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Prajnesh Gunneswaran sets sights on third Challenger title of the season

Prajnesh Gunneswaran
Prajnesh Gunneswaran

India’s in-form tennis ace Prajnesh Gunneswaran extended his winning streak with an upset win over the top seed Radu Albot to enter the final of the $50,000+H Pune Challenger on Saturday. The fourth seed needed exactly two hours to come back from a set down and register a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over the World No. 102.

Prajnesh will now face the third seed and World No. 132 Elias Ymer of Sweden in the title clash. The latter too needed three sets to get the better of the 189th ranked Brayden Schnur of Canada.

Delight for India in doubles too

India had delight in doubles too as the unseeded all-Indian pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and N Vijay Sundar Prashanth stunned the fourth seeds Andrej Martin and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo 7-6(7), 6-0 to enter the summit clash. They will now take on the third-seeded Chinese Taipei combine of Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Tsung-Hua Yang, who edged the Australian duo of Max Purcell and Luke Saville 6-7(4), 6-3, 10-6.

This is the second consecutive ATP Challenger event in which Ramanathan has advanced to the doubles final. Earlier this month, he finished as the runner-up at the Slovak Open in Bratislava, where he partnered Andrei Vasilevski.

As for Gunneswaran, this is his ninth match win in a row. Last week, he triumphed at the Bengaluru Open to earn his second Challenger title of the year.

The achievement catapulted him to his career-high ranking of No. 110 in this week’s world rankings and made him the new India No. 1.

The confidence that the Indian southpaw has gathered in the past few weeks of his career-best season reflected in his first ever meeting with Albot on Saturday. After being thoroughly outplayed in the first set, the Chennai-based player stormed back to get just a solitary break of serve in each of the next two sets to secure the win.

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Edited by Sripad
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