Prajnesh Gunneshwaran moved a step closer to this dream of playing in the Australian Open after he registered a hard-fought victory in the second round of the qualifiers. Prajnesh advanced into the third round of the Australian Open qualifiers after he overcame Germany”s Yannick Hanfmann 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 in an intense match that lasted for one hour and 22 minutes.
Prajnesh did not start the match against the German on a positive note as he lost the opening set 1-6. The Indian then adjusted his game and came back strong in the second game as he broke Hanfmann twice. The final set was a battle of nerves for both the player and the Indian prevailed to progress to the final round of the qualifiers.
On the contrary, India’s Sumit Nagal’s dream of playing in the main round of the Australian Open was broken after he lost the first round of the first Grand Slam qualifier of the year on Thursday.
Sumit Nagal seeded 21st in the qualifiers, was overwhelmed by Mohammad Safwat of Egypt. World number-128 Nagal lost to world number 172 Mohammad Safwa 6-7 2-6 in a match that went on for about one and a half hours.
The match was to be played on Wednesday but due to poor air quality, the match was played on Thursday.
Nagal, who won the Buenos Aires ATP Challenger in September last year, had met a similar fate in his previous appearance in an Australian Open qualifier in 2018 where he was shown the door by Italy’s Alessandro Giannessi. The Italian had knocked out Nagal with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory in the first round.
Prior to Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan also crashed out of the tournament after losing in the qualifier. He was defeated by Federico Correa. In this tournament, Ankita Raina, India’s only challenge in the women’s singles category, also lost in the qualifier. She was defeated by Victoria Tomova of Bulgaria.