Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s terrific run at the Indian Wells Masters came to an end following a straight-set defeat against big-serving Ivo Karlovic even as the left-handed Indian is confident of replicating success at the big stage consistently.
The Indian qualifier fought hard before losing 3-6 6-7(4) to the tall Croat, who fired 16 aces in the one hour and 13-minute contest. “It was very difficult to return his big serve. I had some chances, I did not take them and that’s pretty much what decided the match,” Prajnesh, ranked 97, said as he could not convert any of the two break chances.
It was Prajnesh’s maiden appearance at an ATP Masters event and he bagged 61 ranking points with his stupendous effort, which will catapult him to the new career-best rank of 82.
“Overall, it was a very good run. I am confident I will be able to do this again. Obviously, time will tell. Over a period of time, I should be able to deliver such results consistently. I am not sure if it will always be at the Masters, or a 250 (tournament) or a Grand Slam. I hope it happens at the bigger events. At the end of the day, If I am consistently competing against these players and finding success then I am on the right track,” said the Chennai player, who earned a prize purse of USD 48,775.
Meanwhile, India’s Rohan Bopanna and his partner Denis Shapovalov bowed out of the doubles after a 6-4 1-6 8-10 defeat against Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini in the second round.