Indian tennis round-up: Prajnesh Gunneswaran bows out, Divij Sharan keeps winning
In a tale of contrasting fortunes, India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s brilliant run came to an end at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany on Thursday, while doubles ace Divij Sharan made it to the semi-finals of the Libema Open in the Netherlands.
Gunneswaran fought hard in the first set, but could not sustain that level in the second as he went down 6-7(4), 3-6 to World No. 75 Guido Pella of Argentina in the second round of this ATP 250 tournament, which also serves as a warm-up for the Wimbledon Championships, scheduled to begin on July 2.
In the highly competitive first set, none of the players managed to break the other’s serve, although Pella had two opportunities. The Argentine made up for it in the second set, when he made use of one of the three break points that he was presented with. Prajnesh, on the other hand, failed to capitalize on the couple of chances that he got himself to put the set back on track.
The 169th ranked Gunneswaran was looking to set up a quarter-final clash with Roger Federer. The Indian, who won two matches in the qualifying stages, had the biggest win of his career in the first round of the main draw on Wednesday when he ousted the World No. 23 Denis Shapovalov in three sets.
The southpaw has been on a good run of form lately. He was the only Indian to reach the final round of qualifying at the French Open last month. He even got a chance to play the main draw due to the late withdrawal of Nick Kyrgios, but could not make it as he had already headed to Italy for a Challenger tournament by then.
Sharan reaches sixth semi-final on the Tour
At the Libema Open, another ATP 250 grasscourt event, fourth seeds Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak of New Zealand entered the semi-finals with a 7-6(2), 6-3 win over Romain Arneodo and Gilles Muller. This is the sixth semi-final at an ATP World Tour level tournament for the 43rd ranked Sharan.
The Indian is looking to reach the final on the Tour for the first time this season.