India’s top-ranked player Prajnesh Gunneswaran failed to make the main draw of the Australian Open men’s singles event after going down in straight sets to Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in the final round of the qualifiers at Melbourne on Friday.
Prajnesh, ranked 122nd in the world and seeded 17th in the qualifiers, lost 6-7 (2) 2-6 to Gulbis in his final round qualifying match.
Prajnesh had earlier defeated local wildcard Harry BouAustralian Open rchier and Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann.
It was a close first set which went into a tie-break, where Prajnesh faltered to hand the early advantage to his opponent.
In the second set, Gulbis broke Prajnesh in the first and third games to race to a 3-0 lead.
From there on, the Indian found it tough as Gulbis held his serve to close out the contest that lasted for one hour and 20 minutes.
With Prajnesh’s ouster, India’s campaign in the singles ended in the qualifiers.
Earlier, Sumit Nagal suffered a straight-set loss to Mohamed Safwat of Egypt to crash out in the first round of the qualifiers on Thursday.
Ramkumar Ramanathan on Tuesday made an early exit along with lone Indian contender in women’s singles qualifier, Ankita Raina.