India’s top-ranked singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran is one win away from sealing a place in the Australian Open main draw after progressing to the final round of the qualifiers but it was curtains for compatriot Sumit Nagal in Melbourne on Thursday. Prajnesh, ranked 122 in the world, had to battle it out for one hour and 22 minutes to get past Yannick Hanfmann of Germany 1-6 6-2 6-1. Prajnesh, seeded 17th in the qualifiers, will take on Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in the final round.
Gulbis defeated Argentina’s Federico Coria 6-3 1-6 6-2 in another second round qualifying match.
Prajnesh defeated local wild card Harry Bourchier 6-2 6-4 in his opening round.
Earlier in the day, Nagal suffered a straight-set loss in the first round to crash out of the men’s singles qualifiers.
Nagal, seeded 21st in the qualifiers, was shown the door by Mohamed Safwat of Egypt 7-6 (2) 6-2 after a one hour and 28 minute contest.
Ramkumar Ramanathan on Tuesday made an early exit along with lone Indian contender in women’s singles qualifier, Anikta Raina.