The 29-year-old Prajnesh Gunneswaran was finally able to leave knee problems behind him in 2018 and play his career-best tennis, reaching four Challenger finals in India and China to come on the verge of the top-100. Prajnesh closed the season with a great run in Bangalore and Pune, transferring that momentum into 2019 as well after qualifying for his first Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open.
Prajnesh led India against Italy in Davis Cup Qualifiers on Friday and Saturday and he suffered straight sets losses against Matteo Berrettini and Andreas Seppi, barely winning a point on the return and creating no break points in both matches.
Now, the Indian will try to leave the disappointing performance behind him and get back on the winning track in Chennai Challenger where is the top seed. At the moment, Prajnesh is ranked inside the top-100 on the Live ATP ranking list and he will confirm his place in the elite with a good run in his hometown, opening the campaign in the second round against the young German Daniel Altmaier.
Gunneswaran struggled to make an impression on the Challenger Tour before 2018, reaching only one final before advancing into four in just seven months during the last year, hoping for more of the same in the current season as he wants to settle into the top-80 and play on the ATP Tour on a regular basis.
“I had already planned to play this Challenger even before the Davis Cup, but yes, if I can win the title here it will be a big confidence boost. Also, it is always special to play in front of the home crowd. It would have been better if I could come here after a better Davis Cup campaign but it is time to push that aside and switch focus on Chennai Challenger.
I'm trying to improve my ranking. I will play a few Challengers and attempt to qualify for some ATP 250 events. The plan is to be ranked inside 75-80 and enter the ATP main draws directly. I had a great last season and I want to repeat that in 2019”.