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Saturday, June 30, 2001

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Bad outing for Indians

NEW DELHI, JUNE 29. The Indian juniors did not have an exciting final warm-up on grass before the Wimbledon junior event, during the ITF group `I' tennis tournament in Roehampton this week.

82nd-ranked Sunil Kumar had to come through two rounds in the qualifying event to make the main draw. He did well to beat fellow qualifier Clinton Letcher 6-3, 6-2 in the first round, but lost 4-6, 5-7 to the world No. 9 Robin Soderling of Sweden, the seventh seed in the tournament. Sunil defeated Britons Peter Travella 6-0, 6-2 and Tom Burn 6-4, 6-2 in the qualifying event.

The 64th ranked Prakash Amritraj defeated the 54th ranked Florian Lemke of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 and 42nd ranked Benjamin Balleret of France 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) before losing 5-7, 6- 3, 2-6 to the 24th ranked Jordan Kanev of Bulgaria in the pre- quarterfinals, in a draw of 64.

Amanjot Singh could not cross the qualifying event, and lost to Clinton Letcher 4-6, 4-6 in the second and final round after beating Ben Archer Clowes of Britain 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The 59th ranked Sania Mirza lost to the 26th ranked Myrian Casanova of Switzerland 2-6, 3-6 in the first round of the main draw of 64. In doubles, Sania did well to win a round with Olga Puchkova of Belarus, as the duo beat British wild cards Cristelle Grier and Julia Smith 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 8-6; but the Indo- Belarussian pair lost to Anna Bastrikova and Dinara Safina of Russia 2-6, 3-6 in the pre-quarterfinals.

The boys could not win a round in doubles. The Amritraj cousins, Prakash and Stephen lost to Teimouraz Gabashvili of Russia and Lionel Noviski of Argentina 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 2-6; Sunil Kumar in partnership with Tomislav Peric of Croatia went down to Ben Archer-Clowes and Ken Skupski of Britain 6-3, 3-6, 2-6; and Amanjot Singh in combination with Goran Kovacevic of Australia lost to the second-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and Bart De Gier of the Netherlands 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 9-11.

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