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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for week ending on Nov 02, 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 ..

Nov 2 Notes

Today's big story is Shruti Dhawan, the teenager who has been creating all the right noises lately .. She beat the 4th seed, Montika Anuchan of Thailand in easy straight sets at the Women's satellite masters at Delhi. She now faces Shalini Thakur, and should be favored get to the semifinals now .. The other three seeds, Sai, Rushmi and Orawan advanced without much problems .. One must feel bad for the young Thai girl who reached the quarterfinals, final and semifinals of the first three legs, but now goes out in the first round of the all-important masters leg .. with just one WTA point to show for all that ! [by the way, ITF should drop the idea of 4-week circuits which give no points for the first three legs, and AITA should not go for these $5K circuit weeks for women, but replace them with futures events even if it's only 2 or 3 weeks of $10K events, which has been the players' sentiment too - but more on that later] .. At the Kannur Men's satellite masters, everyone seem to be having some trouble adjusting to the Kerala humidity (oh, I miss that place !..) .. the courts are a bit uneven and the balls are heavy .. 4 doubles matches were all that was on schedule today (only 8 teams in the draw) .. Upset city .. two seeds are already out, and the other two seeds had to come back from first set losses to move on .. Anyway, the good news is that the #1 seeds Kirtanes and the #3 seeds Kannan/Mankad won in comeback matche to reach the semis (these two have formed a nice doubles team, haven't they ?) .. The main draw starts tomorrow, but only the 16 unseeded players play, to earn the right to face the 8 seeds on Wednesday .. See the men's satellite masters page and the women's satellite masters page .. [courtesy: Indian newspapers, as always!]

The new rankings show Mahesh at #3 and Leander at #6 in doubles .. The points are all very close, with the Woodies falling in between them .. The team ranking stays at #3 with Woodies just a few points ahead. LP is at #85 and MB is at #352 in singles ..

Here is the update on Fazaluddin .. He decided to skip the 3rd leg of the Northern California satellites and is leaving for India right now .. Actually, unless he had done very well in the first two legs, he was not planning to continue, as the masters leg coinides with the Calcutta Futures next week that he did not want to miss anyway.

Nov 1 Note-3

LP-MB will not have to wait too long to play another one against Lareau/Obrien .. take a look at this draw at Paris:

 6-S.Stolle/ C.Suk                Bye                  \
WC-J.Golmard/ G.Roux        vs    Qualifier/ Qualifier / \
   S.Lareau/ A.O'Brien      vs WC-A.Dupuis/ S.Huet     \ / \
 3-M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes             Bye                  /    \_ final
 7-M.Damm/ J.Grabb                Bye                  \    /
   R.Reneberg/ J.Stark      vs    D.Adams/ J.deJager   / \ /
   W.Black/ D.Johnson       vs    L.Lobo/ J.Sanchez    \ /
 2-T.Woodbridge/M.Woodforde       Bye                  /

That is the bottom half of the draw .. Nice coincidence .. I would say Dupuis/Huet do not even have a snowball's chance in hell to upset Lareau/OBrien in the first round .. what that means is that the very next match LP-MB play will be once again against Lareau/OBrien .. So they will only need to wait till Wednesday to go after them once more .. Potentially they could face three teams in a row who have all beaten them the last time .. Lareau/OBrien, Stolle/Suk (who have an easy way to the QF), and then the Woodies (who have a couple of tough teams in their quarter of the draw) .. The top seeds are Eltingh/Haarhuis in the upper half of the draw.. Not an easy draw, once again, for LP-MB but they can and have beaten all of these teams in the past ..

Nov 1 Note-2

Hey, our guys are making a habit of losing the finals - two in a row now .. But, we should cut them some slack - after all, they won the first 11 finals in regular ATP tournaments .. :-) .. This against Lareau/O'Brien at the Stuttgart Super 9 went just as I predicted .. yet another three setter, 3rd in a row between these two teams .. 2 hour match that ended with a 3-6, 6-3, 5-7 loss for LP-MB today .. the story of the match was our guys' inability to drive the nail in, in the first set when they had numerous chances on Seb Lareau's serve .. 8 of them in all, in the 3rd and 7th games .. Leander's service games seemed to be less authoritative than Mahesh's today, going by the normal order of service with MB starting the first game .. Lareau/O'Brien had a chance in the 4th game off LP but did not convert, and finally they converted their second break chance, coming in the 8th game, off LP .. the set was over at 3-6 .. The seond set also went according to form, but with LP-MB ganging up on Lareau's serve in the 8th game and getting the break .. MB then held, for a 3-6, 6-3 tie .. In the 3rd set, the key points were once again in the 7th game, when they had double break chances on Lareau's serve, but could not drive it home .. After it went with serve till 5-6, in the 12th game, LP-MB fell behind 0-30 in a hurry, and could not recover .. the final stats - 1 of 11 break chances for LP-MB and 2 of 5 chances for Lareau/O'Brien ..

Now, it's off to Paris for another Super 9, once again with a prize money around $150K for the winners, and 370 points for the title .. LP-MB lost in the first match there last year .. They have nothing to defend there, and can get closer to the #1 ranking with a good showing.

Nov 1 Note-1

The doubles final between the Indian Express and the North American Commuter Rail at Stuttgart is scheduled as the second match today, after the singles final that starts at 2 pm .. LP-MB should be on court by about 4.30 pm there (10.30 am EST, 7.30 PST in the usa, 9 pm India) .. There will be live score updates at the chatroom ..

At the Bangalore satellite leg, Sandeep and Nitin Kirtane did indeed win their 3rd title in a row, beating Johan Hede and Zoltan Borockzy in straight sets .. Impressive for the Kirtanes to win 11 matches in a row (they had one walkover) in 3 weeks, with only one of those 11 wins taking more than two sets !! .. If they win the final leg, they are looking at about 40 doubles points each !! ..

Finally, some news on Asiad !! .. A press friend informed me (thanks!) of an article with the selected squads for Asiad by S.Kannan in the Hindustan Times (many of his articles do not make the online edition of that newspaper, which has the laziest online editors among all Indian newspapers ..) - Full contingents of 6 each on men's and women's side .. for women, it will be Nirupama, Uzma, Sai, Rushmi, Manisha, and Shruti .. Absolutely fabulous, as these 6 are the best out there ! .. I am happy to see that AITA did not hold it against Manisha that she did not take part in the onging satellites. On the men's side, once again, a good team - LP, MB, Prahlad, Fazal, Vijay Kannan and Nitin Kirtane .. Vijay probably deserves to be on the team for what he did at the nationals, though he seemed to have not hit his form at the ongoing satellites .. I am not sure of the selection of Nitin .. I would have liked him to be there if Sandeep was also there (heck, a doubles team of Sandeep/Nitin, can get a second medal considering the not-so-great doubles competition expected at Asiad - by the Asiad rules, two teams from the same country will be in opposite halves of the draw) .. We might feel that somebody else deserved to be there, after next week's masters - after all, Harsh Mankad is the #5 in India on ATP points and has played some good tennis at the satellites lately .. May be a Mustafa, or a Saurav, or even Vasu or Sandeep could do well next week and make us feel that they deserved to be in .. It doesn't matter anyway, as medal hopes are all on LP and MB .. All in all, a pretty good job of selection by AITA/IOA .. No details of the evenmts entered, including pairing for mixed doubles etc .. Nirupama/Manisha and Sai/Rushmi would both be good doubles teams for women .. Niru/Mahesh or Niru/Leander would be terrific mixed doubles teams too .. We will wait and see. It will be fun.

Oct 31 Note-2

OK, Delaitre/Santoro will have to wait for one more tournament to pick up enough points to move in nicely to the top-8 and qualify for Hartford .. LP-MB beat them at the $2.4M Stuttgart Super-9 today, 6-4, 6-4 .. The match started in typical Indian Express fashion - they jumped all over the French men early .. After D/S held serve in the first game, MB started it off with a love game, and then LP-MB proceeded to race to 0-40 on the Frenchmen's serve for a 3rd game break to go up 2-1 .. They won 10 points in a row at that time .. D/S regrouped to push our guys to a break point in the 4th game, but couldn't get it done .. After that it was a cruise to a 6-4 set .. The story repeated in the second set, with LP-MB ganging up on D/S in game 3 to win 4 straight points and a break .. Then it was a pretty even match, except for the game 8 when LP-MB were up 40-15, but were taken to a deuce and had to serve out 3 deuces and ADs before staying a break up. That was the match. 6-4, 6-4 was the final score, and it took an hour and 8 minutes to complete..

LP-MB now face Lareau/O'Brien in the final tomorrow .. They had an easy win over Hirszon/Ivanisevic, and seem to be playing well again. This will be another occasion for sweet revenge for LP-MB .. It was the same team, Lareau/O'Brien, then seeded #4, who beat LP-MB in the quarterfinal of the Stuttgart Super 9 last year (in a barnburner 7-5, 6-7(10), 5-7 match!) .. Lareau/O'Brien .. L/O have been waiting for almost a year to get back at our guys for the loss they suffered to them in the Hartford semis (another close 3 setter, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(5)) .. Methink this final will be yet another dandy between these two teams tomorrow !

Mahesh has just moved to a career-high #3 ranking, with this win .. He jumped over Woodforde and Woodbridge .. LP stays about 30 points behind the Woodies at #6 .. A title tomorrow would take them to #3 and #4 .. Today's win fetched them 313 points and $83,000 to share. A win tomorrow will give them 430 total points with 60 bonus, and $156,000 to share ! Big match coming up. Will post the scheduled match time later here ..

At Bangalore, Danai Udomchoke lost a second final (he had lost to Prahlad in the first leg final), this time to Frederico Rovai (SWE), who gets his second title in a row (he beat Prahlad in the last leg final).. At Indore, Sai jayalakshmi won her second title in a row, beating Rushmi Chakravarti in an easy 2 setter .. Have not seen who won the doubles title at bangalore (Shruti-Sheetal had won the doubles title at Indore yesterday) ..

Oct 31 Note-1

The semifinal matchups at the $2.4M Stuttgart Super 9 today are all set as here (rankings also shown)-

3-M.Bhupathi[ 6]/ L.Paes   [ 8] vs    O.Delaitre[ 17]/ F.Santoro   [18] \
  S.Lareau  [34]/ A.O'Brien[36] vs WC-S.Hirzon  [231]/ G.Ivanisevic[94] /

Lareau/O'Brien had a 2 hour 3 set win over Haas and Kiefer in the last match of Friday .. The Croatian Davis Cup doubles team, Hirszon and Ivanisevic, are a good pair who have not played together much this year - they used to play a lot more till early 97, but have only played a couple of tournaments in early 98 before getting toigether again recently .. Their rankings are deceptive and lareau/O'Brien better watch out ..

The two singles semifinal matches are scheduled first today (starting at 1.30pm), followed by the doubles matches, all on the center court .. LP-MB match is the final one of the day, starting at about 8.30 pm there (1.30 pm EST, 10.30 am PST in the US; 12 midnight in India). Some of us will be in the chatroom with score updates (check the chatroom page for any updated start time estimates). By the way, Sampras lost the SF match to Krajicek just now in a 3rd set tiebreaker ..

The win yesterday gave LP-MB a total of 184 points including 24 bonus points .. A win today will get them 24 more bonus points and a total of 313 points .. That will bring them ever so closer to the top 4 doubles players, the Dutchmen and the Woodies .. The Woodies had won Stuttgart last year with about 450 points, but only won a round here (their Stuttgart points had already fallen off this week).. The Dutchmen had won the Paris Open in the following week last year with about that many points but also won only one round here, which means their points will fall off next week. I think nobody will be able to overtake Eltingh at the top spot this year, but the #2 spot could be up for grabs for somebody who pick up a lot of points here and at Paris .. As of now, LP and MB are already up to #5 and #6 and they can move over the Woodies up to #3 and #4 (their highest sum-rank ever) with a title here - actually MB will move up to #3 with a semifinal win today !! Go Indian EXpress !! .. but, Delaitre/Santoro should not be taken lightly with their current form..

At Bangalore, it will be Danai Udomchoke and Frederico Rovai in the finals today .. The Kirtane cousins beat Vijay Kannan and Harsh Mankad in the semis (they beat them in the finals last week too) to reach their 3rd straight doubles final .. They are likely to pick up a ton of doubles points if they continue their form into the masters next week .. By the way, Vijay Kannan beat Ravikiran Bhat in a playoff match to squeeze into the masters as the 24th and last one - good job, Vijay ! .. Now, go get a couple of wins and pick up some ATP points! .. Bhat is also talented and I would have liked to see him in the masters too instead of quite a few players in that list of 13 Indians who made it in, who are really not "prospects" for the future - see the list of masters qualifiers in Oct 29 Note-1 below .. All results from Bangalore are at the men's satellite leg-1 page .. It will be a repeat of the second leg final at the 3rd leg of the women's satellites at Indore - Sai Jayalakshmi vs Rushmi Chakravarti ! .. These two are having some classic battles in these satellites .. There was a semi-surprise yesterday, when teenagers Shruti Dhawan and Sheetal Gautam beat Rushmi and Sai in the doubles finals! Rushmi and Sai had won the previous two titles, and it's impressive for the kids to beat them in straight sets.. All results are in the women's satellite leg-3 page.

Oct 30 Note-2

LP-MB finally got revenge on Kafelnikov-Vacek for that two-tiebreaker loss at the USO semis last year .. They won 6-4, 6-4 just now ! .. Our guys next face Olivier Delaitre and Fabrice Santoro of France in the semis .. LP-MB beat them in the final at Qatar in January .. They also have a win over Delaitre in Mirnyi's company (Chennai final) .. D/S seem to be a different team for the time being though, with 7 wins a in a row, etc.. By the way, right after the #1 seeds Dutchmen fell to the French guys, there was another shocker - The Australians, #2 Woodies, fell to the Croatians, Sasa Hirszon and Goran Ivanisevik (that too 1-6, 4-6 !!) .. The Germans, Kiefer and Haas play Lareau/O'Brien in the 4th quarterfinals soon today .. A lot of Davis Cup teams here .. How fast things changed out there - it's a wide open draw and anybody can win the title now .. The Indian Express are the only seeds left in the semis ..

Oct 30 Note-1

LP-MB play Kafelnikov/Vacek at Stuttgart this evening at about 7 pm there (12pm EST, 9 PST in usa, 10.30pm in India) .. There may be score updates at the chatroom today .. I believe Kafelnikov got a walkover from Rios in the quarterfinals of singles today, which means he will be fresh and ready to play the doubles .. LP-MB have a good fight on the cards today .. The team that is really hot for now at Stuttgart seems to be Delaitre/Santoro .. These guys won a title last week and moved themselves into the top-10 with a chance to qualify for Hartford .. Then they beat a very good Damm/Grabb team 6-1, 6-4, and pulled the mother of all upsets earlier today in the QFs, over the #1 Eltingh/Haarhuis, that too in stright sets, 6-3, 6-3 .. If the Indian Express advance to semis, they will face Delaitre/Santoro, whom they have beaten in the past - but they look like a different team here altogether ..

It was a bad day for Indians at the Bangalore leg of the men's satellites - all four of the Indians in the quarterfinals lost yesterday .. 3 of them were listless losses to seeded teams and the fourth was a good match with reportedly high quality tennis between Marian Leysek (Slovak Rep.) and Harsh Mankad that Harsh lost in 3 sets after winning the first .. Apparently Harsh became a bit too impatient and got into a hurry to get the win in the second set which caused his downfall .. Harsh/Kannan and the Kirtane brothers are in the semis of doubles though .. So, as it stands, only Prahlad Srinath will be seeded among the top-8 with a first-round bye at Kannur next week .. See all the results at the men's satellite leg-3 page .. At the women's satellites, things have been impressively poredictable with four players establishing themselves once again to be a cut above others - Sai Jayalakshmi, Rushmi Chakravarti, and the two Thai girls, Orawan Wongkamalasai  and Montika Anuchan .. Shruti Dhawan gave it a try against Montika but lost in three sets .. The results are at the women's satellite leg-3 page ..

Oct 29 Note-2

Fazal is having a tough time in the US satellites .. At Redding (leg 2) he lost to Luka Kutanjak (Croatia, #532), a seeded player, in the first round .. Hmm.. it's tough out there in the USA #4 stallites.. Unless he wins a couple of rounds in the 3rd leg, it will become wasted time for Fazaluddin..

Oct 29 Note-1

Couldn't trace down any results for Fazaluddin at the 2nd leg of the USA stallites (Redding, California), as I was out of town till last night .. Awaiting news now. By the way, Fazal did enter the doubles draw as an alternate last week, and won a round with Daniel Lencina of Spain .. They lost in the second round ..

The entry list for the satelite masters week are all set for the men and women .. The women's top-16 were all determined after 2 legs, as no results from leg-3 could change it .. In the case of men, I believe it became fixed only after a round at Bangalore this week .. The men's masters leg has a draw of 24, the women's has a draw of 16. Men's masters' entry list: Prahlad Srinath, Federico Rovai (SWE), Danai Udomchoke (THA), Johan Hede (SWE), Patrick Erhardt (GER), Gerard Fahlke (GER), Mustafa Ghouse, Sandeep Kirtane, Saurav Panja, Marian Leysek (SVK), Timo Nigri (GER), Niko Karagiannis (GRE), Sanzaruz Zaman, Zoltan Borockzy (HUN), Vijendra Laad, Praveen Kumar Sreenivasan, Nitin Kirtane, Harsh Mankad, Vasudeva Reddy, Vinod Sridhar, Mike Boulding (GBR), Ondrej Chvapil (CZE), Vishal Gupta .. There will be a playoff for the 24th spot between Vijay Kannan and Ravikiran Bhat (Boy, I never thought Vijay would do this badly in three legs, but good to see him staying alive by the skin of his teeth though !) .. Women's masters' entry list: Sai Jayalakshmy, Rushmi Chakravarthi, Montika Anuchan (THA), Orawon Wongkamalasai (THA), Shruti Dhawan, Archana Venkataraman, Anna Nefedova (RUS), Arthi Venkataraman, Sheethal Gautam, Pooja Deshmukh, Niyati Shetty, Tara S. Kambargimath, Nikita Bharadwaj, Karishma Patel, Priyanka Contractor and Shalini Thakur (Alternates: Tarminder Grover, Stuti Smit, Trishna Williams and Jutika Choksi).

The top-8 seeds will have first round byes in the men's masters' week .. That's an incentive for a couple in the QF this week to do well and get seeded for the Masters at Kannur, Kerala.

Oct 28 Note-2

Good news from the Stuttgart Super 9 .. Straight sets win for the Indian Expres today, over Marc-Kevin Goellner and David Prinosil of Germany, 7-5, 6-3 .. Their next opponents will be the winner of the Ferreira/Leach vs Kafelnikov/Vacek, which should be thursday .. It appears that LP-MB will play the quarterfinals on Friday.

At Bangalore, four Indians have made it into the quarterfinals - Harsh Mankad, The Kirtane cousins, and wildcard Vinod Sridhar .. Sandeep's win over Niko Karagiannis was impressive .. Praveen Sreenivasan, his opponent today, has shown that he can be beat people if given chances, and Harsh seemed to have stuck to a good baseline game plan and got the winners when he needed (finishing the matches that he should win, has been a problem for Harsh lately, and things hopefully are falling in place) .. Mustafa Ghouse, the one that constantly gives hope that he is about to go on a run but disappoints us the next day, continues that here - he lost to Vinod Sridhar, another talented one who looks good one day and not the next.. Anyway, all four in the quarterfinals have tough opponents .. Sandeep faces the second seed Fred Rowai .. Marian Leysek (a seed earlier on, but not in this leg) who beat Prahlad in the first round, is Harsh's opponent, but Marian is having some stomach problems .. Nitin has to handle Danai Udomchoke. Hope at least one or two makes it to semis, but it will be tough. Vijay kannan and Harsh Mankad won the doubles second round to reach semis again today ! .. The results are all at the Men's satellite leg-3 page .. On the women's side, at Indore, Shruti Dhawan had a scare and faced a 3rd set match point but held on .. 8th seed Arthi Venkatraman crashed out .. All the other seeds are in the QFs, as usual.. A note on someone who turned some heads at Indore - 15-year old Nandini Perumal, a very good track-sprint athlete who took to tennis only 18 months back, had a good upset win over Juthika Choksi ! .. She could not go past Rushmi Chakravarti today though (Nandini had a first round win in the last leg too, and would have qualified into the masters with 6 points had she played the first leg!) .. All results are at the Women's satellite leg-3 page ..

Oct 28 Note-1

LP-MB play Goellner-Prinosil in the last match today on the grand stand at the Stuttgart Super 9 .. Those guys beat Reneberg/Stark, 7-6,6-7,6-3 yesterday ..

Oct 27 Note-2

Well, it looks like we all expexcted it and it happened .. Prahlad, still slowed by the ankle injury and the remnants of the fever lost to Marian Leysek in the first round today at Bangalore .. Basically, it will be only the 7 Indians who made second round on Monday .. no Indians won today (Vishal Gupta, Mohammed Yasser are two others who lost today) .. At Indore, Rushmi Chakravarti has reached the quarterfinal, but a few second round matches are yet to be played, on wednesday. No surprises today. The top-16 playing at the Masters leg next week are already determined .. the 3rd leg is now completely for prize money!

Oct 27 Note-1

Sorry I did not give a warning here that I would be out of town till Thursday and would not have many updates .. LP-MB won't be playing till wednesday at Stuttgart .. Couple of quick notes on the satellite 3rd legs .. At Bangalore, our man Mustafa is at it again ..Mustafa Ghouse upset the 5th seed Patrick Erhardt in straight sets monday .. The other upset was by Praveen Sreenivasan who took out 7th seed Timo Nigri .. Harsh Mankad easily beat Ravikiran Bhatt to move on and make sure that he will qualify for the masters leg. Vijay Kannan, who has been the biggest disappointment so far, lost to Vijendra Singh, the 16- year old .. I wonder if Vijay is being bothered by injuries or anything - he's had an eminently forgettable three weeks in singles .. Vijay could possibly not make it into the masters' week draw .. Vasu Reddy lost to (who else?) Danai Udomchoke.. S.Zaman, and the Kirtanes have also moved on. Prahlad plays Tuesday against tough Marian Leysek .. If he wins that, he has yet another tough match, against Andy Fahlke (first seed in the first week, who missed the second week) .. At the Indore women's satellites, no surprises on Monday .. Arthi Venkatraman struggled again, but won in 3 sets over Nona Waugh .. The Venkatraman sisters have been inconsistent throughout the satellites .. Archana won easily over Niyati Shetty though. The Tuesday results will be known soon, and I will report any big news here sometimes before tomorrow.. I will update the leg-3 scorecard pages only later in the week.

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 ! .. :-)

.. Previous notes at Weekly Notes, ending Oct 26 ..