well, Erhardt did more this time, making a mockery of things again, doing crazy things in the second set when he knew he was losing .. started even hitting the ball left handed, in the last game, causing his Swedish opponent to ask, "would you let me win even one point well?".. What's up with these guys ? .. Anyway, PS is looking to go over 40 circuit points with a win tomorrow in the final (he has around 35 now, which is worth about 10-12 ATP points regardless of his finish in the 4th week masters leg - the ATP points make big jumps based on the results in the masters week) .. In the doubles final, Vijay Kannan and Harsh Mankad reached the finals today (good to see these two doing well at least in doubles) beating Srinath and Vasu Reddy in 3 stes .. They face the winners from the first leg, the Kirtane cousins, tomorrow .. Srinath could be pretty tired after 6 sets of tennis today .. His opponent tomorrow, Rovai, had an easy win today and will be fresher .. See the results at the Men's satellite leg-2 page ..

At the women's satellites in Pune, Sai Jayalakshmi got sweet revenge over Rushmi Chakravarti, to whom she lost in last week's final .. Sai is in the final this time to face Montika Anuchan, promptng Indian Express to come up with the news header, "Sai vs. Thai" .. :-) .. Wouldn't be easy for Sai but hope she gets her title .. Montika beat Janaki Krishnamoorthi in the semifinal .. Montika has spent time at Nick Bollitieri's academy in Florida, says Sharda Ugra in The Hindu .. Sharda rightly says it has been some battles lately to prove who is the #3 among women in India after Nirupama and Uzma, and that so far it has been a close one between Sai and Rushmi .. They do seem a cut above the rest so far, to me - though the one who is not taking part, Manisha Malhotra, would perhaps give either a run for the money too .. But then again, my opinions are all of the arm-chair variety based on results; I never get to see any of them play :-) .. Rushmi and Sai won the doubles title over the Venkatraman sisters today, their second one in a row (actually, I hadn't seen any reports on who won the doubles final which was postponed last week .. Sharda's article mentions that Rushmi/Sai won it - they must have come back from dropping the first set against Montika/Orawan in the final last week when it was postponed due to rain) .. See the rsults in Women's satellites leg-2 page ..

Incidentally, we have not seen any reports in the newspapers about the entries for the big event - the $75K women's challenger starting at New Delhi on Nov 30th, the biggest women's event ever in India .. I believe the direct entries close six weeks ahead, and if so, it should be done by now .. I am sure we will see a press release out of Delhi soon.

Oct 23 Note-1

Leander had lost in the 3rd round of a tournament only once in the last two years (to Pioline at the US Open in a close 5-setter in 97). His record in the last 14 third matches is 12-2, in 2.5 years .. It just became 12-3 .. Here is the onsite fanclub member report from the $50K+H Hong Kong Challenger courts by Raina Luk: I'm sorry to report the bad news -- Leander lost to Michael Tebbutt 3-6, 3-6 ...In the 1st set, Leander was broken at the 2nd game and fell to 0-2 .. He broke back in the 7th game to go on serve but was broken again immediately to fall to 3-5 and lose the 1st set at 3-6 ... The 2nd set was the same at 1st set.. He was broken in the 1st game and then couldn't get a chance to break back .. He was broken again in the 8th game fall to 3-5 and lose the match in straight sets ... Match statistics -- Leander => 1st serve in percentage 48%, 2 aces and 4 double faults .. Tebbutt => 1st serve in percentage 61%, 1 ace and 2 double faults ..

I am told that Mahesh is doing better with his illness (he is still at Hong Kong) .. LP and MB will leave for Stuttgart in a day or two .. LP has missed the qualies at Stuttgart .. If one loses a Friday quarterfinal at a challenger, playing it would look like a bad idea in hindsight, since you miss the qualifiers for next week and only get about 15 or so points at the challenger .. LP said that he is not sure where they will be 3 weeks from now - Could be either at the Stockholm tournament or the Moscow tournament.. He has entered into both places, but is just outside the draw in both.. He will go to whichever place he makes it into, after a couple of withdrawals etc. We will know by the end of the week after during the Paris tournament.

Oct 22 Note-3

Leander's opponent tomorrow (Friday) is not an easy one - 28-year old Australian, Michael Tebbut, has been just inside the top-100 a few times this year and has been ranked as high as #87 in his long career. He has wins over guys like Rosset, Albert Costa, Wayne Ferreira, Filippini, Squillari, Schalken, Gambill, and Lleyton Hewitt this year .. He has 5 wins over top-50 guys this year, but also has had a few bad losses .. The old cliche about beating anybody on his day, I guess .. LP has never played Tebbut in singles, though Michael has doubles losses against Leander. Here is the draw from the QF onwards (all four seeds in LP's half are still there - so it doesn't get easy):

1-Leander Paes           (IND, 85) vs 7-Michael Tebbutt  (AUS,116) \
3-Daniel Nestor          (CAN,100) vs 5-Justin Gimelstob (USA,103) / \
6-Dennis Van Scheppingen (NED,113) vs   Cecil Mamiit     (USA,262) \ /
8-Lleyton Hewitt         (AUS,121) vs   Karsten Braasch  (GER,242) /

In other news, I think LP/MB's earlier plans to go to the Kremlin Cup in Moscow after the Stuttgart and Paris Super 9 events may have changed. An LP fan from Sweden alerted me to the entry list at the Stockholm (Sweden) tournament (Nov 9-15) showing LP just outside the main draw .. He was not in the list when I had checked a few days earlier after Nikhila Natrajan of the Indian Express listed Stockholm as a tour stop for our guys.. Will confirm when I get in touch with LP or MB next.

No upsets today at the Indian men's satellites at Hyderabad. Mustafa gave it a good ride, but fell in three sets to the 3rd seed Erhardt from Germany .. The other kid, Saurav Panja gave some trouble to Prahlad Srinath but fell in three sets .. PS was also troubled by a bit of fever and cramps, but finished it in 3 sets .. Udomchoke was beaten by the 2nd seed Rowai (Sweden) and Negri was beaten by the 4th seed Hede (Sweden) .. So, we have #1 vs #4 and #2 vs #3 in the semis ! All the singles/doubles results are at the men's satellite leg2 page ..

At the women's satellites in Pune, the top seed Archana Venkataraman failed to reach the semi once again, and lost to Rushmi Chakravarti, the winner of the first leg. The youngster Shruti once again faced Sai and lost for yet another time, but all reports are that Shruti is the real deal if she can get mature and get good coaching .. 4th seed Orawan retired with a pinched nerve and let her friend Montika, also of Thailand to move on .. Sheetal Gautam couldn't handle the experienced Janaki Krishnamoorthi .. That's it. Things moving on somewhat as expected .. All the singles/doubles results are at the women's satellite leg2 page ..

Oct 22 Note-2

Good news! .. Our onsite fanclub member, Raina Luk writes from Hong Kong: Just came back.. Leander's match was today the last match of singles .. good news, I'm so excited! .. Leander def. Rogier Wassen in 2 straight set 7-5, 6-4!! .. In the 1st set, they both held serve until Leander broke Wassen in the 11th game to lead 6-5 .. Closed the set at 7-5 .. The beginning of the 2nd set was not so good for Leander, as he was broken at the 2nd game to fall 0-2, but he broke back in the 7th game to go 3-4 on serve, broke again in the 9th to lead 5-4 and then closed the match at 6-4! Great!! .. The quaterfinal players as follows: Leander Paes/Michael Tebbutt .. Daniel Nestor/Justin Gimelstob .. Dennis Van Scheppingen/Cecil Mamiit .. Lleyton Hewitt/Karsten Braasch .. Leander vs Tebbutt's quaterfinal is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) 6:00pm Hong Kong time. I'll will be there and cheer for Leander! .. Thanks for the prompt report, Raina !

LP gets 16 points for the two wins so far .. Not bad ..

Oct 22 Note-1

Leander is playing Rogier Wassen (#151, NED) in the second round of singles at the Hong Kong challenger today (thursday) .. Wassen could turn out to be a tough foe. The last time these two played, LP lost 2-6, 6-7, at the Tanagura challenger quarterfinals, almost exactly two years ago. LP is quite a different player now, but Wassen has improved a bit too. He started the season at around #250 but came up to near top 150 in early summer by reaching two finals and a semi in claycourt challengers. He has 5 or 6 wins this year over top-150 players and a win over a top-100 player too (Arnaud Clement).. LP would want revenge for his loss two years back, and when he wants to win a match, he normally knows how to win it ! .. Go LP! ..

Oct 21 Notes

I got the news of Fazal's first round match at the USA satellites leg-1 (Danville, California) from onsite fanclub member, Nizam Sheikh - the news wasn't good, as he went down 7-6, 6-1 to Alex Reichel of USA .. Then I got the complete draw from the USTA and basically had my jaw drop at seeing the competition there .. The top seed is #202 Oren Motevassel, and the 16th seed in the 64-draw for the week is #508 Cristian Capalik ! .. Compare that with the top seed at #551 and the lowest seed at #1006 in the Indian satellites this week, and you see what Fazal is facing there ! .. Anyway, 27 year old veteran Alex Reichel, now ranked #616 has been up near #200, as recently as even last year I believe .. Nizam tells me that Fazal was up a break in the first set, but after losing the set in a tiebreaker, seemed to lose the fire.. I hope the injury that prevented him from re-entering the Indian satellites is not still bothering him..

On to the satellites in India .. Prahlad Srinath is in the quarterfinals again (7th win in a row) .. Today's hot news was that one of our young guns did something good - Mustafa "Pete" Ghouse went ahead and beat 6-2, 6-3, the 6th seed Niko Karagiannis (incidentally, I had met Nik down at the Tijuana challenger in Mexico, where Harsh Mankad qualified into the main draw a couple of months back .. Nice fun loving guy, really tall .. he got more than a bit upset with himself today in not being able to handle Mustafa who made him bend down way too many times). Mustafa has the game and the right attributes to go far, I am told - nice to see him stringing together a few wins here (he qualified into the draw here) to reach the quarterfinal .. The disappointing results, once again, were for the teenagers Vijay Kannan and Harsh Mankad, both failing to make the quarterfinals once again, though their straight sets losses here were against the 2nd and 3rd seeds .. Harsh put up a fight int the second set, but fell short .. Vijay seemed to not have been in the match at all .. Ravi Kiran Bhat lost to Danai Udomchoke .. Saurav Panja is one kid who is having a nice tournament .. He beat S.Zaman to become the 3rd Indian among the quarterfinalists. Vasu Reddy fell in 3 sets too. All the results and the QF line-up are at men's satellite leg2 page ..

On to the women's satellites .. 16-yr old Anna Nefedova who is the second seed due to her WTA ranking, is just not having a good time in India. Once again she got upset early, and this time, our own teenager Sheetal Gautam did the job ! .. The other notable result was former national champion Janaki Krishnamurthi upsetting Arthi Venkatraman .. The sisters aren't doing all that well in the satellites so far, though the top seed Archana Venkatraman is in the QFs now. Shruti won, and gets yet another crack at Sai Jayalakshmi in the QFs .. See the women's satellite leg2 page .. [courtesy: Indian newspapers, as usual]

Oct 20 Note-3

Some more results from the Men's satellites leg-2 at Hyderabad.. Last week's top seed, Andy Fahlke, is not in the draw - not sure why, but it has to be some sort of injury or something for him to withdraw. All the other foreign players are there, but one more Indian got in through the qualifier because of that, and we have 20 Indians in the draw. 10 of them lost in the first round, and 10 are in the final 16 including four qualifiers (Vishal Gupta, Mustafa Ghouse, S.Zaman and Saurav Panja). The story of the first round which got done today (Tuesday) was Saurav Panja pulling a big upset over the 7th seeded Slovakian, Marian Leysek, in style, 6-4, 6-1 .. Very good to see Saurav who had showed a lot of promise not too long ago getting a good win .. The draw had the Kirtanes going up against each other and Sandeep won that over Nitin .. Vijay Kannan and Prahlad Srinath moved on .. Harsh Mankad (finally!) had a good match and took care of Vijendra Laad, who had looked good the last couple of weeks, 6-2, 6-1 .. Harsh and Vijay Kannan are teaming up in doubles and are in the final-8 too .. Oh, and there was one other upset (you had to guess this one..), Danai Udomchoke upset the 8th seed Chvapil of the Czech Republic. All the results are at men's satellite leg2 page .. In the women's tournament the first round singles were all done on Monday (no surprises) and only doubles were played today .. See the women's satellite leg2 page ..

Oct 20 Note-2

Good and bad news out of Hong Kong .. Here is the onsite fanclub member report from Raina Luk : Our guys' results -- Leander def Thomas Shimada 6-3, 6-4; Lleyton Hewitt def Mahesh 6-4, 1-1 (retired) .. When I arrived the centre court after work, Leander had already won the 1st set 6-3, and for the 2nd set, they held serve until the 9th game when Leander broke Shimada's service game to leed 5-4 and closed the match at 6-4 after he held his serve...And for Mahesh, he was broken in the 1st game, but broke back at the 4th game. Then they both held serve until the 9th game, when Hewitt broke Mahesh's service game to lead 5-4. He then held serve and took the 1st set 6-4. Then in the 2nd set at 1-1, Mahesh retired...After the match, I met Leander again and he said that Mahesh was still feeling not well...:-( and tomorrow Leander has no match and he'll play Rogier Wassen on Thursday .. other results from today: Marcos Ondruska def Melvin Tong (HKG, yes) 6-1, 6-1; Jim Thomas def Jonathan Stark 6-3, 6-3; Satoshi Iwabuchi def Andrew Town 6-0, 6-1; and Karsten Braasch def Mark Woodforde 6-3, 6-2 .. Get well soon, MB .. Thanks, Raina !

Oct 20 Note-1

Most Indian newspapers were on Deewali holiday yesterday, and I have only seen a small item in the Indian Express about what happened at the Men's satellites leg2 at Hyderabad .. The qualifiers S.Zaman, Mustafa Ghouse and Vishal Gupta won .. Qualifier Rohan Bopanna lost to Vishal .. So, I guess we shall assume that there were no upsets or snything else newsworthy yesterday .. They had full scorecards from the women's satellite leg2 at Pune, and nothing newsworthy happened there with all the seeds advancing .. Check out the men's satellite leg2 and women's satellite leg2 pages.

The new rankings show LP at #85, with both MB and LP moving up one spot each in doubles, to #7 and #8 .. I would think MB's singles ranking will move up a couple of spots as he got 1 point at Singapore, but I have not seen the full rank list yet. In women's rankings, Nirupama is at #173 in singles, down a couple of spots from last week.

In other news, the updated calendar in the International Tennis Weekly from ATP last week confirms what we reported here earlier, that the Ahmedabad and Mumbai challenger dates have been swapped - Ahmedabad in December 3rd week and Mumbai in the last week, now.

Also, no results yet from Danville, California, where Fazal is playing the first leg of the $50K USA satellites (4 weeks) .. We will hear something soon, hopefully. The competition is very, very tough in these USA satellites, though.

Oct 19 Note-2

Our fanclub member, Raina Luk, sent the draw for the Hong Kong challenger .. She was at the courts today and met Leander, who was watching the Nestor match today.. Here is the draw (with winners of the Monday matches):

1-Leander Paes (IND)           vs Thomas Shimada (JPN)       \
  Rogier Wassen (NED)          d. Takada Mitsuru (JPN)       / \
  Marcos Ondruska (RSA)        vs Melvin Tong (HKG?)         \ / \
7-Michael Tebbutt (AUS)        d. Paradorn Srichaphan (THA)  /    \
3-Daniel Nestor (CAN)          d. Petr Pala (CZE)            \    /
  Ryuso Tsujino (JPN)          vs Petr Kralert (CZE)         / \ /
  Jonathan Stark (USA)         vs Jim Thomas (USA)           \ /
5-Justin Gimlstob (USA)        vs Yong-II Yoon (KOR)         /
6-Dennis van Scheppingen (NED) d. Wayne Wong (HKG)           \
  Oscar Burrieza (ESP)         d. Ben Ellwood (AUS)          / \
  Satoshi Iwabuchi (JPN)       vs Andrew Town (USA)          \ / \ 
4-Laurence Tieleman (ITA)      vs Cecil Mamiit (USA)         /    \
8-Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)         vs Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)      \    /
  Hyung-Taik Lee (KOR)         d. Jamie Holmes (AUS)         / \ /
  Kalle Flygt (SWE)            d. Yaoki Ishii (JPN)          \ /
2-Mark Woodford (AUS)          vs Karsten Braasch (GER)      /

Leander has a very nice draw, and Mahesh has a tougher one. It is easily one of the strongest fields we have seen in a 50K+H challenger .. The cancellation of the Beijing tournament originally scheduled for this week has caused some of the players who are in Asia to go to this challenger. The winner gets 70 ATP points, the runner-up gets 50, and the Seifinalists get 30 each. I am surprised not to find any Chinese player with a wildcard there. After all, Hong Kong is in R.O.China ..

Oct 19 Note-1

Just heard that LP will be playing Thomas Shimada (#685) of Japan in the first round at the Hong Kong challenger .. Shouldn't be a tough match for him. Mahesh is down with fever and high temperature (apparently he had it for a couple of days, but it got even worse in the plane to Hong Kong) .. His draw is not too kind either - he has to play the young Aussie phenom, Lleyton Hewitt (#137 last week, but will go up a bit this week after his wins over Delgado and Gimelstob at Singapore - he took a set off Rios in the Qf, but then lost).. I believe Hewitt is seeded, which is usually the case for MB's first round opponent anywhere! - Let's hope MB has quick recovery by Tuesday evening and goes after the kid .. Lleyton created big news in January, winning the Adelaide title in Australia, beating guys like Spadea, Woodforde and Agassi ! .. At the age of 17, he is still learning the ATP tour and loses a few matches, though his talent shows in the right tournament where he can beat anyone .. As for Shimada, he is much better known for doubles than singles .. The courts are lighting quick at Hong Kong, I am told.

Oct 18 Note-3

The report on the match from Nirmal Shekhar in The Hindu is not flattering, to say the least .. He says this was the worst performance he had ever seen from LP-MB .. In fact he quotes coach Rico Piperno's words - "Awful, they were awful" .. Wonder what made them "sleep-walk" through this match .. Ate some bad "satay" or something for dinner last night ? .. :-) I hope they will just forget this match and move on. It's one thing to play your best and lose a close one when you get outplayed .. It's another when you stink up the place .. because you know you just didn't play well, and you can write it off .. LP was all praise for how well the Woodies played, though.

Here is a tidbit to cheer everyone up .. The Singapore Straights Times had an article a couple of days back about the lady who was in charge of the movies in the players lounge at the Heineken Open .. German-born Kristine Schmidkunz, a 52-year-old mother of two .. The article says, Schmidkunz's big satisfaction is that some of the players who had been here before remember her from previous years .. She said: "Some of the players, like Leander Paes, and some of the coaches. They will come up and say hello and I get a kiss. I went to the Australian Open this year and saw some of them there, and they came up to ask me 'what are you doing here?' So that's nice." .. This is one thing we often hear, about how Leander charms the people at the tournaments.

The qualifiers at the second leg of the ATP stallites got done today at Hyderabad, and as at Mumbai, 10 of the 12 qualifiers are Indians, the other two are Ben Guzdelak of Britain and Gerhardt "underarm-serve" Fahlke of Germany, who qualified last week too. Among the Indians, Saurav Panja, Avinash Arun, Mustafa Ghouse, and S. Zaman are repeat qualifiers from last week. Otherwise, it will be the same cast of characters there, except for Vishal Uppal withdrawing due to that leg injury suffered at the DSCL hardcourt national finals. His wildcard spot is given to under-18 DSCL champion, Vijendra Laad - the kid richly deserved the good gesture .. He had to qualify last week but won a round at Mumbai. The Hindu reports that 4 of the main draw players have not arrived yet, and one of them must be Andy Fahlke, the top seed at Mumbai, since the published top-8 seeds does not show him and Prahlad is the top seed. If any player does not report, more guys from the final round qualies could get in as lucky losers .. It has been raining heavily till the quals started but the newly laid hardcourts are doing fine.. Check out the Men's satellites leg2 page for quals results, etc.

At Pune, the second leg of the women's satellites is also all set to go. Again, as at Ahmedabad, there were no qualies, and all the 9 entries to the qualies were placed in the main draw (32-size this time, no byes as in leg-1). Have not seen the full entry list yet, but the 8 seeds are the same as at Ahmedabad. Janaki Krishnamurthi is the new top Indian player to enter the tournament. Jahnavi Parekh was expected there, but was a no show at sign-in.

Sharda Ugra's article in The Hindu gives some indication that AITA is finally doing something about the Asiad .. Seven players have been informed that they are probables for selection for Asiad - Archana Venkataraman, Rushmi Chakravarthi, Shruti Dhawan, Janaki Krishnamoorthy, Jahnavi Parekh, Sai Jayalakshmi and Manisha Malhotra .. 2 spots are already set for the team - Nirupama and Uzma .. All have been asked to fill out paperwork but nobody knows how many will be in the team. Also, what criteria would be used. Sharda mentions how Jahnavi Parekh may have spoiled her chances by not appearing in the satellites or at the DSCL hardcourts. Arathi Ponnappa already is not in the list. I would hope the one player whose lack of presence in the satellites would not be held against her, would be Manisha Malhotra. After all, it was just last month that she reached the final of a $10K satellite in Britain upsetting 2 seeds and picked up 7 WTA points, which is more than the maximum (five) that anybody can get after the 4-week Indian satellites.. Her top-20 collegiate ranking in the US should also count. Sai and Rushmi have certainly had the best results in India lately. Sharda also writes that the players now seem to be welcoming the idea of these satellites replacing the domestic tournaments .. Nice to see that - for a while I was feeling that I was the only one who felt the international events were a good idea by AITA, with all the players and press criticism going around !

.. Previous notes at Weekly Notes, ending Oct 19 ..