Monday, May 5, 2008

Titles for Karan Rastogi, Rushmi Chakravarthi

April 28 - May 4: Karan Rastogi wins Gimcheon(Korea) doubles title, Rushmi Chakravarthi picks up twin titles in Kochi, Isha Lakhani falters in Balikpapan(Indonesia) final, Mahesh Bhupathi retires hurt in Munich

Karan Rastogi added yet another doubles title to his trophy collection with a win in Gimcheon (Korea) partnering Alexey Kedryuk. The fourth seeds lost just one set on their way to victory in the $15,000 hardcourt event.

For Rastogi, the win came two weeks after he paired with Ashutosh Singh to bag the doubles title at a $15,000 event in Taizhou (China).

Although he lost his second round singles match at Gimcheon, the Mumbai lad reached the semifinals at Taizhou and said he hopes to carry the same form in the coming weeks.

"My confidence level is pretty high right now although I would have preferred the same results in singles. But I am playing well and even the doubles titles are welcome," the 21-year-old told the Indian Tennis Blog.

Rastogi has pulled out of this week's Changwon event in Korea and will reach New Delhi earlier in order to prepare for the twin challengers in the Indian capital starting next week. Prakash Amritraj and Rohan Bopanna, both struggling for consistency in singles, will also be seen in action in Delhi.


At 30, most players are at the fag end of their tennis career but not Rushmi Chakravarthi. The top-seeded Tamilian dropped a set in her opening singles match at the $10,000 event in Kochi but breezed through the rest of the claycourt tournament.

Ranked 518 in the world, Chakravarthi also picked up the doubles title partnering 17-year-old Poojashree Venkatesha.

Chakravarthi, who has won more singles and doubles matches than any other Indian woman, will be hoping to extend her winning streak at the $10,000 event in Thiruvananthapuram this week.


Isha Lakhani was one match away from being the third Indian to pick up a title this week but Thai youngster Noppawan Lertcheewakarn was in no mood to humour the second-seeded Indian.

Lakhani, who turned 23 last week, lost 3-6,2-6 in the final of the $25,000 Balikpapan event in Indonesia. But the world number 345 will be the favourite to grab the title as the top seed in Thiruvananthapuram this week.


For those expecting yet another tournament win for doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi, news of his groin strain was disconcerting. Bhupathi picked up the injury during the Monte Carlo Masters final where he and Mark Knowles lost to Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo in straight sets.

But Bhupathi, who crossed the 500 milestone in doubles victories at Monte Carlo, didn't use the injury as an excuse for the loss.

"Nadal played great, he was the difference in the match. They were already up a set before I got hurt so it would have been a tough task," Bhupathi told the Indian Tennis Blog.

The injury also forced Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna to retire from their opening round encounter at last week's BMW Open in Munich, despite leading 6-2, 0-1. Bhupathi returns to action at the Italian Open in Rome this week where he and Knowles are the fourth seeds.


Leander Paes and Australia's Paul Hanley, who have suffered a string of inexplicable first round losses this season, are seeded eighth at Rome.

The trio of Navdeep Singh, Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja couldn't work wonders at the Great Britain Futures at Bournemouth and will try their luck at Edinburgh this week.


With Sania Mirza still out of action thanks to wrist surgery, the spotlight will be on India's number two Sunitha Rao who is playing a $75,000 claycourt event in Zagreb, Croatia this week.


But there's great news on the junior front. Yuki Bhambri and Saurabh Singh led India to an impressive victory in the final of the Asia-Oceania Junior Davis Cup under-16 tennis tournament held in New Delhi. The win helped India qualify for September's Junior Davis Cup finals in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

ATP RANKINGS (5 May 2008)
(in brackets - positions lost/gained since last week)
246 (+2) Amritraj, Prakash
303 (+3) Bopanna, Rohan
420 (+2) Sipaeya, Sunil Kumar
443 (+13) Rastogi, Karan
602 (+8) Singh, Ashutosh

11 (0) Bhupathi, Mahesh
24 (-2) Paes, Leander
51 (0) Bopanna, Rohan

WTA RANKINGS (5 May 2008)
(in brackets - positions lost/gained since last week)
33 (-1) Mirza, Sania
157 (-1) Rao, Sunitha
345 (-10) Lakhani, Isha
381 (-5) Iyer, Tara
512 (-5) Bhambri, Ankita

19 (0) Mirza, Sania
127 (-4) Rao, Sunitha
316 (-2) Iyer, Tara

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