Notes for the week ending on Nov 26, 2001
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Nov 26 Note-1
First results are out now from the National Games in Punjab .. Men's events on Monday (16 players, so we start from PQF) - Sandeep Kirtane (MAH) d. Vinod Sewa (WB), 64 61 .. Manoj Mahadevan (TN) d. Bhuvan Chaturvedi (UP), 61 64 .. Ajay Ramaswami (MAH) d. Harshit Sharma (WB), 61 61 .. Vinod Sridhar (TN) d. Kaptan Karsolia (UP), 61 61 .. Vishal Punna (AP) d. Shivshankar S. Kambargimath (KAR), 60 64 .. Vasudev Reddy (AP) d. CD Ajay (KAR), 60 64 .. Shivang Mishra (DLI) d. Tushar Sharma (PJB), 75 62 .. Vishal Uppal (DLI) d. Gursharan Singh (PJB), 62 61 [courtesy: official site; hopefully their results are correct - a lot of state affiliations were wrong at the site at first, but they have corrected them later] .. No surprises among those results .. The QF matches will get more interesting .. With about the top 6 or so national men's players not playing (LP,MB,Sri,Mankad,Fazal,and Bopanna), the men's events are not the highest in quality, but the women's events do have all the top players except Niru and Manisha (Radhika, Rushmi, Sonal, Sai, Sania, Sheetal, etc) ..
Nov 25 Notes
Not much going on today .. Nothing actually .. No news from the Philippines F1 where the main draw starts on Tuesday .. There was a newspaper report from India earlier that Leander might play there - I am not sure if he would, as that would be his first futures/satellite in some 9 or 10 years .. I would be very surprised if he did - but he is scheduled to play the Bangkok challenger starting on Dec 3rd though, if he makes the draw, gets a wildcard or decides to play qualies (he was second out from the main draw when the entries closed - he might make the draw anyway) .. No Indians were in the final 16 in the qualies at the Philippines futures this weekend, according the Philippines Star newspaper.
The tennis events finally starts Monday at the National Games in Punjab - at the Chandigarh courts .. Apparently Chandigarh itself is not fielding a team, as Punjab opposed the idea (Chandigarh players are normally listed under CHD itself for AITA domestic events) .. There seems to have been some confusion about this out there.
Nov 24 Note-2
Unseeded Rohan Bopanna's run ended at the $15K Berri futures near Adelaide' Australia .. He lost in the SF to the 7th seed Davis McNamara, 46 67(4) .. This match was a regular serve-and-volley match and Rohan seems to have run into a good grass player from there (Rohan is a good grass player himself anyway, as his earlier wins against Aussies including the second seed Luczak would show) .. He picked up 6 ATP points to raise his ranking to inside top-600 - certainly a great week, as he got his first top-350 win (actually the first top-500 win itself, I believe) in te upset of the second seed in the second round.
Manisha and Leanne Baker went down 26 36 in the QF of the $25K Nuriootpa challenger to Catherine Barclay and Christina Wheeler of Australia.
Here is the entry list for the Chennai Tata Open ATP that is in the first week of January, with the rankings as the entries closed this monsay .. Guillermo Canas (ARG,15), Thomas Johansson (SWE,16), Fabrice Santoro (FRA,22), Andrei Pavel (ROM,28), Dominik Hrbaty (SVK,32), Max Mirnyi (BLR,36), Michal Tabara (CZE,64), Andrei Stoliarov (RUS,84), Kristian Pless (DEN,85), Vladimir Voltchkov (BLR,88), Juan Balcells (ESP,96), Federico Luzzi (ITA,98), Alex Calatrava (ESP,101), Karol Kucera (SVK,102), Jiri Vanek (CZE,103), Axel Pretzsch (GER,106), Martin Lee (GBR,107), Sergi Bruguera (ESP,109), Irakli Labadze (GEO,110), Ivo Heuberger (SUI,111), Peter Wessels (NED,113), Ota Fukarek (CZE,114), Olivier Rochus (BEL,115), Noam Okun (ISR,116), George Bastl (SUI,117) ...
Six top-40 players being in the list is pretty hood, especially considering the well-publicized "securtity situation" that people talk about! .. I would have preferred a few more guys who have not really come to India in the past, not necessarily top ones but good upcoming ones .. Two of the three wildcards will go to Leander and Mahesh .. Not sure who will get the 3rd .. No Asians in the list, though Paradorn Srichaphan at #120 is two out from the cut, in the alternate list ..
I have not seen all the results from the Tata Juniors regionals, especially from Mumbai and Bangalore .. Some results from the other two regionals .. At the Kolkata regionals, Sunil Kumar (beat CS Mohanty in the SF) was in the final against Vinod Sewa (beat Anshuman Dutta) .. At the Delhi regionals, Chatwinder Singh (beat Jitin Bishnoi) was in the final against Parantap Chaturvedi (beat Divij Sharan) ..
I guess the schedule posted at the National Games web site is not accurate - it said the tennis events were starting on Nov 20th, but no scores have been reported anywhere yet, though they have been updating other events quite promptly.
Nov 24 Note-1
Mustafa went down in the QF at the $10K Vietnam futures 67(3) 36 to Toshihide Matsui (JPN) yesterday .. Prakash Amritraj of USA lost in the second round at the Malibu $15K futures .. No news yet on how Rohan did in the Saturday semis in Berri, Australia, or about the Friday doubles QF for Manisha at the Nuriootpa challenger.
Nov 23 Notes
Good news! .. Unseeded Rohan Bopanna has reached the semifinal of the $15K futures in Berri near Adelaide .. He beat Ryan Henry (AUS,1049), 76(4) 63 [thanks, Shailesh, for the news] .. He will face the #7 seed David McNamara next .. This gives Rohan 6 ATP points too! .. To add to the good news, Mustafa Ghouse had a decent win in Vietnam as well .. He is in the QF of the $10K futures with an easy 62 62 win over Robert Krause (RSA,771) .. He faces Toshihide Matsui (JPN) next .. Also, at the USA F27 futures in Malibu, California, Prakash Amritraj of USA qualified in after four wins and then beat a lucky loser to reach the second round of the main draw ..
Nov 22 Notes
Manisha Malhotra and Leanne Baker beat Yulia Beygelzimer and Anouk Sterk (NED), 63 63 in the first round of the $25K Nuriootpa challenger in South Australia yesterday .. They play the wildcard Australians Catherine Barclay and Christina Wheeler tomorrow .. No new yet on how Rohan did in the QF at the $15K Berri futures in Australia, and Mustafa in the R2 of the Vietnam futures.
A bit more cricket stuff to get off my chest (I promise, I will stop this soon) .. Nice to see that the match referee Mike Dennes is gone and that the people down in South Africa will get to see IND and RSA playing the 3rd "test" .. No problem in playing and it is fair to the South Africans, as long as the message is sent in no uncertain terms that the referee was out of line and that we can't be forced to play under his "impartial" watch anymore .. And this complaint that we are not sticking to the earlier agreement accepting him as the ref, is preposterous - it is like saying that a woman should not ask for divorce if the husband is an axe-murderer! .. The ref could have handled this issue in much better ways (and he had discretion under the rules for that -- but we also know that non-uniform non-use of discretion is among the most established tactics in "legal" discrimination) .. Don't give me the crap that Indians are being too "emotional" in saying that he would not have done it this way against a lot of other teams .. Now I am also getting irritated with all the self-appointed "calm heads" talking of how the game of cricket will suffer, etc, etc .. Give me a break - if you have not seen that Indian cricketers have been overly ill-treated in these kinds of cases for a long time, then you are blind! .. If you see what has traditionally happened to our team and still only care for the "game to go on", I say sorry, you are wrong - some things are more important than the game (and cricket is not going to whither away because of this - in my view, it will only help in forcing those like in ICC to get their act together when it comes to refereeing and unform application of rules and discretion).
Hopefully, I am done with my uneducated pontificating and unexpected digression into cricket .. I hope not to make a habit of it and stick to what I follow more closely - tennis :-)
Nov 21 Notes
Urgh .. Terrible news .. Mahesh had to retire after one set at 3-6 in the first round of the Vietnam futures against Robert Krause (RSA,771) .. I have to guess that the hamstring trouble that kept him out last week was bothering him still, and he decided not to push it .. Will wait for news on that .. Mustafa Ghouse got a bit of a break as he faced a lucky loser, Vjekoslav Skenderovic (CRO) instead of the 5th seed Benjamin Cassaign (FRA) .. Mustafa won 63 63 to pick up an ATP point .. He runs into Robert Krause next .. In the doubles first round, Robert Cheyne (NZL) and Simon Shen (TPE) beat Mustafa and Matthieu Amgwerd (SUI), 61 62
But some VERY good news to report from the $15K futures in Berry, Australia! .. 637th ranked Rohan Bopanna pulled off his best win as a pro, beating the second seed Peter Luczak (AUS,322) 36 62 61 !!! .. That is quite a highly ranked player he upset today, and that too in a furious comeback after dropping a set .. Rohan had won the first round rather easily, 64 62 over Jurek Stasiak (AUS,768) .. He faces a wildcard player, Ryan Henry (AUS,1049) in the quarterfinal .. Today's win is another indication that Rohan may be for real .. Watch out folks .. Hey, I am getting quite excited!
Oh, by the way, what the hell is our cricket team being asked to do - play another test with the same clown as the match referee ? .. Hello, India .. Will you all stand up and ask these guys from the country that gave us John Lever and vaseline techniques to go take a flying leap off the cliff ? .. Needed written request from India before the fat behinds could move in London, it seems .. And then of course there was nothing much they could do .. Bovine excrement! .. Go to hell, really .. This kind of crap has gone on for way too long .. OK, let me direct you to the latest from Prem Panicker, who says everything I want to say on this, much better than I could have ever said, especially the bit about not wasting emotional energy on classless irritants like Steve Waugh whose comments our press seemed to be giving coverage to .. And I cannot agree more with Prem's compelling contrast with the Atherton case too .. Come on people, what are you waiting for? .. Do the right thing - refuse to play if Dennes is the referee .. By the way, I almost threw up seeing Indian press again showing their inferiority complex in giving coverage to those like Boycott who said "Indians can/should sue for libel" .. Whoop-dee doo! .. Look mommy - a profound finding! .. Like we need these guys to tell us that we can sue - as long as RSA is a decent democratic country, you can of course sue against injustice and libel .. But then as Yogi Berra, err, Navjyot Sidhu just said, "he who sues for sheep, loses a cow" :-) .. Right now, the team needs to protest and refuse to play the 3rd test with Dennes as the match referee, if the bigwigs in India do not take the tough enough stand .. Enough is enough.
Also, I gave up seeing the "oh, I feel so bad, I didn't know we guys were being racist" tone of Daniel Laidlaw's article, also in Rediff.com .. But he is being honest though, and he does make some good observations about how the "white boys" just assume whatever they do to be right ..
Nov 20 Notes
Manisha Malhotra was at the qualies of the $25K Nuriootpa challenger in Australia .. I am surprised that the draw closed inside top 300 there - it was probably because it is the only challenger this week .. She was the 2nd seed in the qualies but unfortunately, went down in the 3rd round of the 4 round qualies .. She beat Joulia Vorobieva (RUS), 63 63 and Debby Haak (NED) 64 57 63 before falling 46 36 to Stephanie Weis (GER), who went on to upset the 7th seed Beti Sekulowski also to qualify in .. Manisha and her semi-regular partner Leanne Baker (NZL) are in the main draw of doubles as the 3rd seeds .. They face Yulia Beygelzimer (UKR) and Anouk Sterk (NED) [source: TennisAustralia].
Rohan Bopanna was drawn to play Jurek Stasiak (AUS) in the first round at the $15K Aus F5 futures .. He could run into the second seed Peter Luzak (AUS) if he advances .. Rohan did not find a doubles partner to play with, so only singles this week.
Still awaiting news about Mahesh and Mustafa at the $10K Vietnam futures .. News is normally quite slow to come by from Vietnam.
The Tata junior circuit regionals are underway in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore .. Will report later about who all makes it to the final round in Chennai to select the ones who get into the ATP Tata Open qualies .. Sunil Kumar playing at the Kolkata regionals is the biggest name in the fray.
Glad to see the rather united "outraged' Indian response so far against the "Indians are cheats" stuff being thrown on our cricket team abroad .. Sachin is an integral part of our nation and a Kargill type attack does unite Indians :-)
Nov 19 Notes
Mahesh Bhupathi got a wildcard into the draw and plays Robert Krause (RSA) at the $10K Vietnam F1 futures .. Mustafa Ghouse was the top seed in the qualies with a first round bye .. He won his Q2 match against Phu-Quy Huynh (VIE), 57 60 64 to make the draw .. Mustafa plays the 5th seed Benjamin Cassaigne (FRA) in the main draw R1 .. I don't know why Fazal is not in the draw there - he had a direct entry originally .. No news yet from Australia on Rohan Bopanna at the $15K F5 futures in Berry, on grass courts.
I believe the tennis events at the National Games in Chandigarh start Tuesday.
I am not into commenting too much about other sports on these pages - but I was quite deeply troubled by what happened to our cricketers in South Africa today .. What is it, 27 years since the Sudhir Naik socks incident in England, and we are still taking this kind of crap ? .. "Call the bloody tour off!, Now!" - was my first reaction about the crazy stuff Mike Dennes is pulling out from his behind .. I was amazed to see exactly that as the title of Prem Panicker'sarticle in the rediff.com .. Go Prem! .. Well said .. Time to show some backbone and stand up to these ******!
Tuesday's Times of India has an article ("wedding bells..") that claims that Leander and actress Mahima Chaudhury are getting married soon, but the article provides only a non-denial from LP of his relationship with Mahima as the reason for them to be announcing this in such a definite tone, that too in the front page of the Newspaper's online edition (funny to see the Sachin story and Leander story on the front page!) .. "As and when we decide to get married, we will make the announcement" is all LP said in Kolkata, apparently .. It seems that the rumor mill and film fish-wraps in Bollywood have been on to this for a while too .. Don't ask me - I know nothing! .. I rarely talk anything other than tennis with Leander ..
In other news, Guillermo Canas (ARG,15) has confirmed his entry for the ATP Tata Open, Chennai .. Good news - he joins other top players such as Johansson, Santoro, Hrbati, etc.
.. Previous notes are at Notes for the week ending on Nov 19 ..
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.