ATP BMW Open in Munich – Qualification rounds
[Q1] Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND, 75) d Alexander Erler (AUT, 615) 3-6 7-6 (5) 7-5
Prajnesh came up against a young spirited Austrian, who played some of his best tennis, forcing Prajnesh to eek out a tough 3-set win in a match that lasted about 2.5 hours.
Prajnesh started with an early lead of 2-0 30-0 score in the opening set but it all went downhill from there caused by a plethora of errors, a first serve which deserted Praj (47% in the first set) and the young Austrian playing an aggressive game with his serve (100% win on first serves) and big forehand.
Some pivotal points which ensured Prajnesh was able to keep himself in and win this match
- 36 55 30-30 : Prajnesh serving and the opponent missed an easy putaway, thanks to the net cord pushing it long. The game still ended up going to deuce and Prajnesh won the game after multiple deuces to take it to 65. A break of serve here could have spelled curtains.
- 36 66 2-5: Alexander missed two easy shots on the back of a strong serve by hitting them long. These shots, he had been consistently hitting till now to give a Prajnesh a run for his money, he missed them at crucial juncture!
Prajnesh, with his usual never-give-up attitude, stuck in there to win the match in the 3rd set 75.
Interesting stat: Prajnesh did not win a single point on the Austrian’s first serve in the first set (0/11). The Austrian served big and it took sometime for Prajnesh to read the serve.
Point to note: The match was played in slightly cold and windy conditions – definately something that could have impacted Prajnesh after coming from Asia.
Up next is Denis Istomin. Prajnesh has a 0-2 record against Denis after the losses in the Asian Games semis and the Australian Open Wild Card playoffs. Its the second match on Sunday and a dicey weather forecast in place – sets up for an interesting match.