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Miami Open 2019: Prajnesh Gunneswaran vs Jaume Munar, Preview and Prediction

21 Mar 2019, 15:20 IST

2019 Australian Open Qualifying - Day 4
2019 Australian Open Qualifying - Day 4

After making his debut at the Masters level in Indian Wells, the world number 84 Prajnesh Gunneswaran has made it to the main draw of the Miami Open. He will meet the Spanish NextGen star Jaume Munar, who is currently ranked 61, in the first round.

The late-blooming Indian possesses a strong serve and a lethal forehand. When he is consistent, he can trouble the top players. This was very much on show at the Indian Wells Masters where he got the better of two top tennis players – Nikoloz Basilashvili and Benoit Paire, before going down to Ivo Karlovic in the third round.

He has carried that form to Miami, where he has won both his qualifying matches without any fuss. His performance in the second qualifying match against Jay Clarke was especially impressive. He won a whopping 81% of his first serve points, while winning 35 points on his return game as opposed to just 13 by his opponent.

His opponent in the first round is the 21-one-year-old Jaume Munar who has made steady progress since finishing runner up at the NextGen ATP Finals last year. He may not have had a breakthrough performance so far, but he has been slowly and steadily making headway.

BNP Paribas Open - Day 5
BNP Paribas Open - Day 5

Before coming to Miami, he had lost in the first round at Indian Wells and the second round at Sao Paulo. He had also lost in the first round at the Australian Open. But sandwiched between these were his three successive quarterfinal appearances at Rio Open, Argentina Open and Cordoba Open.

Munar’s mentor, Rafael Nadal, has very high regard for the youngster and considers him the future of men’s tennis. Unlike some of his peers Shapovalov and Tsitsipas, he may not have set the tennis world on fire so far, but he is still very young and has the potential to become one of the best in the world.

Unfortunately for him, he is going to run into a veteran who is playing the best tennis of his life and is high on confidence. At the moment, it is advantage Gunneswaran.

Prediction: Gunneswaran to win in 3 Sets.

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