Prajnesh Gunneswaran progresses at Australian Open qualifiers

The Indian no.1 will face Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann in the second qualifiers round.

By Subhayan Dutta

Prajnesh Gunneswaran prevailed against against the unseeded Harry Bourchier in the first round of qualifiers for the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Seeded 17th in the Australian Open qualifiers, Gunneswaran advanced in Melbourne with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran could not have started the match on a better note as he broke his Australian opponent in the first game of the first set.

It was a relatively straightforward encounter thereafter as the Indian repeated the feat in the seventh game to wrap the first set 6-2.

Bourchier showed more resilience in the second set though - although he dropped his serve once again in the opening game, he instantly broke Gunneswaran back.

The Australian did it again to leave Gunneswaran trailing 1-3 and looking in danger of losing the set.

The Indian though restored control, breaking the world no. 279 twice, in the fifth and the ninth game, to wrap up the match 6-2, 6-4.

The Indian will face Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann next, who is ranked 167 in the world.

Ramanathan goes down in three-setter

The other men’s singles Indian tennis player playing in the Australian Open qualifier on Tuesday was Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Up against Argentine Federico Coria, who is seeded 15th in the qualifiers, the Indian did well to win the first set before losing the next two and bow out of the Grand Slam 6-4, 4-6, 1-6.

Starting impressively against a higher-ranked opponent, the 185th ranked Indian broke Coria twice in the sixth and the tenth game to win the first set 6-4. However, Ramanathan ran out of steam as Coria came back in the second set after trailing 2-4 at one point in the match.

After getting broken in the sixth game, Coria came back into the match by breaking Ramanathan in the seventh and the ninth game and win the second set 6-4.

The third and deciding set saw Ramanathan get thrown off-gear as he was broken in the first game itself. The drill repeated in the third and seventh game as well, before Coria took the set 6-1 and clinched the match 2-1.

Mukund wins twice In a Day

Sasi Kumar Mukund was playing the Bendigo Challenger’s round of 32 against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. The Indian started well against the Japanese, who was ranked 201 places above Mukund, as he broke Nishioka in the fourth and sixth game in the first set.

However, after getting broken in the seventh game, at a time when Mukund was leading 5-2, Nishiyoka limped off the court and stopped playing. The Indian progressed to the next round as a result.

Mukund later partnered China’s Sun Fajing in the men’s doubles to face Switzerland’s Luca Margaroli and Italy’s Andrea Vavassori. The Indo-Chinese pair won 6-3, 6-4 in straight sets to advance from the Round of 16.


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