Melbourne: Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s maiden Grand Slam appearance ended in disappointment after American Frances Tiafoe defeated the Indian in straight sets in the opening round of the Australian Open here, Monday.
Tiafoe defeated Gunneswaran 7-6 (9-7), 6-3, 6-3 to set up a second round clash with big South African Kevin Anderson. The match lasted 112 minutes.
Guuneswaran fought hard in the first set which went into the tie-breaker after both players held their serve till the 12th game. But once Tiafoe won the tie-breaker, he broke away and won the next two sets quite easily and completely dominated the next two sets against the 106th ranked Indian.
Prajnesh’s first serve let him down in the second set and his success rate was 43 per cent compared to 72 per cent of the American. World No.39 Tiafoe converted two breakpoints in the third and sixth game of the second set to take it 6-3.
In the final set, Tiafoe got an important break of serve against the left-handed Gunneswaran in the eighth game and then closed the match in the ninth game to end India’s lone challenge in the singles event.
In the women’s event, Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi failed to cross the early hurdle losing in the second and first round respectively in the qualifiers.