Chennai’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran pulled off a 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) victory against Yannick Maden of Germany to advance into the second round of the Tata Open Maharashtra at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi on Tuesday.
Gunneswaran was in his elements, playing some beautiful forehands as he broke his opponent in the ninth game of the first set. “I played my natural game today and am happy everything went off well and my wrist did not trouble me. I served nicely and used my forehand quite well,” said Gunneswaran.
He was, however, unhappy that despite dominating the first set, the match went into a tie-breaker. “It was one loose game; I shouldn’t have been broken as I was serving well.
In the tie-breaker, though, the top-ranked Indian was in his groove, opening up a 3-0 lead. Though his German opponent made it 3-3, Gunneswaran won the first set in style, hitting two aces and then sealing it with a forehand winner.
The second set too went into the tie-breaker and again the 30-year-old Indian emerged winner. “I have much more speed in my serves,” said Gunneswaran when asked about the two aces he hit in the first-set tie-breaker.
Australia’s James Duckworth marked his arrival with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win over Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk.
Wildcard entrant Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden stunned second-seeded Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).