Error-prone Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India went down in straight sets against Jay Clarke in the ATP Challenger in Anning, China on Sunday.
The 29-year-old defending champion was guilty of making too many unforced errors and even struggled with his service game and went down 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 34 minutes.
Prajnesh began the final with a strong start as both the players held serve in the opening three games. But the Indian conceded advantage in the fourth as he struggled with his first serves and lost the game.
He, however, broke back immediately and restored parity at 3-3 by holding his service game with relative ease.
But just when it looked like Prajnesh was getting into his rhythm, the Indian dropped another service game with his fourth double fault of the set in the eighth game.
He once again responded by dominating his opponent’s serve with booming forehand returns but could not hold his own serve in the 10th to lose the set.
It was a period when both the players struggled to hold their serves and ended up trading breaks in the first two games of the second set.
But Clarke showed a lot of steel in the third game when he saved five break points to hold his serve.
The Briton then began serving a lot more confidently and never looked under any pressure from there on.
On the other hand, Prajnesh always looked vulnerable on his own serve and lost it once again in the sixth game to concede advantage.
The pressure then began to show on Prajnesh as he made a flurry of unforced errors while attempting the big forehand winners and signed off with three consecutive mistakes to hand the set and match to Clarke.