India’s Prajnesh loses in Aus Open first round

Melbourne: India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran put up a gritty display but eventually lost in the first round of Australian Open today. He was defeated 7-6, 6-5, 6-3 by Tiafoe.

Prajnesh is ranked 112 on ATP men’s singles charts and India’s top-ranked player. World number 39 Frances Tiafoe from the USA displayed his best, while Prajnesh made too many unforced errors in the second and third set.

Prajnesh won two ATP Challenger titles, including the $150,000 event in Bengaluru. He had jumped 131 places after starting last year as the 243rd-ranked player on the ATP charts. Prajnesh had an opportunity to make his Grand Slam main draw debut at last year’s French Open. However, the lucky loser did not play the clay-court major as he had left to play a Challenger event in Italy.

M BHARAT KUMAR