Chennai Open: Andrew Harris dumps Prajnesh out in the semis, Sasi ousted

Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Sasi Kumar Mukund were both knocked out of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger 2019 on Saturday.

Coming on the back of three easy straight set victories, Prajnesh Gunneswaran looked off colour against Andrew Harris in the Chennai Open ATP Challenger 2019 semifinal on Saturday.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

Top seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran crashed out of the Chennai Open Challenger with a 4-6, 6-3, 0-6 defeat to Australian Andrew Harris in the semifinal here on Saturday.

The other Indian semifinalist, Sasi Kumar Mukund, also lost in three sets, against second seed Corentin Moutet.

Coming on the back of three easy straight set victories, Prajnesh looked off colour against Harris. The big serving Indian was not as ruthless in his service games and Harris kept the pressure up with clinical returns, to which Prajnesh often had no replies.

Harris broke in the fifth game of the first set to lead 3-2 and that turned out to be the turning point in the first set. Prajnesh saved three set points in the ninth game but Harris closed out the set 6-4 as the Indian continued to err on his returns.

Andrew Harris serves during his three-set win over Prajnesh Gunneswaran on Saturday.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

Prajnesh survived an early break in the second set to break back and take the set 6-3, but he was unable to take the momentum into the decider.  

As Prajnesh put a simple forehand wide, Harris broke to take a 2-0 lead in the third set and India's top ranked player seemed to have thrown in the towel at that point.

Harris fearlessly went for his shots and found the lines when it mattered the most. There was little Prajnesh could do to halt Harris as the Australian served him a bagel in the final set and with that, set up a clash against Moutet in his first ATP Challenger final.

Earlier, Mukund started with a flourish against Moutet, serving three aces to take the first game, and with a beautiful backhand down the line he broke to go 2-0 up. The 19-year-old Moutet briefly threatened to make a comeback as he broke to get to 3-4, but Mukund led with his serves to bag the first set 6-3.

Second seed Corentin Moutet in action against Sasi Kumar Mukund in the semifinal.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

The match started to slip away from Mukund as he failed to get his first serves in consistently. Clever and powerful returns from the left-handed Frenchman took the set away from the struggling Mukund.

Moutet cruised in the final set with smartly placed strokes. A double fault from Mukund gifted him match point and with another well-placed service return, Moutet wrapped up a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Mager-Pellegrino lift doubles crown

Italian pair Gianluca Mager and Andrea Pellegrino lifted the doubles crown after defeating top seeds Luke Saville and Matt Reid 6-4, 7-6(7) in the final.

Serving for the first set at 5-3, Mager and Pellegrino were broken as Mager's volley hit the net. They eventually held serve to win the first set 6-4.

Italian pair Gianluca Mager and Andrea Pellegrino pose with their doubles title.   -  K. V. Srinivasan


Reid and Saville were 5-3 up in the second set before the Italian pair broke back to level the set 5-5. The set eventually went into a tiebreaker where Reid and Saville saved a match point at 5-6 but couldn't save another one at 7-8 as Reid netted his return.


Singles: Corentin Moutet bt Sasi Kumar Mukund 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; Andrew Harris bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.

Gianluca Mager and Andrea Pellegrino bt Matt Reid and Luke Saville 6-4, 7-6(7). 


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