US Open: Prajnesh Gunneswaran bows out with a straight sets defeat to Daniil Medvedev

Catch the live commentary of the US Open first round match between Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Daniil Medvedev.

The 2019 US Open is Prajnesh Gunneswaran's fourth consecutive Grand Slam main draw appearance.   -  Getty Images

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE coverage of the first round match between Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Daniil Medvedev.

 

 

 

Game, set, match. Prajnesh loses to Medvedev 4-6, 1-6, 2-6

 

Medvedev breaks Prajnesh one last time, to love, and that means it is a fourth first successive Grand Slam exit for the Indian.

4-6, 1-6; 2-5

 

Easy hold for Medvedev. He takes the game and that means Prajnesh will be serving to stay in the match.

4-6, 1-6; 2-4

 

In the first set, Prajnesh's shot placement was on point. He made Medvedev run across the baseline and varied the pace well to put up a good fight. And for the first time since then, he finds his shot placement again and holds his serve to reduce the deficit in the third set to 2-4.

4-6, 1-6; 1-4

 

A successful review at 15-15 denies Medvedev his ninth ace but he does get his ninth ace two points later. And with Prajnesh's backhand not clearing the net, the Russian leads 4-1 in the fourth set.

4-6, 1-6; 1-3

 

Medvedev goes wide, then sees his shot fly into the net and then fails to get to a return. Quick 40-0 lead for Prajnesh, who then goes long at the baseline. A sixth double fault sees his lead reduced to 40-30 but his third ace seals that game.

4-6, 1-6; 0-3

 

Medvedev holds his serve. Up 3-0 in the third set and he gets there without much effort.

The odd point aside, the Prajnesh that we saw in the first set has been missing in the second and third. A little too easy for the Russian so far.

4-6, 1-6; 0-2

 

Medvedev breaks Prajnesh at love. The Indian's return have been all over the place this game and Medvedev didn't have to do much to win that game.

4-6, 1-6; 0-1

 

Medvedev begins the third set with a double fault. He then uses the serve and volley to get to a 30-15 lead. Prajnesh goes wide with a return and follows that by going wide again while stretching to get to a drop shot. The first game goes to Prajnesh.

4-6, 1-6

 

A simple return into the net and a backhand going wide sees Medvedev take a two set lead.

It is now the Russian's turn to call for the physio. He says something about pulling a muscle and gets his left leg inspected. Back-and-forth discussion in French is followed by him lying down on the court to get some work done on his left hamstring.

A minor niggle or a possible life-line for Prajnesh? Time will tell.

4-6; 1-5

 

Medvedev seals the game with an ace and is a game away from a two set lead. Prajnesh's movement, while not exactly restricted, hasn't been as good as we saw in the first set. Could that left leg be casing him trouble?

4-6; 1-4

 

Prajnesh finally gets on the board in the second set. He holds and is 1-4 down in the second set.

4-6; 0-4

 

Medvedev starts the game with an ace but sees his forehand return go long to take it to 15-15. Prajnesh then goes long with a return and then can only see the Russian's drop shot sail away. A double fault from Medvedev takes the game to deuce. A backhand return flies into the net to give Prajnesh a breakpoint, which Medvedev saves and gets a game point after Prajnesh's forehand is well wide. The Indian's return flies long next and Medvedev takes a 4-0 lead.

4-6; 0-3

 

Prajnesh is broken, again.

Medvedev takes a 40-15 lead with ease but Prajnesh fights back, forces an errors and makes it 30-40. He then goes long on a return to give away the game.

The heat and a possible pain in his left foot, intensified by a stretch in the previous game, could mean the Indian's response might not be as good as it in the first.

4-6; 0-2

 

And Medvedev holds to take a 2-0 lead in the second set.

4-6; 0-1

 

The start of the second set and Prajnesh's serve is broken.

Medvedev defence is little too solid for Prajnesh's offence. He patiently returns whatever the Indian threw at him and picked his returns whenever he saw an opening. The Cincy champions has been on fine form on hard courts and it is showing.

Medvedev takes the first set 6-4

 

Three aces to start this game. Medvedev, Prajnesh and Medvedev - in that order. An unforced error gives Medvedev two set points, who takes the set after Prajnesh's return flies into the crowd.

4-5

 

At 15-15, Prajnesh hits an unstoppable backhand cross-court shot that lands on the line and whizzes out. Medvedev answers that with a return of his own that Prajnesh struggles to return.

An ace takes him to 40-30 and another ace sees him take the game.

3-5

 

Prajnesh is hitting the ball straight and fast at Medvedev, which is causing the Russian problems. But he is isn't able to get those shots regularly. A quick hold for Medvedev and his is a game away from sealing the first set.

23:12

 

During the changeover, Prajnesh had a visit from the trainer. What looked like a possible problem with his foot is probably him needing a retaping on his left foot.

3-4

 

Prajnesh does to Medvedev what the Russian did to him in the previous game. A sudden drop shot sends Medvedev scrambling and Prajnesh then gets to his return and seals the point with a forehand that was almost down the line. He seals the next point to seal the game, but he still trails 3-4.

2-4

 

The first long game of the match sees both players trade blows. Prajnesh, at 30-30, is forced to get to the net by Medvedev's drop shot. He does well to get to it and lobs his return. The Russian gets in a first time return which Prajnesh, still at the net, returns. The Russian then changes angles, goes for a forehand cross-court return and makes it 40-30 in his favour.

Prajnesh takes the match to deuce but the Russian sees out the challenge to take the game.

2-3

 

It's give and take here. Medvedev returns the favour by breaking to love.

2-2

 

PRAJNESH BREAKS! He leads Medvedev 2-2.

He works Medvedev across the baseline well while also forcing him to run to the net in the middle. Those shot variations have taken the Russian off-guard and he skies two of his returns as he gives up that game without taking a point.

1-2

 

A good response! Prajnesh holds to love and reduced the lead. That was a well planned out game from the Indian.. With Medvedev staying deep for his serves and returns, he varied his shot placement and the pace on them, catching the Russian off guard.

0-2

 

That was easy for Medvedev. Prajnesh prevents him from taking the game to love but the Russian, at 40-15, seals it with an ace.

Not looking easy for the Indian, but then again it was never going to be smooth sailing against the world number five, was it?

0-1

 

Medvedev breaks Prajnesh. The Indian tried to hold on and make the Russian run across the baseline but Medvedev stuck in and went on the aggressive. He slowly moved towards the net with each return and Prajnesh, trying to smash one past him, hits it into the net.

40-40

 

Medvedev takes the first game to deuce with a brilliant cross-court backhand. Prajnesh stretched but couldn't get to it. That was a well placed shot.

30-30

 

Good movement from Prajnesh and he forces Medvedev to hit his backhand into the net.

0-15

 

Medvedev takes the first point after Prajnesh goes long at the end of a long rally.

 

22:43

 

Head-to-head: It is the first meeting between the pair.

Medvedev won his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati after runner-up finishes in Washington and Montreal. That run of form has seen him move to fifth in the world rankings.

World number 88 Gunneswaran has appeared in all four Slam main draws this year but has lost his first match at the previous three Slams. Can he get that first elusive victory today?

22:40

 

The toss is done and Medvedev wins it. He chooses to receive and Prajnesh, after taking a look at which angle the sunlight is, picks his side.

Both are out on the court now, warming up.

22:25

 

The Tereza Martincova vs Karolina Pliskova match is currently on at the Louis Armstrong stadium. Prajnesh's match, set for the same court, will not begin before 10:35 p.m.

 

22:15

Prajnesh, Sumit set to emulate Paes, Bhupathi

The last time India had two players in the singles main draw at a Grand Slam was way back in 1998 when Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi both featured at Wimbledon. Two decades on, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Sumit Nagal are set to emulate them at the US Open.

Prajnesh, India’s top-ranked player at 88, will take on world No. 5 Daniil Medvedev in the second match at the Louis Armstrong Stadium, while Nagal, who came through qualifying, will experience the electric setting of playing Roger Federer at the Arthur Ashe Stadium under lights on Tuesday.

“It’s pretty awesome that we have two guys [in the main draw],” said Prajnesh. “It was just a matter of time. We have had many players in the qualifiers...myself, Ramkumar [Ramananthan], Yuki [Bhambri], Sumit… It was bound to happen. The way Sumit qualified, in the final round he was down and had to dig deep. He deserves to be here and we are both looking forward to our matches.”

Back in 1998, Paes and Bhupathi both lost in the first round, to Zimbabwe’s Wayne Black and Spaniard Carlos Moya, respectively. To say that the task at hand for Prajnesh and Nagal is equally arduous would be a massive understatement. Medvedev and Federer are the highest-ranked players they have ever faced. Nagal, though, stated that he would simply cherish the moment.

'Really happy'

“I am going to have as much fun as possible,” the 22-year-old said. “When I found out I was going to play Roger Federer, I was really really happy. The first time I qualified for a Slam was here in 2012 as a junior. I am doing it again here in the men’s category. So this tournament has played a big role in my career.”

For 29-year-old Prajnesh, who will be playing his fourth straight main draw at a Major, it will be a measuring stick like none other. He played Canada’s Milos Raonic, then world No. 17, at Wimbledon, but Medvedev will be a huge step-up. The Russian is in red-hot form, winning the Cincinnati Masters recently and reaching two other finals [Montreal Masters and Washington 500].

Upping the ante

“He is on fire no doubt,” Prajnesh said of Medvedev. “But I am going to play the best that I can. It is the first round of a Slam and it’s not going to be easy for him to just walk in and play. I think I have the weapons to hurt him, but I will have to play really well to make it close.”

Nagal on the other hand will hope that a creditable effort will further his comeback. The youngster had ended 2018 ranked 485 in the world, but is now up to 190. “It wasn’t that I was not playing well, but I was not enjoying it,” Nagal said. “There were injuries, and I was out for a lot of weeks and months. I didn’t have any rhythm. Now I have a team which supports me and enjoys working with me. So just very happy now to be in this main draw which I always dreamt about.”

[You can catch the match on Star Sports or stream it on Hotstar.]