Indians in Wimbledon draw: Prajnesh lone singles presence, takes on Raonic

While Prajnesh Gunneswaran is the only Indian in the singles main draw, the men’s doubles sees five Indians in the fray.

It will be Prajnesh Gunneswaran's third straight appearance at the Grand Slam events this season.   -  Getty Images

India’s top singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran on Friday drew world number 17 Milos Raonic of Canada as his first round opponent at the Wimbledon Championships, starting Monday.

Left-handed Prajnesh, ranked 94 in the world, will make his maiden appearance on the hallowed grass courts at the Wimbledon. Grass is not Prajnesh’s preferred surface. He excels on hard courts.

“He is tough opponent, but I can beat him. It will be a good challenge,” Prajnesh said. “I can be tough to beat on any surface, If I am playing well and I will prepare as well as possible, go out there and give my best.”

It will be his third straight appearance at the Grand Slam events this season, having made first round exits at both Australian Open and French Open.

Prajnesh is the only Indian in the singles main draw as Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina exited after losing their respective second round matches. Saketh Myneni had lost in the first round of the Qualifiers.

In the men’s doubles, Divij Sharan and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Demoliner will open their campaign against German 13th seeded pair of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies.

Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas are up against New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof from the Netherlands.

Indian duo Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Purav Raja have been pitted against veteran Australian Lleyton Hewitt and his compatriot Jordan Thompson.

Veteran Leander Paes and Benoit Paire will clash with Kazakhstan pair of Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin.

The mixed doubles draw will be announced next week.