Prajnesh Gunneswaran fell on the first hurdle at the French Open as he lost in the opening round of the qualifiers on Tuesday. Prajnesh was up against Germany’s Oscar Otte and lost the match 6-2, 6-2. Ramkumar Ramanathan, on the other hand, showed excellent grit to eke out a come-from-behind victory against American Michael Mmoh. Apart from these two, Sumit Nagal is in action in the men’s singles qualifiers at the Roland Garros later in the day. On Monday, Ankita Raina had crossed the first hurdle in the women’s singles qualifiers with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Australian Arina Rodionova.
Prajnesh had last played in the qualifiers of the Geneva Open on May 16, where he had lost to American Mackenzie McDonald in three sets. He was not at all at his best on Tuesday with his serves failing him. He served four double faults and managed to get in only 54 per cent of his first serves. Of the first serves that he got in, he won 53 per cent of them. Prajnesh was also let down by his second serves, on which he won only 45 per cent of his points. In comparison to his serving stats, Otte got in 56 per cent of his first serves and won 75 per cent of his points on them. He was also good with his second serves winning 65 per cent of those points.
Otte brought up 16 break points through the course of the match and converted five of those to eventually beat Prajnesh and move to the second round of the qualifiers. Prajnesh managed only 49 points in total compared to 72 won by Otte.
Ramanathan registered a 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Mmoh. Ramanathan was outplayed in the first set but then fought back hard to take the second one on tiebreak. Right after the second set ended, the play was suspended due to rain.
When they came back to the court, Ramanathan remained solid, kept his head in the game, and at the back of a single break, got the win to make the second round of the qualifiers.
Even though Mmoh won a couple of more points than Ramanathan overall, what worked for Ramanathan was his 80 per cent win percentage on his first serves.
Later in the day, Nagal would be up against Italian Roberto Marcora.