Monday, November 29, 1999

Prakash fails to enter Wimbledon main draw

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London, June 17 (PTI) Prakash Amritraj failed to make it to the Wimbledon singles main draw as he lost to Bernard Tomic of Australia in the final round of the qualifying event here today. The US-based Indian, seeking his second singles Grand Slam appearance, lost 6-7(3), 3-6, 4-6 to Australia''s teen sensation Tomic in the third and final round. Amritraj had made his Grand Slam debut in 2002 when he played US Open main draw as a wild card. Ever since he has never entered the singles main draw of any of the tennis Major. Meanwhile, Harsh Mankad entered the main draw of the doubles event along with Ilija Bozoljac of Serbia. This would be the Indian''s maiden Grand Slam appearance. Mankad and his Serbian partner, seeded eighth, edged past the Austrian-German pair of Alexander Peya and Bjorn Phau 7-6(5) 6-4 in the second and final qualifying round last night. Indian participation in the Wimbledon may grow if Somdev Devvaraman also qualifies in doubles. Somdev, who has crashed out of singles qualifiers, and Philippines'' Treat Huey Conard are a step away from booking their berth in the doubles main draw. Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna will have a direct entry, courtesy their superior ranking along with their respective partners.

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