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LP/MB/NV/Indian-Tennis: Notes for the week ending on Nov 12, 2001
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2001)

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Nov 12 Note-1

Good news from Thailand .. At the $10K Thai F2 futures first round in Bangkok, Fazaluddin Syed upset the 3rd seed Rick DeVoest (RSA,374), 63 36 75 !! [source: Bangkok Post] .. That is a big win for Fazal, the 3rd or 4th top-500 win in his career .. Great job, Fazal! .. I have not got any draw information yet, but Mahesh is scheduled to play a Thai qualifier or wildcard, Supanya Araiphun, tomorrow - it should be an easy match for MB .. The top seed is Aisam Qureshi of Pakistan, who also plays tomorrow.

Awaiting the draw from the Hattiesburg challenger in the US to see if Niru is playing there this week.

Nov 11 Notes

Terrific news from Dallas this afternoon .. Harsh Mankad just added his name to the list of US college tennis stalwarts like Todd Martin, James Blake, Sargis Sargsian, Mal Washington, Jeff Salzenstein, Paul Annacone, etc, who had won the collegiate indoor nationals, one of four such nationals every year, a leg of what is called the collegiate grand slams (the others being on clay and hardcourts, followed by the final NCAA nationals next June) .. Harsh beat a very talented Benjamin Becker from Germany (who plays for the Baylor University) in a tough comeback, 67(5) 60 76(2), to win the trophy .. In the process, he extended his college record this year to 12-1 as well, and became the first player from the Big-10 conference since Todd Martin of Northwestern University in 1991 to win the college indoor nationals .. He is of course the first player from the University of Minnesota to ever pull this off .. Harsh said in his press comments after the semifinal yesterday that playing against those like Roddick and Blake in the Davis Cup and practising with the Indian Davis Cup team have given him a big confidence boost .. He beat a player who like him was red-hot all week - Becker also had not dropped a set in his previous four matches while upsetting the 2nd and 5th seeds on the way to the final (Harsh had upset the 3rd and 6th seeds) .. Big, big congratulations go to Harsh for a job well done! .. He told me yesterday that he was in a bit of a mess with two mid-term exams tomorrow and was trying to study in the middle of all the excitement .. Let's hope that his statistics professor will cut the guy a bit of slack :-) -- after all his stats in college tennis has been pretty good lately!  ..

Harsh will almost surely move up from #22 to a top 5 college ranking when the next rankings come out ..  He is done with the fall season of tennis and is hoping to put in some focused physical training for the next 5 weeks .. He would like to go to India and play qualies at the Chennai Open, if he can somehow manage the tough financial situation he has and can get a ticket to India.

I have still not seen the semifinal scores from yesterday at the Manila $10K satellites, but I saw the finals results today .. It seems Chia-Jung Chuang (the eventual winner) beat Sonal Phadke, and the runner up Prariyavan Ratanakrong beat Radhika Tulpule in the semis .. Chia-Jung Chuang is actually still a junior player, though she has done very well in quite a few pro satellite events .. She is actually expected for the big Asian Closed ITF junior event in a few weeks in Delhi.

Nov 10 Notes

Still waiting to find out how Sonal and Radhika did in the singles semis at the Manila $10K today.

Harsh Mankad continued his superb run at the US collegiate national indoors in Dallas, Texas, reaching the final today .. He pulled off yet another top-20 win today, by a 62 62 score .. So, the unseeded at-large entry is now in the final tomorrow, and he has not even dropped a set so far .. Ranked #22 in the preseason rankings, Harsh has run his record to 11-1 this year, with 4 upsets over top-20 players .. That is a considerable improvement so far from the previous two years when he finished 31-19 and 26-12 in college .. Good way to celebrate a brithday too - he turned 22 today .. Happy Birthday, Harsh!

Leander was in Delhi and said that he was also planning to play a challenger before the end of the year - says he still has not dropped his singles plans .. Here is an article from Kamesh Srinivasan in Sunday's The Hindu .. From time to time LP reiterates that singles is still in his plans, but till I see him really hitting the courts on any consistent basis for singles, I won't believe him (:-)) .. I do think that he knows he still has some singles left in him and that he wants to make yet another comeback into the top levels, but he has often been reluctant to dive headlong into singles play for the last 2-3 years, especially with injuries nagging him often and with him having trouble finding a way to balance doubles and singles appropriately in the calendar .. Now that the doubles ranking and everything is in good shape for next year, I think we will see him in a few more singles events .. He does need to do one thing - that is making his travel plans well and getting to tournaments early enough to play some qualies .. I am sure it is tough for him, after all these years, to still go and play the qualies and all that, but there is just no other way to do it .. Get out there and do it, Lee! .. We fans haven't given up on your singles career yet! ..

LP also said that he was very happy to see MB playing singles and picking up a couple of wins this week ..

Nov 9 Note-2

Mahesh had a bad day today, going down to Dong-Hyung Kim (KOR), 36 46 at the Thailand F1 futures QF in Pattaya .. According to The Nation, Bangkok, MB seems to have made a "string of unforced errors" which caused the loss .. Well, it takes a while to get everything in order and to get the rust off, but good to see him out there getting some matches under the belt .. He picked up 2 ATP points .. He will be earning many more points soon if the shoulder cooperates.

Good news from Manila, Philippines .. At the $10K futures, 2nd seed Radhika Tulpule and 4th seed Sonal Phadke have reached the semifinals .. Radhika beat the 6th seed Tzu-Ting Weng, 76(4) 62 and Sonal beat Ji-Sun Ha (KOR), 62 64 .. Sonal faces Chia-Jung Chuang (TPE) and Radhuka faces Prariyawan Ratanakrong (THA) next .. Both are unseeded opponents - Chuang upset the top seed Jin-Hee Kim in the QF and Prariyawan upset 3rd seed Shruti Dhawan in the first round .. The top seeds Tulpule-Dhawan were upset in the doubles QF by qualifiers Jiyoung Kim and So-Jung Kim of Korea, 75 26 61 .. 4th seeds Mandke-Phadke also lost in the QF, against qualifiers Ji-Sun Ha and Mi-Ran Shin of Korea, 16 36 ..

Harsh Mankad is on a terrific run so far this year in his college season with a 9-1 record and five top-100 wins including wins over the #3 player and two other top-20 players .. He is currently playing the National Indoors Championship, and has reached the final-4 .. This is a prestigious event, which has a field of only 32 players, who are either the winners or runners-up of 8 of the collegiate regional championships, the others being the highest ranked preseason players .. Harsh is ranked #22 and was an unseeded at-large entry in the field .. He could not get an automatic entry as he fell in the semifinals of his region (a 76 67 67 loss after having two set points - his only loss this season!) .. He has so far upset the 3rd seed and the 6th seeds in the field, both top-20 collegiate players - both in straight sets .. He plays the #20 college player tomorrow in the semifinal .. Harsh will possibly be ranked somewhere in the top-5 or top-10 in the US collegiate rankings when the December rankings come out - that is a great start of the season .. He has certainly improved from last year, based on the results.

15th seeded Rishi Behl went down today in the QF of the grade-3 ITF juniors in Brunei, to the 3rd seed Dias Doskarayev (KAZ), 57 16 ..

By the way, in case you did not see this earlier, here is a good article this week on Srinath by S.Kannan in the Hindustan Times .. Good to see Sri back in the swing of things .. Here is an article on the new year's calendar in The Hindu today .. I have not updated the calendar and rankings at this site for a while .. I will find some time soon to do that.

Nov 9 Note-1

Back at home and doing daily updates again .. Sorry that I had only one update in the last 5 days - I was traveling.

Mahesh has had a couple of tough matches, getting used to playing singles again, but he is in the quarterfinal at the $10K futures in Thailand .. [R1] d. d. (q) Matthieu Amgwerd (SUI,849) 46 63 76(1), and [R2] d. Robert Krause (RSA,773) 63 57 64 .. He faces Dong-Hyung Kim (KOR,508) in the QF today .. Go MB! .. In doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Mustafa Ghouse went down in the first round to Hendri Susilo Pramono and Febi Widhiyanto of Indonesia, 36 16 there ..

At the $50K Pittsburgh challenger, Niru could not get much done in her return to tennis after a couple of months, as she was drawn against the top seeds in both singles and doubles .. She went down to Lilia Osterloh (USA), 26 16 in singles .. Niru and Jane Chi went down to Janet Lee (TPE) and Elena Tatarkova (UKR) 36 36.

Four Indians are at the $10K women's satellite in Manila, Philippines this week .. 2nd seed Radhika Tulpule and 4th seed Sonal Phadke are both in the QFs .. Radhika beat Chin Bee Khoo (MAS), 36 36 and Diane Matias (USA), 46 26 .. She plays the 6th seed Tzu Ting Weng next .. Sonal beat  qualifier Maria Edna Godoy (PHI) 61 60 and wildcard Yoo-Mi Jung (KOR) 63 75 .. She meets the lucky loser Ji-Sun Ha (KOR) who upset the 7th seed Jennifer Schmidt (AUT) yesterday .. Not sure what's bothering Shruti Dhawan, who was the 3rd seed .. She went down to Prariyawan Ratanakrong (THA), 36 46 .. Radhika Mandke went down to Hsiao-Han Chao (TPE), 16 36 in the R1 .. Dhawan-Tulpule and Mandke-Phadke are the 1st and 4th seeds in doubles there.

News is not great from the grade-3 ITF juniors in Brunei .. The top seed Megha Vakharia, who I believe has been having a bad fever for a few days, went down 36 46 to SeptiNindya Yutami of Indonesia in the round of 16 after a first round bye .. Nisdhi Shah, Jhanra Nansi, Krushmi Chedha have all gone down in the first match ..  Amanjot Singh was expected there as the top seed, but he gave a walkover in the fist round (I am not sure if he went to Brunei) .. Rohan Gajjar was to be the 4th seed but he is injured (a shoulder muscle pull that may not be serious), and he also had to give a walkover in the R1 .. The big win was for young Nihil Advani who upset the 5th seed Anuwat Dalodom (THA)  26 36 in the R2, after an R1 win over Raj Dormani (MAS), 62 61 .. He also troubled the 15th seeded Rishi Behl, before falling 16 61 46 in R3 .. Rishi is in the QF now .. Rishi had earlier beaten Raymond Holgaza of Brunei, 60 60 and Hyung-Chan Lim (KOR) 62 61, and faces a tough 3rd seed Dias Doskarayev (KAZ) in the QF .. 9th seed Saurabh Singh had one win but then went down to the 7th seed Tai-Wei Liu (TPE) in the QF .. Amit Karunakaran lost in the round of 16 after one win as well.

Nov 6 Notes

Catching up on the last three days of new .. LP-MB dropped the final against Ferreira-Leach again, 36 64 63 .. Those two seem to be always trouble - and I believe they are especially tough on the carpet surface, as their successive titles over LP-MB in two weeks would show .. This time they also pulled a comeback on our guys - which is also not easy for any team to do .. Somewhat of an anti-climactic end to the year, which was decent in terms of titles (4 titles in 6 finals) .. The Indian Express did pick up 525 points in the last two weeks to finish the year at #6 and #11 .. MB with 3425 points and LP with 2990 .. The team ranking is #4 with 598 race points, behind Novak-Rikl at #3 with 618 pts - our guys could have finished #3 with a title at Paris .. Still, it's good to see them have a decent year with close to $375K in earning by each, and one grand slam title to go with one masters title and two other titles - especially nice, considering the horror story last year was.

Mahesh is in the main draw at the Bangkok $15K masters as a wildcard! .. He faces qualifier Matthieu Amgwerd (SUI) in the first round .. They may have allowed him to play today (wednesday)? - the other 15 R1 matches were all completed in the results I saw for mon/tues, but MB was not yet listed as a no-show .. Both the top seed Aisam Qureshi (PAK) and 6th seed James Auckland (GBR) fell in the first round in the quarter where Mahesh is placed .. Fazal was in the draw but withdrew and was replaced by lucky loser Shivang Mishra who went down to wildcard Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA), 46 26 .. Rohan Bopanna could not have reached there for singles qualies, due to the Pune semis on Friday .. Mustafa fell in the first round of qualies .. Mustafa and Rohan Bopanna are in the doubles draw.

Nirupama Vaidyanathan finally returns to tennis after a couple of mjonths of break due to injjury .. She is in the main draw at the $50K Pittsburgh challenger, but has a tough R1 match against the top seed Lilia Osterloh (USA) .. In doubles, she is pllaying with Jane Chi .. Tough match there too - against the top seeds Janet Lee (TPE) and Elena Tatarkova (UKR) .. I have not seen any results yet.

Manisha Malhotra and Leanne Baker (#4 seeds) fell in the SF against the top seeds and eventual winners, Nannie DeVielliers (RSA) and Irina Selyutina (UZB) at the $50K Hayward challenger in Califiornia last week, 46 26, after winning the QF against Maria F Alves (BRA) and Renata Voracova (CZE) 64 75 ..

Rohan Gajjar (#2 seed) beat the 4th seeded Roman Kutac (CZE) 62 62 in the SF but had to withdraw from the doubles final at 57 02 due to injury, against the top seeded Diaz Doskarayev (UZB) .. Rohan and GD Jones (NZL) were the second seeds in doubles and reached that final too, but they conceded the match .. Tough luck for Rohan, but good job there .. He added 10 more points to his point total and moved up a few spots to #128 in the ITF junior world ranking .. Rohan has withdrawn from this week's grade-3 event in Brunei, where Amanjot Singh is the top seed .. Most other Indian kids have gone there this week .. Sad to see both Karan Rastogi and Rohan Gajjar going down over the last couple of weeks.

Nov 3 Notes

Another final, a big one for LP-MB - at the Paris masters !! .. [SF] #5 M.Bhupathi/ L.Paes d. #7 D.Nestor/ N.Zimonjic, 76(7) 75  .. LP-MB were broken early to fall to 1-4 and then making a furious comeback, winning the set and going up a break to 3-0 in the second, but they dropped serve to fall even at 4-4 .. Then they broke again in the 12th game to seal it .. The final is tomorrow against Ferreira-Leach - a repeat of last week's Basel final .. This will be a good one! .. Go Indian Express .. They have a chance to end the year as the #3 team, moving up one spot over Novak-Rikl, with a win and 500 entry points tomorrow .. They picked up 350 points for making the final.

At the ITF grade-4 junior event in the beautiful sea-resort oil town of Miri in Sarawak (East Malaysia), the second seed Rohan Gajjar has reached the semifinal, but top seed Megha Vakharia fell in the quarterfinal .. Rohan beat Ryan Sceats (AUS) 64 64 in the QF yesterday .. He plays the fourth seed from Czech Republic, Roman Kutac, in the SF .. Rohan had beaten Jonathan Amdanu in the R2 after a first round bye .. Not sure whom he beat in the R3 .. Megha had beaten Santie Delport (RSA) 61 62 and Maya Rosa (INA) 63 75 in the second round before falling to sixth seed Tina Schmassmann (SUI) 63 64 in the QF .. (source: Sarawak Tribune) ..

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on Nov 5 ..

I am getting some enquiries from US college coaches who are interested in Indian junior players .. I would like to be able to contact Indian players (some of the coaches are enquiring about specific names) .. If any of the junior players are reading this, please contact me .. Or if any of the other readers know the contact emails/address for any junior player, let me know .. I would like to have a mailing list where I can post general announcements and enquiries from the coaches too .. Please email me - R.Jayakrishnan.