Prajnesh Gunneswaran on Thursday was just one step away from making it through to the main draw of the Australian Open with a spirited comeback in the second round of the qualifiers.

Prajnesh, who is also the only Indian remaining, beat German Yannick Hanfmann 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a tense battle that lasted for one hour and 22 minutes. The world No 122 was unable to get going in the first set and was dispatched with ease by his opponent. But the Indian was in fine form in the second and third sets, showing great maturity and grit. Prajnesh had defeated Harry Bourchier 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.

Meanwhile, Sumit Nagal suffered a straight-set opening round loss to crash out of the men’s singles qualifiers. Nagal, seeded 21st in the qualifiers, was defeated by Mohamed Safwat of Egypt 7-6 (2), 6-2 after a one hour and 28 minutes contest.

Ramkumar Ramanathan on Tuesday made an early exit along with lone Indian contender in women’s singles qualifier, Anikta Raina.