India’s challenge at the Bengaluru Open 2022 was cut short as only Prajnesh Gunneswaran is the last remaining contender in fray. His Indian compatriots Ramkumar Ramanathan and Arjun Kadhe, meanwhile, were knocked out in the first-round on Tuesday after losing to their respective opponents. The left-handed Gunneswaran looked in top form as he aggressively brushed aside his French counterpart Mathias Bourgue 7-6(4) 6-2 in the opening round of the USD 53,120 ATP Challenger tournament.
“I have great memories of Bengaluru. I practiced at the KSLTA for a fairly long period and I have had a good outing at the Challengers,” Prajnesh had told PTI.
“I have many titles here and it is like a second home for me in India other than Chennai. I am looking forward to coming back to the City which is very familiar to me and winning would definitely add to my joy,” said the 32-year-old in an interview from Pune.
“Definitely, it is going to be tough. I’m sure there a lot of good players, especially because it’s right after Pune and then the two Challenges are in a row.” “So a lot of the higher ranked players end up staying, which is not necessarily good for the Indians, but it is good to have an event with quality players. It’s always nice to watch and be a part of it,” he added,
However, Ramkumar, who won the doubles trophy in Pune last week with Rohan Bopanna, squandered a one-set advantage to lose 6-3 0-6 5-7 to Australia’s Max Purcell in his opening round.
Kadhe, who had qualified for the main draw, struggled with his serve and lost his match 16 2-6 to Turkey’s Altug Celikbilek.
Wild card S D Prajwal Dev lost 2-6 2-6 to Bulgaria’s Dimitar Kuzmanov. Rishi Reddy, another wild card entrant, lost 1-6 3-6 to sixth seed Frenchman Enzo Couacaud.
Prajnesh is now the only Indian surviving in the singles draw as Saketh Myneni has already exited the event following his first-round defeat on Monday.
In the doubles, the Indian pair of Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan moved to the quarterfinals after the Turkish team of Altug Celikbilek and Cem Ilkel retired midway into the contest. The Indians were leading 3-1 at the time.