Gunneswaran looking for a perfect start to the 2018 season

Jigar Hindocha
Saturday, 30 December 2017

“I did not play badly, but he played better than me so I lost. I was hoping to have a good run, just like the year before when I made it to the finals but it did not happen,” Prajnesh told Sakal Tmes

PUNE: Playing nearly 30 tournaments in the year has made Chennai based Prajnesh Gunneswaran a matured player and now he aims to carry the momentum in the year 2018.

He is all set to play the qualifying draws of  250ATP Series Tata Open Maharashtra which starts at Balewadi Tennis complex on Saturday, Prajnesh is keen to come out good in the tournament.

“I have been here (Pune) a few times and played many challengers here. In November I lost in the first round to Evan King. He played well. I did not play badly, but he played better than me so I lost. I was hoping to have a good run, just like the year before when I made it to the finals but it did not happen,” Prajnesh told Sakal Tmes in an exclusive interaction.

Being a bit familiar to Pune courts and keeping in view the  importance of the event, Prajnesh has left no stone unturned to prepare for the bigger challenge.  

“This is a different event, much higher event which is a tour event. I hope to start it on good note”  

Prajnesh who played nearly 30 tournaments was happy but not content with the way things went in 2017 where he also played qualifiers for US Open but could not progress further.

“It may be my second year where I played regularly throughout the season and nearly played 30 tournaments. It is more demanding then what people think. You have to travel a lot. It not only takes physical strength but also a mental strain. If you loose early than you feel ok and need to find  motivation to do good in the next week,” explained Prajnesh.

Prajnesh who loves to play on hard courts also likes to challenge himself by playing in different surface and conditions and he feels that it is better to adapt to different conditions. 

“If the conditions are different then I have to adapt to those conditions and try to do my best that I can as it will help me to improve my game,” added Prajnesh.

ENTRY IN AUSTRALIAN OPEN QUALIFIERS
- Prajnesh who had played the qualifiers of US Open in 2016 has also secured his place in the Australian Open 2018 qualifiers. 
- “It was a good experience (playing US Open) I got knocked out of the first qualifier but I got to the Grand Slam entry and it was a new experience. This is the second time I will be playing the Grand Slam and  I am hoping to do much better than that,” said Prajnesh who is ranked 243 .

YEAR OF MIXED PERFORMANCES IN 2017
- Won in the final of China F10 Futures against Zhe Li of China.
- Won in the final of India F6 Futures Trivandrum against S Sriram Balaji.
- Lost in the final of China F11 Futures against Zhizhen Zhang of China.
- Lost in the final of India F5 Futures Bengaluru against S Sriram Balaji 
- Lost in final of ITF Tennis Indonesia F8 Futures against Duckhee Lee of Korea.
- Lost in quarterfinals of ATP $100,000 Bengaluru Open Challenger.
- Lost in semifinal of Nigeria F5 Futures against Johan Tatlot of France.
- Lost in the semifinal of The $100,000 Wells Fargo Tiburon Challenger against Cameron Norrie of Great Briton.

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