India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran put up a great show to defeat much higher ranked Marcelo Arevalo on his way to reach the third and final round of qualifying at the French Open 2018 in Paris on Wednesday.
The Indian Davis Cupper upset the 32nd seed and World No. 146 Marcelo in straight sets by 6-4, 6-1 to secure his spot in the next round and now is just one win away from the maiden appearance in the main draw of any Grand Slam.
The 28-year-old left-hander, Prajnesh Gunneswaran will take on 13th seeded Elias Ymer of Sweden for a main draw’s berth, who fought hard to win his match against Facundo Bagnis by 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2.
If Prajnesh is able to cause another upset, he will become the second Indian to be in the French Open’s main draw this year with World number 94, Yuki Bhambri already making the cut.
The World no. 183, earlier defeated S. Caruso (Italy) in straight sets by 6-4, 6-4 in the first qualifying round.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran has been in a superb form this year, he was the hero of India-China tie in the Davis Cup where he got the better of reigning US Open junior champion Yibing Wu of China in the fifth and final rubber to seal India’s place in the World Group play-offs.
Later on, he cliched his first ATP Challenger title at Kunming and due to this, his ranking shot up to a career-high 175th.
However, it was curtains for another Indians as Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina, all crashed out in the first round of qualifying. The 25-year-old Raina was the only Indian in the women’s singles qualifiers draw and was making her Grand Slam debut.