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Davis Cup | Prajnesh Gunneswaran wants to play against Pakistan despite risks of dropping rank

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Davis Cup | Prajnesh Gunneswaran wants to play against Pakistan despite risks of dropping rank

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SportsCafe Desk


India’s top-ranked tennis ace Prajnesh Gunneswaran has expressed his desire to travel to Lahore and play arch-nemesis Pakistan even it means risking his ranking, which is in the top 100. The World no. 95 also stated that his Wimbledon loss to Milos Raonic was a matter of very small margins.

India have been drawn against Pakistan at the Davis Cup and more importantly, a win for either side could see them compete in the coveted World Group qualifiers of the tournament. This would also be the first instance that India would play Pakistan in their backyard in the last 55 years.

Being the top tennis player of the country, Gunneswaran would be under obligation to play in the tournament tie and the player has expressed his desire to travel for it. This could, however, also mean two weeks of non-action in the other ATP events that could affect his rankings.

“I think I will play although it is still to be discussed as we have the option to go now. If I want to stay in the top 100 then those two weeks make an impact but playing for my country is very special and I want to do everything to do that,” said the 29-year-old at Wimbledon on Monday, reported AFP.

“If I had been number four or five in India I would be jumping at the chance. Nothing should change being number one,” he further added.

The political tensions have got seeped into every sport that has affected the sporting tie between the two countries. India had last played Pakistan in Lahore back in 1964 that they won 4-0. They had also won the 2006 tie. The only other tie between them in Davis Cup was in 1973 that was played in neutral territory.

Gunneswaran’s hopeless runs in the Grand Slams continued on Monday in his Wimbledon debut as he was defeated 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-2 by 2016 runner-up Raonic of Canada. However, Gunneswaran sounded positive after the loss and seemingly realized his mistakes.

“There were a few lapses in concentration and they determined the match. I had chances but didn’t convert. I gave him early leads in the second and third sets and they were the killers,” he said.

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