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1-min read

Prajnesh Gunneswaran Shocks Benoit Paire at Indian Wells

Playing his maiden singles main draw at this level, the Indian left-hander shocked the fancied French player 7-6 (5) 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes.

PTI

Updated:March 8, 2019, 3:33 PM IST
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Prajnesh Gunneswaran Shocks Benoit Paire at Indian Wells
Playing his maiden singles main draw at this level, the Indian left-hander shocked the fancied French player 7-6 (5) 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes.
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Indian qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran knocked out world number 69 Benoit Paire for one of the biggest wins of his career and progressed to the second round of the Indian Wells ATP Masters event.

Playing his maiden singles main draw at this level, the Indian left-hander shocked the fancied French player 7-6 (5) 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes.

Before this, Prajnesh had taken out then world number 23 Denis Shapovalov for the biggest win of his career at the Stuttgart ATP 250 event last year.

The world number 97 Indian next faces world number 18 Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia.

Since Prajnesh is not defending too many points ahead and has already added 41 to his kitty, he is likely to jump to 80th, a new career-high.

"It's definitely one of the biggest wins of my career. It has come at a good time, I am close to making the cut for the Wimbledon (main draw) and I am going to go up in the rankings," Prajnesh told PTI.

"These kind of results, winning matches against quality opponents definitely add to my self-belief."

Prajnesh said more than the tennis, it was about handling the windy conditions which played a role in the outcome of the match.

"It was more about who is able to deal with the conditions than playing the perfect tennis. I am glad I got through, I did what was necessary to win but definitely did not play my best. I look forward to my next match on Saturday," he said.

In the doubles draw, Rohan Bopanna is the only Indian competing. He has paired up with Canada's Shapovalov, instead of regular partner and compatriot Divij Sharan.

The Delhi left-hander said he and Bopanna could not have made the main draw together as a team with their combined ranking. Therefore Bopanna had to team up with world number 25 from Canada.

Bopanna is ranked 38th and Sharan 40th.

| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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