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Ivan Ljubicic may ride easily till semifinals

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LET'S START: Ravi Krishnan, MD, IMG/ TWI, South Asia, Gerry Armstrong, tournament supervisor, Rainer Schuettler, Vijay Amritraj and Ivan Ljubicic at the Chennai Open draw on Saturday. Photo: R. Ragu
LET'S START: Ravi Krishnan, MD, IMG/ TWI, South Asia, Gerry Armstrong, tournament supervisor, Rainer Schuettler, Vijay Amritraj and Ivan Ljubicic at the Chennai Open draw on Saturday. Photo: R. Ragu

Nandita Sridhar

Chennai: Some of them might try and pinch themselves out of their nightmare, some might have an eye on the earliest airline schedule, a few others might believe that their court finally resembles a tinge of green, and an exclusive few might even consider preparing a little speech for the D-day.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez might try his hand at the pinching bit. After nearly preventing a Moya-Srichapan deja-vu with a good performance against Moya in the semifinal of the 2005 edition of the Chennai Open, he will face a certain Ivan Ljubicic. With the danger of being labelled the tennis equivalent of the weather bureau, it looks like Ljubicic will have it easy, till the semis, where he could meet Paradorn Srichaphan, who would have to contend with Rainer Schuettler in the quarters before that.

King Carlos, meanwhile, looks likely to have a number-two seeded encounter of the Radek Stepanek kind in the semifinals.

Indians will have it tough

Prakash Amritraj will have to contend with Ricardo Mello from Brazil, who is two hundred places higher than him (92). Vishaal Uppal, meanwhile, will face Jiri Vanek of the Czech Republic, who is ranked 109.

Top seeded Leander Paes and Martin Damm will meet Ashley Fisher and Justin Gimelstob in the first round, while the surprise duo of Pat Cash and Karan Rastogi will meet the number two seeds Rainer Schuettler and Alexander Waske. Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj will meet third seeds Yves Allegro and Michael Kohlmann.

Bopanna, Mankad post wins

Rohan Bopanna and Harsh Mankad won their first-round qualifying matches in straight sets.

Qualifying results, first round (Indians unless specified): 1-Danai Udomchoke (Tha) bt Ti Chen (Tpe) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2; Rohan Bopanna bt Marcin Matkowski (Pol) 6-3, 6-4; Vivek Subramanian (USA) bt Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-2, 6-3; 6-Rajeev Ram (USA) bt Vinod Sridhar 6-1, 6-3; 2-Marc Gicquel (Fra) bt Karan Rastogi 6-2, 6-3; Simon Stadler (Ger) bt Kittipong Wachiramanowong (Tha) 6-3, 6-1; Michael Kohlman (Ger) bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-3, 6-4; 7-Harsh Mankad bt Kamala Kannan 6-3, 6-3; 3-Michael Berrer (Ger) bt Ranjeet Virali Murugesan 6-2, 6-0; Somdev Dev Varman bt Luka Gregorc (Slo) 6-1, 6-4; Mariusz Frystenberg (Pol) bt Ashutosh Singh 7-6 (8), 6-4; 8-Florin Mergea (Rom) bt Ashley Fisher (Aus) 7-5, 2-1 (retd); 4-Ivan Navarro Pastor (Esp) bt Ravishankar Pathanjali 3-6, 6-3, 6-1; Sebastian Rieschick (Ger) bt Antonio De-Santiago-Macanas (Esp) 6-0, 6-0; Yves Allegro (Sui) bt Arun Prakash Rajagopalan 3-6, 6-1, 7-5; 5-Michal Mertinak (SVK) bt Vijay Kannan 6-1, 7-6 (5).

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