Prajnesh moves up; Balaji- Nedunchezhiyan upset

Chandigarh: Sixth seed Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran (138th) did not face any tough resistance from Matthew Ebden (228th) of Australia in the first round match of the $ 52,080 Orlando Challenger Tennis in Florida (USA) .

Prajnesh Gunneswaran took one hour and 15 minutes to dispose of the challenge of Matthew Ebden in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. The Indian player converted five breakpoints out of ten while his rival converted one of the two breakpoints which came his way.

Matthew committed three double faults while Prajnesh committed a solitary double fault. Both players unleashed two aces apiece.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s next opponent is 257th ranked American Jack Sock who eliminated the challenge of Yosuke Watanuki of Japan 6-1, 6-1, However fourth seeded Indian combination of N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan were upset by wild card American duo of Alexander Ritschard and Alex Rybakov in doubles first round encounter.

After splitting the first two sets, there was a neck-and-neck fight in the match tie-breaker where the pairs were tied at 3-3, 8-8, 9-9, 11-11, 12-12, 13-13, 14-14, 15-15, 16-16 before the American pair clinched the issue by winning at 18-16.

The Indian pair led five times in the tiebreaker but could not convert these chances which came their way. Balaji-Nedunchezhiyan led at 12-11, 13-12, 14-13, 15-14 and 16-15.

Balaji-Nedunchezhiyan fired seven aces and committed three double faults. Their opponents unleashed four aces and committed two double faults, Earlier Balaji-Nedunchezhiyan worked hard to win the first set at 7-6 (4) while Ritschard-Rybakov hit back by winning the second set at 6-4 to restore set parity.

Tomorrow, Yuki Bhambri of India. is pairing with Mathew Ebdeb of Australia, to challenge American duo of Denis Kudia and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski in the doubles first round fixture.

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