Outlining his progress as a participant, a constant Prajnesh Gunneswaran sealed his maiden look in the primary draw of a Grand Slam by qualifying for the Australian Open males’s singles occasion right here Friday. The 29-year-old from Chennai got here from behind to beat Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-Four within the third and remaining qualifying spherical. Prajnesh is the one third Indian in 5 years to characteristic within the males’s singles primary draw of a Grand Slam, the opposite being Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri.
Whereas Yuki performed in all 4 Grand Slams in 2018 earlier than a knee harm lower brief his season, Somdev, who’s now retired, final performed on the 2013 US Open.
“It’s clearly large for me. First time ever in a Grand Slam primary draw, one thing I’ve at all times dreamt of. I’m actually glad, don’t have phrases to explain it but it surely’s large deal for certain,” Prajnesh advised PTI.
“I’m very proud that I caught to it and put in all this work. I received right here a lot later than most individuals do. I had the tennis to achieve right here, now simply have to relaxation and recuperate for the primary draw,” Prajnesh added.
The Indian has secured himself AUD 40,000 (Rs 20 lakh) for successful three qualifying rounds and a minimum of AUD 75,000 extra (approx Rs 38 lakh) as primary draw prize purse, which can deal with his main bills within the 2019 season.
Speaking concerning the match, Prajnesh mentioned, “It was nowhere close to pretty much as good as I needed it to be.
“I stayed powerful mentally and fought actually laborious. I didn’t actually play too flat, I felt a whole lot of stress from the start to the top. In between I performed very defensive, attacked right here and there. It was extra a battle of nerves.”
“It was very shut, the important thing was that I stayed powerful all through and I put quite a bit on the opponent and I did the whole lot attainable to discover a solution to win.”
Prajnesh will open his marketing campaign American world quantity 39 Frances Tiafoe and if he crosses the opening hurdle, he’s more likely to face fifth seed and Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson.
“Let’s see the way it goes. It will likely be a troublesome match, I’ve to play nicely.”
The Chennai southpaw loved a profitable 2018 by which he reached 4 Challenger-level finals and gained two titles.