Qualifier Youssef Hossam sends top seed Radu Albot packing with come from behind win
Fourth seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s quest to further embellish his career-best season started in earnest with an assured 6-2, 6-2 win over Russian Ivan Nedelko at the $150,000 Bengaluru Open. The World No. 144, won 100 % of his first serve and 74 % of his second serve points and faced not a single break point.
The Russian’s was the superior heft of stroke, with which he often tried to bludgeon his way through. But for such tactics to work in Bengaluru, where the ball tends to bounce high and fly off the racquet, Nedelko needed to be at the top of his game. On Tuesday he clearly wasn’t and the seven double faults he served didn’t help his cause one bit.
Prajnesh needed two breaks of serve in each set — in the fourth and eighth games in the first, and sixth and eighth games in the second. He was mostly clinical, controlling his shots with aplomb. He often went cross-court, with the angle, the distance and the top-spin all ensuring that the ball would land well inside the lines.
At the start of the second set, there were a string of errors, especially on the backhand side, as he tried to press ahead when presented with openings. But the 28-year-old quickly made amends to wrap up the match in under an hour.
“I felt good today,” Prajnesh said after the win. “I was coming from China. Very different conditions. Considering that, I played well.”
Earlier in the day, qualifier Youssef Hossam of Egypt sent the tournament’s top seed Radu Albot packing, coming back from a set down to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. India’s Sasi Kumar Mukund, also a qualifier, beat the United States’ Collin Altamirano, ranked more than a hundred places above him, 7-6(6), 6-3.
The results (first round): Singles: Zizou Bergs (Ger) bt Kevin Krawietz (Ger) 6-1, 6-2; Saketh Myneni bt Adil Kalyanpur 6-3, 7-6(3); Youssef Hossam (Egy) bt Radu Albot (Mda) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2; Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Ivan Nedelko (Rus) 6-2, 6-2; Sasi Kumar Mukund bt Colin Altamirano (US) 7-6 (6), 6-3; Blaz Kavcic (Slo) bt Filip Peliwo (Can) 6-1, 6-2; Quentin Halys (Fra) bt Suraj Prabodh 6-3, 6-1; Brayden Schnur (Can) bt Max Purcell (Aus) 6-4, 7-6; Sebastian Fanselow (Ger) bt Zsombor Piros (Hun) 7-6 (6), 6-4; Fredrico Ferreira Silva (Por) bt Danilo Petrovic (Srb) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; Daniel Masur (Ger) bt Elias Ymer (Swe) 6-4, 7-5.
Doubles: Andrej Martin (Svk) & Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chi) bt Kevin Krawietz (Ger) & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-3, 3-6, [10-7]; Purav Raja & Antonio Sancic (Cro) bt Romain Arneodo (Mon) & Quentin Halys (Fra) 6-4, 6-7(6), [11-9]; Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Sumit Nagal & Brayden Schnur (Can) 6-4, 6-3.
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