Canberra Challenger: Prajnesh Gunneswaran downs Kubler to advance to second round

Indian No. 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran defeated Jason Kubler 7-5, 6-3 in the Round of 64 at the Canberra Challenger in Bendigo. He will face Taro Daniel next.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran (in frame) is now the only Indian player remaining in teh tournament after counterpart Ramkumar Ramanathan crashed out in the first round.(File Photo)   -  Getty Images

India's highest-ranked tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran started his preparation for the 2020 Australian Open on a positive note as he defeated Australia's Jason Kubler to advance to the second round of the Canberra Challenger in Bendigo, Australia on Monday.

Playing his first tournament of 2020, the 30-year-old Indian cruised to a straight sets 7-5, 6-3 victory against the 26-year-old Australian. World No. 122 Prajnesh will face Taro Daniel of Japan in the next round. World No. 106 Daniel progressed through to the next round after receiving a bye in the first round.

Ramkumar Ramanthan, the only other Indian in the singles fray, bowed out of the tournament after losing to Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori. The 25-year-old Ramanathan bagged the first set but failed to capitalise on the lead as he eventually conceded the match 6-3, 2-6, 3-6.

Canberra Challenger is an annual tournament that first took place in 2016. Usually held in Canberra, it was shifted to Bendigo for the 2020 edition due to the ongoing bushfire tragedy in the capital region.

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