India No. 1 and 17th seed at the Australian Open qualifying competition, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, speaks about how his wrist& his preparation coming into the first Grand Slam of the year.

Prajnesh kicks off his campaign on Tuesday against 286th ranked Aussie wildcard Harry Bourchier at around 11.30 AM IST. Excerpts from the interview –

Prajnesh practising on Court 8 (Image Credits – Kshitij Murali)

Q)  You mentioned about your wrist injury still impacting your Tennis. What is the current state now?

It’s getting better everyday. But having said that, I still am not able to hit my forehand at a 100%. Usually, I like to play with a lot of spin, so that part will still be restricted. I will just have to make the best out of what I have. Hopefully it’ll be good enough. 

Q) You have been playing in spite of the injury persisting. Any reason behind this?

I took quite a lot of time off. And this is a Grand Slam. So unless I have a major issue, I wouldn’t really miss a Slam.

Prajnesh hitting a forehand during practice on Monday (Image Credits – Kshitij Murali)

Q)  You qualified into the main draw last year. How do you view your preparation for this year?

I had a little bit of a rough end to 2019. So my preparation has not been too bad, but I wouldn’t say it has been ideal either. I had my wrist injury, and had some issues at home too. So I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to train. But it is what it is and I have to just to get on with it. If am not well prepared, I’ll just put in the work during the season. So that’s the plan. 

Prajnesh said he is looking to get on with the 2020 season (Image Credits – Kshitij Murali)

Q) Last year, the positioning of the court, the timing impacted your service with the sun hitting your eyes. Any precautions that you have taken this year to overcome it?

Yeah I actually was looking at what time I played the match last year. So I am going to request them to put my match that isn’t around that part of the day maybe, earlier or later. But that’s really up to the organisers. If they are able to fulfill my request, that’ll be great. If not, I will just find a way to play.

It’s also not easy for the right handers, as they would have had the same issue in the beginning of the match, if it was played around that time of the day when I played Tiafoe(last year). He was having issues in the first set, then it was me in the later sets. So it would be ideal to play when the sun crosses completely, and it’s the same for the both of us. 

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