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Indian-Tennis: Daily News for the weeks ending on Nov 22, 2004
(Previous week's notes) (Next week's notes) (Daily Notes Index 1997 thru 2004)

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Nov 22 Notes

Hey, Sania Mirza qualified into the $75K challenger in Poitiers!!.. I think this is the first $75K challenger for her .. She beat Maria Goloviznina (RUS,270), 63 63 in the Q3 .. She plays Mirvana Jugic-Salkic (BIH,157) in the first round .. In the doubles R1, Sania and Nuria Llagostera Vives (ESP) went down 46 26 to the second seeded Czech pair, Gabriela Navratilova and Michaela Pastikova .. I think Sania plays the singles first round only on wednesday .. She has picked up 7.5 WTA points for the three qualies wins, including 5 bonus points so far.

In the third leg of the satellites at Gurgaon, Vivek Shokeen and Ajay Ramaswamy won their first round matches .. Karan Rastogi and Kamala Kannan came through the qualies, and those in the main draw are Sipaeya, Uppal, Punna, Shokeen, Ramaswami and Vijay Kannan as direct entries with Rupesh, Tushar, Divij and Arindam Dutta as wildcards .. I do not understand how Arindam qualifies for all these main draw wildcards .. he lost cheaply for the third week in a row yesterday too .. Mustafa fell in the qualies .. Poor Karan can't get a break from the draw - now he has a seed for trhe third week in a row, and it is the worst one -- the top seed Gruel .. Oh boy - I feel bad for Karan who has played two three-setters in losses to seeds in the last two weeks and has also qualified in twice, but has no way but to pick up his first main draw win with the biggest upset of the satellites, to get to the 4th leg and pick up any ATP points .. I will start a page for the third leg and post the draws soon.

We may know of the Chennai entry list soon .. Carlos Moya, Rainer Schuettler and Jonas Bjorkman, were three of the top players who had Chennai as their first preference, I believe .. More top names may have entered in the last minute too .. Depending on where the Doha cut falls, I expect other top-75 players like those like Koubek, Hyung-Taik Lee, A.Martin, etc come to Chennai ..

Nov 21 Notes

More good news from Sania .. She won the second round at the qualies for the $75K Poitiers challenger in France .. A very tough comeback win, upsetting the 5th seed .. [Q2] S.Mirza (IND,206) d. (5) Stephanie Gehrlein (GER,197) 57 76(5) 75 .. Sania was down a set and 1-4 in the second set before she turned the tables .. Chalk up one more top-200 win for the 18 year old who has now picked up 6 more WTA points including 4 bonus for the back-to-back wins over top-250 players ..  Nothing much else today.

The entry list closes Monday for the 2005 Chennai Open .. I will try to find out soon if any other top player has entered other than Carlos Moya.  

Nov 20 Notes

Good news from France today .. Sania Mirza, coming back after a month of break following her challenger titles, won a very good match against Anastassia Rodionova (RUS,215), 76(2) 63 in the qualies at the $75K challenger in Poitiers, France .. Rodionova was ranked as high as #109 last year, and she is no mean foe .. Sania keeps on showing that she is getting better and better .. Her next opponent in the three-round qualies is the 5th seed Stefanie Gehrlein (FRA,197) .. Go SM!!

At the Gurgaon satellites, Simon Gruel won a repeat title today and so did the doubles pair Alexei Kedriouk and Sergei Krotiouk ..
See the Gurgaon week-2 page ..

Not much else to report on .. Former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek is in Mumbai, promoting the nice ABN Amro Tennis challenge event .. He is the tournament director for the big Rotterdam ATP event for which this event's champion will get a qualifying wildcard .. here is a nice interview article in the Mid-Day, Mumbai .. Here is an article in The Hindu .. Here is an interview in the rediff.com.

Nov 19 Notes

Mad Max went down yesterday in a tough fight, 67(0) 75 46 against the Bryans and failed to advance to the semis at the Houston Masters .. Close match .. The very first break of serve in the match itself was in the 12th game of the second set when MB-MM converted their third break chance .. They had also fought off as many as 8 break points to the Bryans in the two sets .. In the third set the Bryans converted one break point and made that advantage hold up .. So, the year has ended for Mahesh with this event .. Up next is an exhibition match for the ABN Amro tennis challenge in Mumbai -- Mahesh and Richard Krajicek are to play Leander and Vijay Amritraj .. Interesting pairings, but this should be a fun match for the Mumbai folks to go and see! ..

Shikha Uberoi won a good match yesterday, 62 75 over Samantha reeves (USA,203) to reach the QF at the $50K in Tucson (Arizona, USA), but I believe she lost today to the talented Varvara Lepchenko who had earlier upset the #74 ranked top seed ..

At the Gurgaon satellite leg-2, both the Indian doubles teams fell in the semis, and so it will be an extremely rare event tomorrow, with no Indians playing in either the singles or doubles final .. last week's champion, Simon Gruel keeps on cruising - he is in line for a double crown this weel .. 
See the Gurgaon week-2 page ..

Nov 18 Notes

The twice-postponed match has started again at the Houston Masters this morning .. Mahesh and Max are behind the Bryans after the first set, 67(7) 00 .. Hope they can come back and win this one .. Bjorkman-Woodbridge woiin their third match yesterday, advancing as the top team in the pool and eliminating Etlis-Rodriguez, who went winless .. The winners of the current match will advance as the second team from the pool, to the semis.

There was some news today, as reported by Rediff.com, about a nice event coming up in Mumbai (Dec 10-11) - the ABN AMRO Tennis challenge .. It is a $15K prize money three-round knockout tournament to select one player for a qualifying wildcard to the ABN Amro ATP in Totterdam in mid february ..The Rotterdam tounament is a big one and the qualifying there is normally very tough with a field of only 16 (which closed at #211 last year) .. The top six Indians (Harsh, Prakash, Sunil, Vinod, Vijay and Vishal) plus two wildcards are expected in the draw .. Karan Rastogi has one wildcard and the other will be decided by AITA after the current satellite circuit .. Good work by everybody in making this tournament happen .. It is a nice year end event for the top Indians, with some decent prize money ($1K for R1, $2K for SF, $3K for runner-up and $4K for winner), though it comes at an odd time, cutting into the offseason training period .. I think IMG are the main organizers for this.  Great!

Though the official announcement today does not mention it, I believe there is also a similar event for women out there -- I had heard earlier that those like the Uberoi sisters, Sania, etc may be there for that one too .. No confirmation yet.

At the $50K Tucson (Arizona, USA) challenger, the 7th seed Shikha Uberoi (USA) won the R1 with a 75 63 win over Jessica Kirkland (USA), but Neha Uberoi (USA) lost a hard-fought match closely - 67(5) 57 to Krysty Marcio (USA) yesterday.

At Gurgaon, Vishal Uppal went down today in the QF and so no Indian advanced to the SF .. Ghouse-Uppal and Sunil-Ajay are in the doubles semis ..
See the Gurgaon week-2 page ..

Nov 17 Notes

Mahesh and Max play the second match today, at about 3 pm or so at Houston, to finish the postponed match against the Bryans.

At Gurgaon today, it was not a pretty sight, as the seeds Sunil and Vijay were upset and Rupesh could not do much against the second seed ... Vishal Uppal is the oinly Indian to advance, with a win over Vishal Punna
.. See the Gurgaon week-2 page ..

Nov 16 Notes

Mahesh and Max played one set today in the third pool match - against the Bryans .. The match was at 5-4 in the set when it was postponed to Wednesday .. Earlier Bjorkman-Woodbridge won over Etlis-Rodriguez, making it 3-0 and 0-3 for the two teams .. Bjorkman-Woodbridge will advance as the pool topper and the winner of the postponed match between the Bryans and MadMax will be the second team to go to the semis.

At Gurgaon, young qualifier Rupesh Roy had a nice R1 win over fello qualifier Makeyev .. Karan Rastogi, unlucky to have run into seeds in both the weeks, came up with a good three set fight for a second week but agin lost in the R1 .. Sunil, Vijay, Rupesh and the two Vishals are in the PQF round .. See the Gurgaon week-2 page for all the scores ..

Shikha and Neha Uberoi are at the Tuscon challenger in Arizona (USA) and will both be in the main draw.

Nov 15 Notes

MadMax were supposed to play their third pool match tomorrow at the Houston Masters Cup, against the Bryans.  Rain delays today has postponed two doubles matches to tomorrow, and it looks like Mahesh and Max will be playing only on wednesday.

At the Gurgaon second leg of the Indian satellites, the top seed Sunil Kumar advanced to the second round with an easy win over Ajay Ramaswami .. No other singles matches were done today, I believe .. I have not seen the main draws yet .. The qualies were completed and most of the R1 doubles were also done .. Young Rupesh Roy is the only Indian to qualify in (good job by him!) .. 
See the Gurgaon week-2 page for all the scores so far ..

Heard from Prakash Amritraj today that he skipped the Puebla challenger just as a precaution to not pick up a late year injury as there were some aches and pains .. Good time to take a break before the long year starts again ..

.. Previous notes are at Notes for the weeks ending on Nov 15 ..

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