Ahead of tomorrow’ draw for the US Open, Prajnesh Gunneswaran is hoping to be among the competitors.
The Indian, who is the second-rated in the country according to the latest ATP ranking has not been involved in competitive action for a while.
Having featured in all the last five Grand Slams, Prajnesh is hoping to extend that run by getting lucky entry.
This is because top stars like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios have withdrawn from the event in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
Prajnesh, who dropped to 136 in the latest ATP ranking wants to enter the Grand Slam in New York but there must be a few more absentees before that can be possible for him. So, he will have to count on his luck in the next 24 hours.
The 30-year-old Indian featured in the last US Open and he is planning to return to competitive tennis circuit with the Grand Slam.
Speaking with the Olympic Channel, Prajnesh said that his plans depend on the Grand Slam happening, adding that it will be his first call while every other thing isn’t that important.
The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the cancellation of international tennis events for months. One of such affected is the qualifying rounds.
India’s current number one tennis player Sumit Nagal already got a direct entry into it due to his ranking.
This is because he has reached his career-high ATP ranking of 122 on Monday, moving five-places from his previous ranking of 127. This was due to his participation in the Prague Open. Nagal who reached the quarter-finals of the tournament was eventually knocked out by the winner, Stan Wawrinka, who is world number 17.
Prajnesh on the other hands drops four places to 136 while Ramkumar Ramanathan also slipped to 189. They are yet to return to competitive tennis.
In this year’s US Open, 120 players will qualify based on their ATP rankings. This is apart from the eight wild cards. The wildcard has slashed Gunneswaran’s chances, but he is still hopeful.
He also revealed that he is now back to full fitness after enduring an injury-plagued 2019 that saw him came down the ranking from number 75.
Prajnesh, who is Asian Games bronze medallist, further revealed that he intended to travel to Europe and play some tournaments before the French Open in a bid to find his feet on clay.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed