Prajnesh Gunneswaran focused on making third straight Australian Open main draw

A fit-again Prajnesh Gunneswaran is hoping to use his big serves in the qualifiers in Doha.

By Rahul Venkat ·

Prajnesh Gunneswaran has often been unlucky at the Grand Slams.

In his first Grand Slam appearance, the 2019 Australian Open, the Indian tennis player fought hard against American Frances Tiafoe before being eliminated in the first round.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran would go on to play the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019, but was knocked out in the first round in all of them, having suffered different injuries that prevented him from giving his best.

He entered the 2020 Australian Open as a ‘lucky loser’ after falling in the qualifiers but a persistent wrist injury meant that he could not use his biggest weapon – his serve – to optimum effect, resulting in another first-round exit.

The long break in 2020 gave Prajnesh Gunneswaran the time he needed to recover from the injuries but left him short of match fitness, which meant he was unable to hit his stride immediately when the season resumed.

However, the top-ranked Indian tennis player on the ATP (No. 128) was not too disheartened, as he did reach the final in two ATP Challenger events to end the 2020 season.

“Without my serve, which is one of my biggest strengths, and also struggling with my fitness, I was happy that I managed what I did in terms of results,” Prajnesh Gunneswaran told The Times of India.

The Indian tennis player spent his off-season in Atlanta, USA, focusing on his serves – landing them on the right spots, applying the right power and spin - with coach Saurabh Patil.

Now gunning for a third-consecutive Australian Open appearance – Prajnesh will be playing in the qualifiers starting January 10 in Doha – the Indian tennis player has also been working hard to get back to peak fitness.

“I have been constantly building on fitness and endurance. Maybe by the summer, I will be where I want to be physically,” Prajnesh said.

“I feel good already, pushing my body as much as I can on a daily basis.”