BENGALURU: There was a time last year when Prajnesh Gunneswaran, one of India’s top singles players, felt helpless. His left wrist injury did not allow him to even pick up a racquet and practice much. In fact, the recurring problem came at the wrong time for the southpaw, a couple of weeks ahead of Wimbledon qualifiers in June. The man from Tamil Nadu played a few tournaments with the injury, including the US Open qualifiers a few months later.
For players like him and other Indians, they cannot afford to miss such big events with decent earnings and points at stake provided they make it to the main draw. “It is tough for me to say ‘ok I will miss one or two slams (qualifiers) to be okay for the rest of the season’. It was a tough call,” he said. When Prajnesh’s wrist was not cent per cent, he could not bring his A-game.
There is an air of confidence in his game now as was witnessed against Frenchman Mathias Bourgue at the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger here on Tuesday. Prajnesh, who suffered an early exit in the Tata Open Maharashtra last week, looked at ease especially in the second set, witth some solid forehands as he won the first-round encounter 7-6 (4), 6-2.