Australian Open: Prajnesh Gunneswaran loses in first round

Prajnesh Gunneswaran
Prajnesh Gunneswaran bowed out of the Australian Open after losing to Japan's Tatsuma Ito in the first round. AFP
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Melbourne: India's top-ranked tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran bowed out of the Australian Open after losing to Japan's Tatsuma Ito in the first round on Tuesday.

Prajnesh, who had entered the main draw of the men's singles event as a lucky loser in the qualifiers, fought for two hours as rain played spoilsport before he went down 4-6, 2-6, 5-7 at Rod Laver Arena.

The match was earlier scheduled to be played on Monday but was postponed for the same reason.

Prajnesh, who lost the first two sets without any fight, showed resilience in the third set when he broke to take a 2-1 lead. The Japanese broke back immediately, then the world No 122 ranked Indian erred again when the set was level at 5-5.

The 30-year-old was making his fifth straight appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam event having earlier played in the Wimbledon, French Open and the US Open due to his better rankings. Ito will now take on World no. 2 Novak Djokovic in the second round.

With Prajnesh's ouster, India's campaign in the singles event of the tournament has ended.

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