Prajnesh Gunneswaran wins ITF Futures title

Top seed and world No.235 Prajnesh Gunneswaran played a strong all-round game to beat third seed and former Asian junior champion Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the $15,000 ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament at the CLTA Complex on Saturday.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran after wiinning the $15,000 ITF men's Futures tennis tournament in Chandigarh on Saturday.   -  Special Arrangement

Top seed and world No.235 Prajnesh Gunneswaran played a strong all-round game to beat third seed and former Asian junior champion Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the $15,000 ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament at the CLTA Complex on Saturday.

It may be recalled that Sumit Nagal had won the Wimbledon junior doubles title in partnership with Nam Hoang Ly in 2015.

The 28-year-old Prajnesh was happy to fufil the purpose of competing at this level, when he won five matches, conceding an average of six games per match.

“I am happy that I played well right through. The idea was to get the job done and make the points’’, said Prajnesh, who had been competing in the Challengers apart from the Australian Open qualifying event, in recent weeks.

In fact, Prajnesh had planned to compete in the next tournament in Thiruvananthapuram in the current Indian circuit of ITF Futures, but was compelled to travel to China, as he had not withdrawn from the Challenger in time.

“In a way it is good, because you are always trying to compete at a higher level. I will try to make the most of it, in China,’’ said the left-hander from Chennai.

Even though the results at the higher level have not been that favourable, Prajnesh said that he was happy with the quality of his game and expressed confidence that the good results would happen soon.

Prajnesh was also quite gracious about not making the team for the Davis Cup against China to be played in Tianjin on April 6 and 7.

“I understand the situation. Sumit (Nagal) is better ranked and playing good. He is much younger than me and certainly deserves his place. The new format and a five-member squad gives the teams the option of having that second doubles player,’’ reasoned Prajnesh, in an admirable detached fashion.

Thus, after the Challenger in China next week, Prajnesh will be back home for a fortnight before heading for more Challengers in Chinese Taipei etc.

It was the eighth singles title in the professional circuit for Prajnesh, and the first of this season. He was ranked a career-best 217 in August last year.

The results (final): Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Nam Hoang Ly (Vie) 6-3, 6-4.