Tennis - India's Davis Cup captain Zeeshan Ali has said that Prajnesh Gunneswaran, India's top-ranked player, must continue to focus on playing bigger events in order to improve his ranking. The 29-year-old left-hander has climbed to a career-best ranking of No.
84 after reaching the third round of the Indian Wells Masters Series tournament and has also qualified for the ongoing Miami Open. According to The Times of India, Ali says, "Prajnesh, at this stage of his career, does not have the luxury of time and has to keep making bold and tough choices to get himself in a position where getting main entries in the big events are guaranteed.
The only way to make large jumps in the rankings is to play and do well in the bigger events. A lot of players sometimes make the mistake of playing safe and protecting their ranking and points by playing smaller tournaments.
Playing the qualifying round in Miami was a much better decision than playing a Challenger event where even if he won the event, Prajnesh would have only moved up a few spots on the ATP rankings. How he does this year will also impact his entry into the Olympics next year.
Doing well in the next few weeks will also give him some cushioning for the rest of the year when points start to drop off from last year." After winning two rounds in qualifying, Gunneswaran will meet Jaume Munar in the first round of the main draw in Miami. The 21-year-old Spaniard is ranked No. 61 in the ATP world rankings.