Stuttgart Open Round 2: Gunneswaran vs Pella Review
Prajnesh Gunneswaran bows out of Stuttgart open after losing to Argentinian Guido Pella 6-7 3-6 in a match which had only one break of serve. Having beaten no.23 Shapovalov yesterday in 3 sets it was always gonna be a test in the subject of stamina for the 28 year old and Pella proved to be the difficult question paper.
The second round encounter didn't lack in quality by any stretch of imagination. Both the players pulled out their bag of tricks now with not much to differ in their serving quality. Pella played mesmerizing drop shots after pushing the Indian well behind the baseline, but when Prajnesh did get hold of some of those he had no answers. Gunneswaran dished up linelicking down the liners on both the backhand and forehand, but the Argentinian's defense was incredible on a lot of occasions. In the first set Prajnesh had to deal with 2 break points, one at 3-3 and another at 5-5, which he did expertly with well constructed points. Even though there wasn't a great deal of difference between the players' performance Pella stood tall in crucial moments. During the tie breaker of the first set he proved the exact point, having gotten to 2-0 he lost mini breaks twice in 4 points getting the score to 3-3. From there he got 3 straight points, winning 2 of those on the trot off Prajnesh's serve at 4-3 to set up a couple of set points before closing it out 7-4. The extraordinary defence and counter-attack style of the South American came into fore a lot more in the second set.
Guido Pella saved two break points in his second service game, playing beautiful rallies facing an aggressive Gunneswaran. The Indian returned the favour in the very next game, taking it from 15:40 with some great serving and resolute defence. However, he started to tire and his opponent upped his game, holding serve twice before earning 2 break points at 4 games to 3. This time the server couldn't save himself as Pella comfortably won the next point to serve for the set. There were no hiccups this time for the Argentinian as he took the game with ease to earn a ticket into the Quarters where he'll the play the no.1 seed Roger Federer. Prajnesh Gunneswaran though, can hold his head high and this experience would certainly hold him in good stead, especially when he faces other players with good defense. The win against Shapovalov would give him a boost in rankings in most probability and maybe act as a pedestal to elevate his game.
Pella d Gunneswaran 7-6(7-4) 6-3