Australian Open 2022: Prajnesh goes down in straight sets in 2nd round of qualifiers


Prajnesh Gunneswaran
Image Source : ISI PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

File photo of Prajnesh Gunneswaran.

Highlights

  • The loss leaves Yuki Bhambri as the sole Indian representative left in the qualifiers
  • Bhambri is scheduled to face Czech Republic’s World No. 130 Tomas Machac on Thursday
  • Earlier on Tuesday, Ankita Raina and Ramkumar Ramanathan went down in straight sets in 1st round

India’s World No. 221 Prajnesh Gunneswaran won’t make it to the Australian Open main draw this year as the 32-year-old southpaw went down in straight sets to Germany’s World No. 228 Maximilian Marterer. The 26-year-old German defeated Prajnesh 6-2, 7-6 (8). 

Prajnesh didn’t go down without putting up a fight as losing 2-4 in the second set, he managed to stretch it to a tie-breaker but squandered many a set point to lose the match.

Prajnesh handed the German two break chances in the fourth game of the match when he made a volley error after setting up the point and followed that up with wide forehand.

The Indian saved the first chance with a big serve while Marterer’s backhand slice landed just outside the baseline on the second. An engrossing rally, that put Prajnesh’s backhand to test against the German’s forehand, ensued in the sixth game.

A smart backhand slice by Marterer, after no less than a 20-shot exchange ended the rally as Prajnesh hit the pick-up out, looking for a cross court forehand winner.

Prajnesh’s strokes began to lose power and precision after losing that energy-sapping rally and the German began to dictate terms. Marterer hit a forehand winner to earn two break chances and converted the second for a 4-2 lead when Prajnesh made a forehand error.

The German came out serving big in the next game to consolidate his lead but Prajnesh seemed to have lost energy as unforced errors flew from his racquet as he surrendered the opening set.

Early in the second set, Prajnesh went from 40-0 to deuce and was down a breakpoint when he sent another shot long.

Marterer could not covert that but created one more chance when he had Parjnesh scurried to the net from the baseline to miss the ball.


Already a break-up, Marterer held his own for a 4-1 lead.

A glimmer of hope came when the German allowed Prajnesh an opening by dropping his serve in the seventh game as it was back on serve.

The loss leaves Yuki Bhambri as the sole Indian representative left in the qualifiers and is scheduled to face Tomas Machac on Thursday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ankita Raina and Ramkumar Ramanathan went down in straight sets in their respective first-round qualifier matches.

(With inputs from PTI)





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