It has been a golden two weeks at ATP Challenger Tour for Indian ace Prajnesh Gunneswaran as he made it consecutive finals appearances on the ATP Challenger tour after reaching the summit clash of Orlando Open on Saturday. The left-hander beat American Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the semifinal of the $52,080 hard court tournament.
Prajnesh won the second set tie-break after his opponent netted a backhand slice on serve. Earler after reaching the semi-finals, Prajnesh had assured himself the India No 1 spot with a dominant straight sets win over Kazakhstan’s Dmitry Popko in the quarter-finals.
The 31-year old Indian had won 6-0 6-3 against the sixth seeded Kazkakh in the quarterfinal. The win will take Prajnesh, who is ranked 137th this week, past Sumit Nagal. Prajnesh’s run in Orlando will push Nagal to No 2 as he is placed 136 this week and has not played in the last two weeks.
Prajnesh had reached the final of the Cary Challenger last week (where he lost to Dennis Kudla) and has carried his good form into this event.
Gunneswaran will face world No 202 Brandon Nakashima in the final. The 19-year-old had reached the quarter-finals at Cary Challenger last week. It will be the first meeting between the two on the ATP circuit.
Earler, Ramkumar Ramanathan had made a first round exit after losing 3-6 4-6 to local lucky loser Nick Chappell. It was his second consecutive first-round defeat after ending runner-up at the Eckental Challenger.