Top Indian player, with Prajnesh Gunneswaran, seemed to have overcome his wrist injury as he held on to defeat Germany’s Yannick Maden 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) in the opening round of Tata Open Maharashtra.
With this win, Gunneswaran has progressed to the second round of the $610,000 competition while Sumit Nagal failed to advance to the second round.
Speaking after the hour and 39-minute match at the MSLTA Complex in Mhalunge-Balewadi, Gunneswaran expressed delight at playing much closer to his usual style.
The Chennai lefthander’s strong point of the game is usually his top-spin forehand, which he could’t use from some of his game due to recurring wrist injury.
Shaking it off, it all looks like bread and butter shot for him. Not bringing his A-game had cost him games over the last few couple of months, which include an agonising loss in the Australian Open first round.
As if that was not enough, Gunneswaram had developed a strain in the elbow while trying to adjust to playing flat groundstrokes.
However, with a rewarding performance against Maden, his injury problem seemed to be a forgotten issue. After arriving on Saturday, the top player was able to get adjusted to the conditions and dealt with the wrist holding well. With this sorted, he was able to assert his domination.
This was proven in the 12th game of the second set when he sent down a 191-kph ace on the second serve.
Speaking on his performance, he said he played well and was able to hit his forehand for the first time in a while at a hundred percent.
The 30-year-old player noted that playing a match unscathed was good, but he needs to see how his wrist plays the whole week, adding that if it holds steady, he will be able to play at his best.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed