“If I execute well, I can make a deep run here” – Prajnesh, ahead of the ATP 250 Tata Open Maharashtra

With five Indians in the main draw, India’s only ATP Tour event is ready to present opportunities to Indian players to rack up as many ATP points as they can. Among them is India’s top ranked player, Prajnesh Gunneswaran. Prajnesh chats with ITD volunteer Romil Shukla after one of his practice sessions at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune to share his mind ahead of the tournament starting Monday –

Prajnesh leans in for a volley (Photo – Ranjith Kumar)

Status of the elbow and wrist injuries

I am almost okay, I think close enough to 100% to be able to play here and not to worry too much about it

On the conditions at Balewadi Stadium and if it suits his game

Yeah I like the conditions here. It’s pretty good for me as with a little bit of altitude, I get a bit of bounce on the ball. So it’s usually quite good when I play with spin & I have played here for many years. I know what to expect and I am looking forward to make most of the conditions

Does the slightly lower quality field change his approach/goals vis-a-vis the tournament

Of course if it’s a weaker field, everybody expects that they could do a little bit better. But at the end of the day, we still have to win every match that’s in front of us. Hopefully I’ll go into the matches and execute what I need to do and that might give me a chance to actually make a deep run in the tournament

Prajnesh is looking to make a deep run in Pune (Photo – Ranjith Kumar)

Memories from his Pune debut against Michael Mmoh last year

Ah very very different scenario. I have a lot more experience than that. Coming into Pune last year, I came out of lot of matches, was winning a lot before I played that. Still you know, one month gap for the tournament sort of resets everything, but this time it’s after a few tournaments. So, in a way, I am better prepared for it in terms of match practice. Different scenarios, different situations – we will know how I play when I start when they say “love all”

On his 1st round match against Yannick Maden

It will be a good match. I hope to try and execute my game as well as possible and I believe that if I do what i need to do, then I can win that match. So I just need to come up with a good plan and then execute under pressure as much as possible. I was a different player, in different conditions since the last time I played him in Europe 4 years back

Prajnesh giving his forehand a rip (Photo – Ranjith Kumar)

Mukund plays Daniel, while Ram plays Caruso. He played Daniel a few weeks back, and has a bittersweet history with Caruso. On the kind of advice he’d be handing out to his compatriots

Yeah but I wouldn’t really be revealing that to you(laughs)

Yeah definitely will give them advice. They both have a good chance and real tactics I am obviously going to be telling them over the phone or when I meet them in person. But either way they are gonna have their team scout for the opponents and tell them what to do, so I wish them the best of luck

On his plan after Pune and Bangalore

I’ll be taking a couple of training weeks and then possibly Dubai and then Davis Cup


  1. I believe Prajnesh is being modest; if he executes well, he can actually win this tournament. Last year, he has beaten the tournament’s top seed (he lost once also), and, surely, in home conditions, he can beat him again. Indian fans can actually dream of an all-India final in a tour event. Never happened before but there is a first time for everything. Let Pune 2020 be it.

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