India No 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran snapped a string of early losses with a solid win over Australia’s John Millman, the US Open quarter-finalist, in the first round of Los Cabos Open in Mexico late on Monday night.
The world No 90 fought back in the decider to beat the 67-ranked Millman 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in a battle that lasted for an hour and 50 minutes in the ATP 250 event opener.
In the first career meeting between the two, it was the Indian who started strong taking the first set. But the Australian fought back and won the second dropping just the one game.
The 29-year-old Prajnesh, who had lost steam in the deciding set in his last tournament in Atlanta, found another gear and prevailed to take the decider in a morale-boosting win.
He created as many as 16 break point chances and converted five of them while Millman converted four of his even chances. But Prajnesh was better on serve when it mattered, winning 64% of his first serve points to his opponents 61% and committing fewer double faults.
But he could potentially have a tougher test ahead, playing fifth seed Taylor Fritz who is coming off a runner-up finish at the Atlanta Open. The American is playing qualifier Dominik Koepfer in the first round.
In the doubles category, the all-Indian pair of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Purav Raja went down in the first round to France Lucas Pouille and Gregire Barrere 3-6, 3-6.