Prajnesh Gunneswaran upsets Denis Shapovalov to progress to round of 16 at Stuttgart Open

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Prajnesh Gunneswaran upsets Denis Shapovalov to progress to round of 16 at Stuttgart Open

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SportsCafe Desk

06/13/2018

Indian Davis Cup player Prajnesh Gunneswaran defeated Canadian player Denis Shapovalov by a scoreline of 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-3 at the 2018 Stuttgart Open in his round of 32 match. 28-year old Gunneswaran will now face-up against Argentine player Guido Pella in the round of 16 match in Germany.

28-year old Prajnesh Gunneswaran qualified for his first major ATP World event after he beat Christian Harrison in the final round of the Mercedes Cup Qualifiers in Stuttgart, Germany. In doing so, he set up a round of 32 tie against 19-year old Canadian player Denis Shapovalov. Shapovalov carved a reputation for himself in the tennis world as he was the youngest player in the top 100 of the ATP rankings, and was the youngest to crack the top 30 since 2005. 

But Gunneswaran caused a major upset in Germany when he beat Shapovalov by a scoreline of 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-3 in their round of 32 encounter, which lasted for almost two hours.

Prajnesh began the match by breaking Shapovalov's service in the very first game of the match, but then the duo exchanged breaks at 2-1 up, before it was broken again when serving for the set at 5-4. Gunneswaran kept his calm in the tiebreak as he won four of the last five points to take it to 8-6.

The second set saw Shapovalov break underdog Prajnesh twice to bring the match back on level terms. But the Indian had other plans and began the decisive set by breaking Shapovalov twice as he raced away to a 5-0 lead. Up 5-1, Prajnesh was guilty of wasting four match points as he allowed his opponent to come back into the game but he would serve out the victory at 5-3.

Prajnesh will now face Guido Pella of Argentina in the next round of 16 match and a win over the 75th-ranked Argentine could set up a once-in-a-lifetime quarter-final clash against Roger Federer.

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