Bengaluru Open: Prajnesh advances, top-seed Albot exits

Prajnesh Gunneswaran advanced to the second round of the 2018 Bengaluru Open with a straight sets win over Ivan Nedelko, while qualifier Youssef Hossam defeated top seed Radu Albot.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran soared into the second round of the 2018 Bengaluru Open after a comfortable first round win against Ivan Nedelko on Tuesday.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Fourth seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s quest to further embellish his career-best season started in earnest with an assured 6-2, 6-2 win over Russian Ivan Nedelko at the $150,000 Bengaluru Open.

The World No. 144, won 100 per cent of his first serve and 74 per cent of his second serve points and did not face a single break point.

The Russian’s was the superior heft of stroke, with which he often tried to bludgeon his way through. But for such tactics to work in
Bengaluru, where the ball tends to bounce high and fly off the
racquet, Nedelko needed to be at the top of his game. On Tuesday, he clearly wasn’t and the seven double faults he served didn’t help his cause one bit.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran won 100 per cent of his first serve and 74 per cent of his second serve points against Ivan Nedelko.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy


Prajnesh needed two breaks of serve in each set -- in the fourth and eighth games in the first and the sixth and eighth games in the
second. He was clinical, controlling his shots with aplomb. He
often went cross-court, with the angle, the distance and the top-spin all ensuring that the ball would land well inside the lines.

At the start of the second set, Prajnesh made a string of errors,
especially on the backhand side, as he tried to press ahead when
presented with openings. But the 28-year-old quickly made amends to wrap up the match in less than an hour.

“I felt good today,” Prajnesh said after the win. “I was coming from
China. Very different conditions. Considering that, I played well.”

Egypt's Youssef Hossam staged a comeback 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win to oust top-seed Radu Albot.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Earlier in the day, qualifier Youssef Hossam of Egypt sent the tournament’s top seed Radu Albot packing, coming back from a set down to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. India’s Sasi Kumar Mukund, also a
qualifier, beat United States’ Collin Altamirano, ranked more than a hundred places above him, 7-6(6), 6-3.

The results

Singles (first round): Zizou Bergs (Ger) bt Kevin Krawietz (Ger) 6-1, 6-2; Saketh Myneni bt Adil Kalyanpur 6-3, 7-6(3); Youssef Hossam (Egy) bt Radu Albot (Mda) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2;

Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Ivan Nedelko (Rus) 6-2, 6-2; Sasi Kumar Mukund bt Colin Altamirano (US) 7-6 (6), 6-3; Blaz Kavcic (Slo) bt Filip Peliwo (Can) 6-1, 6-2; Quentin Halys (Fra) bt Suraj Prabodh 6-3, 6-1;

Brayden Schnur (Can) bt Max Purcell (Aus) 6-4, 7-6; Sebastian Fanselow (Ger) bt Zsombor Piros (Hun) 7-6 (6), 6-4; Fredrico Ferreira Silva (Por) bt Danilo Petrovic (Srb) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Doubles: Andrej Martin (Svk) & Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chi) bt Kevin Krawietz (Ger) & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-3, 3-6, [10-7];

Purav Raja & Antonio Sancic (Cro) bt Romain Arneodo (Mon) & Quentin Halys (Fra) 6-4, 6-7(6), [11-9]; Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Sumit Nagal & Brayden Schnur (Can) 6-4, 6-3.


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