Prajnesh Gunneswaran came one match from qualifying for the French Open main draw with defeat to Elias Ymer of Sweden on Friday. But it now turns out, the Chennai player came much closer than that. Luck went Prajnesh’s way on Sunday with Nick Kyrgios pulling out but by the time play began in Paris, Gunneswaran had already left the French capital.
After winning the doubles title in Lyon alongside Jack Sock, Kyrgios pulled out of his much anticipated first round clash with countryman Bernard Tomic. The two Aussies were slated to play the first round at Roland Garros as per the draw made on Friday. With Kyrgios pulling out, the count for lucky losers getting a place into the main draw went up to a staggering eight. Gunneswaran was then entered into the draw to face Tomic.
But as it turns out, Gunneswaran had already left Paris when Kyrgios officially announced his inability to play in the only clay court major. Prajnesh has a main draw entry for Internazionali Di Tennis in Vicenza, Italy. There, he will take on Salvatore Caruso in the first round.
Gunneswaran had baten Caruso in the first round of the qualifying at Roland Garros and then Marcelo Arevalo in the second round. He, however, couldn’t go all the way with a defeat to Ymer in the third round. With that, Yuki Bhambri is the solitary Indian player in the singles draw in Paris.
Kyrgios is recovering from an elbow injury and in the tweet message wrote, “Unfortunately I have to withdraw from this years French Open,” he posted on Twitter. “Having consulted with my team and medical experts it is deemed too risky for me to step out and potentially play 5 sets on clay, especially as I have not payed a singles match in two months.”
“I’ve worked hard to be ready and desperately wanted to play Roland Garros, which is very special to me but I literally ran out of time. ‘A dramatic spike in load on my elbow could potentially put me back to square one and with the grass court season around the corner it is something I can not and will not risk. The good news is I am finally pain free, working hard and enjoying my training and am looking forward to being back in singles action in Stuttgart.”
“I’m sorry to those fans that bought tickets to watch me play but am also grateful for the continued love and support. NK.”
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