Top Indian tennis ace Prajnesh Gunneswaran saw yet another disappointing end to his campaign, this time in the Jinan Challenger, as he went down to Japan’s Go Soeda in three sets. His compatriot Divij Sharan has, however, reached the final of the tournament alongside Australia’s Matthew Ebden.
Gunneswaran had faced Soeda twice before and beaten him once with the latest one being at the Bangkok Challenger earlier this season. However, the India World No. 88 saw his Japanese opponent getting ahead in the head-to-head battle on Friday as he was beaten 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3 in the $162,480 Challenger tennis tournament in China.
Gunneswaran managed to win 102 points in the match, as opposed to Soeda’s 100, with both the players even managing to break serve thrice. However, the Japanese did his part in the crunch times forcing the Indian to leave the tournament after with just 25 ATP points and $4,380.
Sharan was seeded No.1 in Jinan and, alongside Ebden, continued to play like the top seed as he defeated Saketh Myneni and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in straight sets. The Indo-Australian pair would next be facing Korea’s Nam Ji Sung and Song Min-Kyu in the final.
In other matches, fourth seed Indian Sidharth Rawat would be facing top seed Dayne Kelly of Australia in the ITF men’s Futures in Thailand. However, his compatriot and former Asian junior champion, Nitin Kumar Sinha failed to win against Japan's Makoto Ochi. In $60,000 ITF women’s event in China, Rutuja Bhosale made to the doubles final alongside Erika Sema of Japan.
$162,480 Challenger, Jinan, China
Singles (quarterfinals): Go Soeda (Jpn) beat Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3.
Doubles (semifinals): Matthew Ebden (Aus) & Divij Sharan beat Saketh Myneni & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-4, 6-2.
$15,000 ITF men, Hua Hin, Thailand
Singles (quarterfinals): Sidharth Rawat beat George Loffhagen (GBR)7-6(1), 6-1; Makoto Ochi (Jpn) beat Nitin Kumar Sinha 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
$60,000 ITF women, Changsha, China
Doubles (semifinals): Xinyu Jiang & Qianhui Tang (Chn) beat Jessy Rompies (Ina) & Prarthana Thombare 7-5, 6-4; Erika Sema (Jpn) & Rutuja Bhosale beat Jia-Qi Kang (Chn) & Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) 7-6(4), 6-2.
$15,000 ITF women, Tabarka, Tunisia
Doubles (quarterfinals): Nadia Echeverria Alam (Ven) & Anna Popescu (GBR) beat Coralie Garrigues (Fra) & Likhitha Kalava 6-3, 6-3.