India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran Monday said he “struggled a bit with the sun” and that it “cost” him a lot of games at the Australian Open, ending his maiden Grand Slam appearance in a first round exit.
Prajnesh, currently the country’s number one singles player, lost to American Frances Tiafoe in straight sets 7-6 (9-7), 6-3, 6-3 at Melbourne Park on Monday.
“It was a good experience. I played a good match overall, had chances in all sets. I struggled a bit with the sun, (it’s) different in Australia for some reason. Found it hard to adjust the serve from one side of the court,” said Prajnesh.
The world No 39 beat the Indian qualifier in a match that lasted an hour and 52 minutes.
He said that next time he will find a way to adjust.
“Usually it’s tough for the right handers earlier in the day. Noon to 2 (pm) maybe for the lefties. He (Tiafoe) had some issues in the first set with that. As the match went longer.
“That’s what I noticed. It got harder for me.”
Prajnesh fought hard in the first set which went into the tie-breaker after both players held their serve till the 12th game.
In the tie-breaker, Tiafoe got a mini-break and then closed the set at 9-7 in the tie-breaker.
Once he won the first set, the American completely dominated the 106th-ranked Indian in the second and third set.