Monday, May 12, 2008

Isha Lakhani enters Top 300, Sunitha Rao wins at Zagreb

May 5 - May 11: Isha Lakhani wins Kerala Open, Sunitha Rao picks up doubles title at Zagreb, Paes' doubles partnership with Hanley on a break

ISHA LAKHANI

Isha Lakhani entered the Top 300 in the WTA rankings this week thanks to her runner-spot in the $25,000 Balikpapan (Indonesia) event two weeks ago and looks set to rise further after winning the Kerala Open title on Saturday. A Top 200 spot by the end of 2008 no longer seems a distant dream.

"Hitting the top 200 is achievable, it's tough but I have got to get tougher," the 23-year-old told the Indian Tennis Blog. "My temperament has improved a lot which has helped me perform, but there's always room for improvement."

$10,000 BSNL KERALA OPEN 2008, Thiruvananthapuram
(5 - 11 May 2008)
CLAY COURT
Women's Singles Final
(WC)(1)Isha Lakhani beat (6)Miki Miyamura(JPN) 6-7(2),6-2,6-4

A lack of financial backing may hinder her plan of participating in higher-level tournaments but for now Lakhani is looking forward to playing $25,000 events in Turkey and China next month.

SUNITHA RAO

The Florida-based Sunitha Rao jumped 17 places to a career-high 110 in the women's doubles rankings this week after partnering Melinda Czink of Hungary to win the title at the $75,000 tournament in Zagreb.

The second seeds did not lose a set all week.

$75,000 ZAGREB, Croatia
(5 - 11 May 2008)
CLAY COURT
Women's Doubles Final
(2)Sunitha Rao/Melinda Czink(HUN) beat (1)Stephanie Foretz(FRA)/Jelena Kostanic Tosic(CRO) 6-4,6-2

MAHESH BHUPATHI and LEANDER PAES

The ATP Masters at Rome didn't prove lucky for Indians with both Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes crashing out in their opening encounters. Despite the loss, Bhupathi returned to the ATP Top 10 this week -- moving one spot up from 11 while Paes slipped one place to number 25.

Bhupathi and partner Knowles have slipped to number 3 in the ATP Doubles Race with the Bryan brothers claiming the top spot after winning at Rome.

And Paes seems to be on a break from regular partner Paul Hanley after a string of inexplicable first round losses this season. The Kolkatan has teamed up with Spaniard Tommy Robredo for the Hamburg Masters while Hanley tries his luck partnering Wesley Moodie.

ATP ROME MASTERS
(5 - 11 May 2008)
CLAY COURT
Men's Doubles Round 2
(4)Mahesh Bhupathi/Mark Knowles(BAH) lost to Fernando Verdasco(SPN)/Feliciano Lopez(SPN) 7-6(4),4-6,7-10
(8)Leander Paes/Paul Hanley(AUS) lost to Mariusz Fyrstenberg(POL)/Marcin Matkowski(POL) 6-4,3-6,6-10

MEN'S TENNIS

All eyes are on the $50,000 SAIL Open challenger in New Delhi this week. Rohan Bopanna has withdrawn with a bad knee while wildcard Yuki Bhambri lost his opening match. But Prakash Amritraj, Harsh Mankad, Ashutosh Singh and Mustafa Ghouse are still in the fray.

Navdeep Singh, Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja couldn't work wonders at the Great Britain Futures at Bournemouth and Edinburgh. The trio will be trying their luck in the doubles draw in New Delhi.

WOMEN'S TENNIS

The Bhambri sisters - Ankita and Sanaa - lead a contingent of Indians at a $10,000 event in Bangkok this week.

Youngster Shalini Sahoo's semifinal spot at the $10,000 Kochi event two weeks ago saw her enter the Top 1000 in the WTA rankings on Monday. The 18-year-old is ranked 944, a climb of 120 spots since last week.

JUNIOR TENNIS

Disappointing result for India with our girls finishing eighth in the Asia-Oceania Junior Fed Cup girls under-16 tennis tournament in Bangkok.

ATP RANKINGS (12 May 2008)
(in brackets - positions lost/gained since last week)
SINGLES
249 (-3) Amritraj, Prakash
306 (-3) Bopanna, Rohan
428 (-8) Sipaeya, Sunil Kumar
443 (0) Rastogi, Karan
605 (-3) Singh, Ashutosh

DOUBLES
10 (+1) Bhupathi, Mahesh
25 (-1) Paes, Leander
51 (0) Bopanna, Rohan

WTA RANKINGS
(12 May 2008)
(in brackets - positions lost/gained since last week)
SINGLES
33 (0) Mirza, Sania
158 (-1) Rao, Sunitha
295 (+50) Lakhani, Isha
379 (+2) Iyer, Tara
499 (+19) Chakravarthi, Rushmi

DOUBLES
19 (0) Mirza, Sania
110 (+17) Rao, Sunitha
318 (-2) Iyer, Tara

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