Pune Challenger Tennis: Prajnesh Gunneswaran moves into semifinals

India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran defeats Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Nedovyesov 6-4, 6-4.

File Photo: Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s victory has kept the home interest alive for spectators in Pune.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Prajnesh Gunneswaran surmounted a Kazakh hurdle in Alexandre Nedovyesov and entered the semifinals of the USD 50,000 MSLTA KPIT Challenger at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Thursday. Like in the previous two matches, the Indian left-hander won in straight sets, the scores being 6-4, 6-4.

By notching another win, Gunneswaran kept the home interest alive. After winning the Bangalore Open, expectations have been high and his winning streak has been one of the high points of the Challenger.

Back-court game

It was generally a hard hitting back-court game, though Gunneswaran had won the first two points of the match rushing towards the net; the second was an attempt to smash a winner. Made of sterner stuff and executing consistent ground strokes, Gunneswaran proved a trifle smart for the Kazakh.

Read: Prajnesh Gunneswaran No. 1 in entry list for Australian Open wild card playoff

Elias Ymer showed his class in his last-eight match against German Sebastian Fanselow; the Swede had accounted for German Daniel Masur in the pre-quarterfinals. If Ymer entertained the spectators with some fine tennis, the contest between Canadian Brayden Schnur and Portuguese Ferreira Silva also offered them much value for money. It was a gruelling near two-and-a-half-hour hard hitting skirmish that Schnur won; Silva committed a double fault and conceded the winning point.

In the last quarterfinal, top seed, Moldovan Albot Radu brought a halt to Sasi Kunar Mukund’s winning run. The Indian fought hard to take the match to the third set, but he was beaten by a player whose high ranking reflected the quality of tennis he dished out.

Results (Quarterfinals)
  • Brayden Schnur (Can) bt Ferreira Silva (Por) 7-6 (6), 2-6, 7-5;
  • Elias Ymer (Swe) bt Sebastian Fanselow (Ger) 5-7,6-3,6-4;
  • Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt A. Nedovyesov (Kaz) 6-4, 6-4.
  • Albot Radu (Mdv) bt Sasi Kumar Mulund 6-3,4-6.6-1.

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