Karlovic ends Prajnesh's fine run at Indian Wells Masters

Prajnesh Gunneswaran
Prajnesh Gunneswaran bagged 61 ranking points on his maiden appearance at an ATP Masters event. File photo: AFP

Indian Wells (US): Prajnesh Gunneswaran's fine run at the Indian Wells Masters came to an end following a straight set defeat against big-serving Ivo Karlovic in the third round.

The Indian qualifier fought hard before losing 3-6, 6-7(4) to the tall Croat, who fired 16 aces in the one hour and 13-minute contest.

"It was very difficult to return his big serve. I had some chances, I did not take them and that's pretty much what decided the match," Prajnesh, ranked 97, said as he could not convert any of the two break chances.

It was Prajnesh's maiden appearance at an ATP Masters event and he bagged 61 ranking points with his fine effort, which will catapult him to new career-best rank of 82.

"Overall, it was very good run. I am confident I will be able to do this again. Obviously time will tell. Over a period of time I should be able to deliver such results consistently. I am not sure if it will always be at the Masters, or a 250 (tournament) or a Grand Slam. I hope it happens at the bigger events"

"At the end of the day, If I am consistently competing against these players and finding success then I am on the right track," said the Chennai player, who earned a prize purse of $48,775.

Prajnesh had beaten Benoit Paire of France and world No. 18 Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the first and second round respectively.

Meanwhile, India's Rohan Bopanna and his partner Denis Shapovalov bowed out of the doubles after a 6-4, 1-6, 8-10 defeat against Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini in the second round.

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