Prajnesh Gunneswaran loses in second round of US Open qualifiers

The Indian tennis player went down 3-6, 4-6 to USA’s Christopher Eubanks. Ankita Raina, Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan had lost in the first round earlier.

By Abhishek Purohit

India’s challenge in the US Open 2021 tennis singles draw ended with Prajnesh Gunneswaran going down to Christopher Eubanks of the USA 3-6, 4-6 in the second round of the men’s singles qualifiers on Thursday.

Ankita Raina (women’s singles), Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan (both men’s singles) had all lost in the first round of the qualifiers earlier.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran could not earn a single break point against Eubanks, who sent down 14 aces compared to five by the 31-year old Indian.

Eubanks -- ranked 60 places below the world No. 156 Prajnesh Gunneswaran at 216 -- won an incredible 97 per cent of his first-serve points, while the Indian managed only 65 per cent.

The American also converted both the break points he had, one in each set, to win the match in 50 minutes. Christopher Eubanks now faces world No. 155 Sebastian Baez of Argentina in the third and final qualifying round for a spot in the main draw.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran had qualified for the men’s singles main draw at US Open 2019, where he lost in the opening round against current world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

At the US Open qualifiers this year, Prajnesh Gunneswaran beat world No. 232 Brayden Schnur of Canada 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the first round but failed to get past his second hurdle.

The US Open 2021 main draw begins on Monday at the Flushing Meadows. Sixteen players will enter the main draw of the US Open men’s singles through the qualifiers.