Prajnesh masters Maden to keep Indian challenge alive


India’s top-ranked singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran kicked of his Tata Maharashtra Open campaign on a positive note as he stormed into the second round of the tournament with a straight-sets win over German tennis player Yannick Maden. Gunneswaran entered the pre-quarters of the Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament with a 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) over the German. Local player Arjun Kadhe, who got a wild card entry, was also knocked out after losing 2–6, 4–6, to Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.prajnesh-keeping-india-hopes-alive

On the other hand, the other Indian singles players Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan were knocked out on Monday.

Gunneshwaran has not had a great year so far as he was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round and has been battling injuries and sorrow of losing his father. Gunneshwaran who was not at all at the top of his game stuck to his aggressive baseline game, which is considered to be his strength, to win the match. Gunneswaran hit 28 winners, and 34 unforced errors, while his opponent, had only 14 winners to 38 unforced errors.prajnesh-gunneswaran-atp

At one time Gunneshwaran was going to seal the first set as he was 5-3 ahead but he allowed Maden to level the set and take it into the tie-breaker. Maden leads 3-0 in the tiebreaker but he missed four forehands and lost seven of the next eight points to hand the first set to the Indian.

Maden once again showed his class as even after being pushed on all his service games in the second set the German forced a tie-breaker. However, Gunneshwaran once again took the charge as he took a 3-2 lead following the longest rally of the match. Gunneshwaran soon raced to the match point Indian with an ace for 6-5 and converted it immediately, ending a point on Maden’s serve with a striking forehand winner to advance to the pre-quarters.

In the men’s doubles veteran Leander Paes, who is playing his last ATP tournament in India, along with his Australian partner Matthew Ebden also advanced to the next round with a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over the Indo-Kiwi pair of Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak.