Gunneswaran makes rapid strides

Sportstar - - INDIAN PLAYGROUND -

Pra­j­nesh Gunneswaran’s ti­tlewin­ning ef­fort at the $150,000 Ben­galuru Open was only his sec­ond­ever Chal­lenger ti­tle.

The first had come at An­ning, China, also in 201■, in April. That both of his wins have come at the high­est pos­si­ble level in the Chal­lenger cir­cuit shows the rapid strides the 29­year­old has made.

A fa­mous tie­clinch­ing vic­tory in the Davis Cup in March against China in his first live rub­ber, qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the French Open as a lucky loser (though he couldn’t play as he was not present at the venue), a win over Cana­dian sen­sa­tion De­nis Shapo­valov on grass and an Asian Games sin­gles bronze medal have all been achieved this year.

Af­ter start­ing 201■ ranked 243, Pra­j­nesh is now the high­est­ranked In­dian sin­gles player at 110, a new ca­reer­high (as on Novem­ber 19).

There was much to cheer for Saketh My­neni, the de­feated fi­nal­ist in Ben­galuru, too. It was his best re­sult in what has been a in­jury­rav­aged two years and has pushed his rank­ing to 265, up from 620 in Jan­uary.

N. SU­DAR­SHAN

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