Chennai Open: Prajnesh Gunneswaran enters third round

India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran, the No. 1 seed, defeats Germany’s Daniel Altmaier in straight sets.

Clinical display: Prajnesh Gunneswaran en route to his second-round victory on Wednesday.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

Top seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran lived up to his billing as he defeated Germany’s Daniel Altmaier in straight sets in the second round of the Chennai Open Challenger here on Wednesday.

He set up a third-round clash with Arjun Kadhe, who put up an efficient display in his straight sets win over Jose Hernandez-Fernandez.

In a second-round battle between two of the oldest Indians in the fray, Saketh Myneni overcame an injury-stricken spell in his career to beat Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-4, 6-3.

Aces galore

Prajnesh found himself up against a fellow big server. With aces flying down both ends, the players found it hard to take points off of each other’s serves and the match came down to moments of power and precision from Prajnesh for crucial breaks.

Leading 3-2 in the first set, Altmaier was on break point after a double fault from Prajnesh. The German netted an easy volley at the net in one of many points he lost in net play on the day. With an ace, Prajnesh took the game to level the set 3-3.

Prajnesh’s return to Altmaier’s first seve in the ninth game tumbled over the net and the German committed two more glaring errors (one at the net) before giving Prajnesh the break point. Despite saving it, on the next break point, he was trapped at the net as a Prajnesh inside-out forehand fell right on the line. Prajnesh broke 5-4. Serving for the set, he made no errors and won the set 6-4.

In control

Prajnesh asserted his dominance early in the second set, breaking Altmaier almost exactly as he did in the previous set. The German started to lose composure, making more unforced errors as Prajnesh glided along the baseline hitting powerful but pinpoint strokes deep into his opponent’s court. Prajnesh closed out the match 6-4, 6-4.

Saketh Myneni (in picture) beat Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-4, 6-3. Photo: K. V. Srinivasan.

 

After beating a frustrated Prashanth, who picked up a code violation for smashing a ball out of the stands in disgust, Myneni will meet Spanish teenager Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round on Thursday.

However, all eyes will be on Prajnesh when he takes on Kadhe, who also looked set for a deep run in the tournament, on centre court.

Results
  • (1) Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Daniel Altmaier 6-4, 6-4.
  • (11)Saketh Myneni bt Vijay Sunday Prashanth 6-4, 6-3.
  • (13)Arjun Kadhe bt Jose Hernandez-Fernandez 6-3, 6-2.
  • (2) Corentin Moutet bt Luke Saville 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-4.