Davis Cup: Prajnesh loses, India trails 0-1 against Croatia

The 277th-ranked Gojo downed the 132nd-ranked Indian left-hander, Prajnesh, who was fielded ahead of the country’s No.1 Sumit Nagal.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran

Prajnesh Gunneswaran suffered a defeat to Croatia's Borna Gojo. (FILE IMAGE)   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Borno Gojo broke through the Indian plans with his explosive serves and energetic play as he put Croatia 1-0 up against India, by beating Prajnesh Gunneswaran 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the Davis Cup World Group qualifier tennis tie in Zagreb on Friday.

It was a high quality performance from the 277th-ranked Gojo, against the 132nd-ranked Indian left-hander, who was fielded ahead of the country’s No.1 Sumit Nagal, by captain Rohit Rajpal.

READ | India springs a surprise on Croatia in Davis Cup qualifiers

Gojo wound up the show, that spanned about two hours, with two of his nine aces in the match.

Prajnesh, who converted three of nine breakpoints, and won 91 points in the match, one more than the 22-year-old Croat, had a strong display in the entertaining contest, but missed his chances.

Backed by a traditionally patriotic crowd, the big-built Gojo was athletic on court and played an inspired game to nose ahead. He converted four of 14 break points, for his maiden victory in Davis Cup play, that turned the tide in Croatia’s favour.

The Indian strategy revolved around the attack on the second singles player of Croatia, as former world No.3 Marin Cilic, who had helped Croatia win the Davis Cup trophy in 2018, was considered too much of a power house for the Indian squad, which did not have a player in the top-100.

With Cilic set to play Ramkumar Ramanathan in the second singles, with a 1-0 score, Croatia had clearly seized the initiative in the Davis Cup tie, which would feature the doubles and the two reverse singles on the second day.

The results

Croatia leads India 1-0 (Borna Gojo bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran 3-6, 6-4, 6-2).

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