Indian No.1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost to former top-10 player and French Open Semi finalist – Ernests Gulbis in straight sets 67 26 in the final qualification round.
Prajnesh started the match on a great note but after a verbal altercation with Gulbis, he seemed to have lost concentration and from then, it was a downward spiral for the Indian.
@PrajneshGP please do not get in to an argument with an opponent. Gulbis was wrong in asking for the challenge so late but the Ump didnt allow it. end of story. dont give a player any reason to play extra motivated. #AusOpen— Pasupathikovil Kannan பசுபதிகோவில் கண்ணன் (@KanSRam) January 17, 2020
Though Prajnesh lost, he is still not out of the tournament. As 3 players have withdrawn from the main draw, 5 highest ranked losers from the final qualifying round will be put into a draw to select 3 lucky losers. Prajnesh will be one of the five in the lucky loser draw.
Australian Open Lucky Loser situation:— Entry List Updates (@EntryLists) January 17, 2020
Gunneswaran and Kovalik are the first 2 players in the LL draw and have at least a 60% chance of becoming LL.
Novak, Donskoy and Giustino are guaranteed a spot in the LL draw. pic.twitter.com/x5tr7sPb3R
This draw will be done after all the qualifying matches are completed on Saturday.
[Q3] Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND, 122) l. Ernests Gulbis (EST, 254) 67 26