Indian No. 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran had a tough loss to Otto Vertinan to put India behind in the Davis Cup tie against Finland. Otto is Jr Wimbledon and Orange Bowl champion and was a tough nut to crack for Prajnesh as he lost with a scoreline of 36 67.
ITD caught up with Prajnesh Gunneswaran after his match to get his thoughts
Thoughts on the match
I played a few loose games and I did not convert some of the chances that came in. I made errors and could not really find a way to make him play and make errors. He served an ace on the set point opportunity that I had.
It was a combination of him coming up with the goods on the big points and me not doing enough.
You were playing Otto for the first time – Did you watch any videos. what was your game plan going into the match?
I watched some videos and I had some statistics on Otto. There was nothing new that came up in the match. He served well today and did not give away too many free points.
When he had the lead, he played well – served out the first set comfortably. He played better today than I did.
Were there any aspects that you could have done differently.
It was important to not give away easy points on the crucial junctures. There were three 30-30 moments, I missed a chip return on forehand and then I missed another heavy forehand where I tried to go back and spin it – both of those were very critical.
The service game where I lost serve – I played couple of loose points. Then there was a 0-40 where I had to dig deep and I found a way to hold on to that game. Those are the kind of situations that killed it for me today.
Did you get enough time to settle down in Finland and get used to the environment and the courts?
We got here pretty early and so we had enough time to prepare properly. I had a couple of hits on the match court as well. I just did not deliver what I needed to, today.
As per the news reports, you had your injury issues and were back home to rehab. Are you feeling healthy enough?
I am not playing at my sharpest level – that is a given. I have had injuries and have not played too much. Every player goes through that at some point. It is not really an excuse and I have to find a way through it.
How do you view the rest of the tie?
This was an important point for us to win. We were counting on it. Now it is on Ramkumar Ramanathan`s shoulder to find a way to get the equaliser for us.
You were not your aggressive self in terms of dictating the points.…
Otto was attacking a lot. He was getting big serves in and I did not have too many chances on the return games as he was receiving short balls after his big serves. I did not really get the opportunity to attack his service games.
On my service games, I could have been aggressive and thats when it shows up a little bit where when I am tentative or not confident – I tend to back off a little bit. If I slow down once, he goes for it and then it was tough for me to get out of that defensive position.
Overall it was a combination of me being not aggressive enough and him being aggressive as that is his game style.
Photos from the tie – courtesy Finland Tennis Federation