Prajnesh Gunneswaran lone Indian survivor in US Open qualifiers
New York: Prajnesh Gunneswaran remained the lone hope for India in the US Open qualifiers as he won his first-round match, beating Brayden Schnur of Canada.
Gunneswaran, ranked 156th in the world, defeated the 232 ranked Schnur 6-4, 7-6(5), capitalising on a superb first serve (80%). Gunneswaran made the most of his chances as he converted two of the three breakpoints that came his way, winning 51 points on serve.
Gunneswaran, who had made the first round in the 2019 US Open, meets American Christopher Eubanks in the next round.
Gunneswaran won the first set after going down a break. He levelled scores at 4-4 and won the next two games to claim the set 6-4.
Schnur picked up his game in the second set and took it to the tie-break before Gunneswaran prevailed.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sumit Nagal, Ankita Raina, and Ramkumar Ramanathan crashed out of the qualifiers.
Sumit Nagal, the world No. 165, was beaten 5-7, 6-4, 3-6 in two hours and 22 minutes by Argentina's Juan Pablo Ficovich, ranked 81 spots below at 246.
The 24-year old Nagal had as many as 11 break points but could convert only two of those. Meanwhile, Ficovich, who sent down 16 aces compared to Nagal's four, converted three out of his four break-point opportunities.
Ankita, the world No. 193, went down 3-6, 6-2, 4-6 to the USA's Jamie Loeb, who is ranked one spot below the 28-year old Indian.
While Ankita broke serve five times in the nearly two-hour match, she struggled with her serve and was broken on six occasions, including three times in the decisive third set.
Ramkumar, the third Indian in the fray on the day at Flushing Meadows, won the opening set before going down 6-4, 6-7(1), 4-6 to Russia's Evgeny Donskoy.
The 26-year old Ramkumar, ranked 204, sent down 10 aces but also committed 12 double faults against the world No. 152 Donskoy.