ATP Chennai Open: Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Mukund in last four

Prajnesh Gunneswaran

Chennai: Top-seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India and his 16th-seeded compatriot Sasikumar Mukund moved into the semifinals of the ATP Chennai Open Challenger tournament here Friday, albeit in contrasting styles.

They were joined in the last four by second-seeded Corentin Moutet and unseeded Australian Andrew Harris, both coming through in three-set matches. Chennai southpaw Gunneswaran eased past Australia’s James Duckworth, the seventh-seed, 6-4, 6-3.

He served well and hit some crunching forehands while Duckworth tried to attack with limited success. In the ninth game, Gunneswaran broke his rival’s serve with some aggressive play. He served out the set easily in the next game. The second set was a romp as Duckworth began to wilt in the heat.

The Aussie quickly fell behind 0-4 before fighting back to 2-5. The Indian was serving for the match when he double-faulted twice to drop serve. In the next game, Duckworth saved a match point but missed a shot on the subsequent point to end the match.

Mukund was an impressive winner as he overcame a mid-match slump to beat Brydan Klein 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in a long-drawn encounter. Moutet faced a strong challenge from Nicola Kuhn of Spain the tenth seed, before coming through in a close third set. He will now meet Mukund in the semifinals.

Harris came back from behind to upset the fifth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain in three sets to set up a last four clash with Gunneswaran.

Results:

Men’s singles:

Quarterfinals:

Prajnesh Gunneswaran (Ind-X1) beat James Duckworth (Aus-X7) 6-4, 6-3;
Andrew Harris (Aus) beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP-X5) 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-2;
Sasikumar Mukund (X-16) beat Brydan Klein (GBR) 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3);
Corentin Moutet (Fra-X2) beat Nicola Kuhn (ESP-X10) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

Doubles:

Semifinals:

Matt Reid and Luke Saville (Aus-X1) beat Andre Goransson (Swe) and Harri Heliovaara (Fin) 6-4, 6-3;
Gianluco Mager and Andrea Pellegrino (Italy) beat Tomislav Draganja (CRO) and Tsung-Hua Yang (Taipei) (X-2) 6-0, 6-4.

NT Bureau