Sunday, June 26, 2022

Australian Open Qualifiers LIVE: Prajnesh Gunneswaran sails into Qualifier 2, beats higher-ranked David Galan in straight sets

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Australian Open Qualifiers LIVE: Gunneswaran beat Galan- What comes great news, Prajnesh Gunneswaran has kickstarted India’s campaign in the Australian Open Singles Qualifiers on a winning note. He beat Colombia’s World No. 120 David Galan 6-4, 6-4 to book his spot in Qualifier 2. The remaining India Tennis players in Aus Open– Yuki Bhambri, Ankita Raina & Ramkumar Ramanathan– will be in Qualifiers 1 action on Tuesday. Follow Gunneswaran vs Galan LIVE updates on InsideSport.IN

Indian No. 2 displayed solid tennis to score an upset 6-4 6-4 win over Daniel Galan to move into the 2nd round of qualifiers in Melbourne today. He will next take on the winner of the match between Germany’s Maximilian Marterer and Croatia’s Nino Serdarusic.

Australian Open Qualifiers LIVE: Prajnesh Gunneswaran sails into Qualifier 2, beats higher-ranked David Galan in straight sets

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Prajnesh hit a crushing backhand winner from the middle of the court to open up a break opportunity in the third game of the opening set and converted the second chance with a deep return that Galan sent on the net with his forehand.

With similar style and strategy, both the players were trying to make deep returns and dispatched the short balls for easy winners.

It was about who did it more consistently. Prajnesh’s better service games stood him in good stead. The break stayed with the Indian and he served the opening set at love.

Prajnesh then broke his rival in the very first game of the second set. At 30-30, Galan hit a backhand wide and then failed to put the ball across the net on breakpoint.

The southpaw made it 2-0 when Galan hit a forehand on the net, although Prajnesh made it a bit difficult for himself, letting his rival take two points after going up 40-0.

Prajnesh found himself down a break point when he was serving for the match as he hit a forehand long at 30-30 but saved that with a good serve.

Again, he hit a forehand soaring over the baseline with nerves perhaps getting the better of him. However, he saved that break chance too with a booming serve.

He eventually, finished the match with an easy winner in open court with Galan stranded on one flank of the court.

Prajnesh who breached the Top-100 in 2019 ATP Rankings to be India’s top-ranked men’s singles player has now slipped down the rankings chart after the pandemic struck the sport. He is now ranked 219th in the World and will look to resurrect his career and improve the rankings in the upcoming season.

His best season came in 2019 where he qualified for the main round of all the major Grand Slam tournaments in that year. His last appearance in a Grand Slam main round came in the 2020 Australian Open.

The 32-year old southpaw from Chennai had a low-key 2021. His best performance in the year came during the Nur-Sultan challenger event in Kazakhstan where he bowed out in the semis. Apart from that he hasn’t had a notable outing in the other tournaments which has made him slide down the rankings.

In the Grand Slams, Prajnesh played the qualifiers in all the four events last year. While he bowed out in the first round at the French Open and the Wimbledon, he went one step ahead and bowed out in the second round at the Australian Open and the US Open.

Australian Open Qualifiers LIVE: Prajnesh Gunneswaran sails into Qualifier 2, beats higher-ranked David Galan in straight sets

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