India’s challenge in men’s singles at the French Open qualifiers came to an end on Wednesday as Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost in straight sets to Aleksandar Vukic in round two.
Having defeated Turkey’s Cem Ilkel 6-3 6-1 in his opening round, world No 141 Prajnesh went down 4-6 6-7(4) to Australia’s Vukic on Wednesday.
Prajnesh faced heartbreak last month after narrowly missing out on the main draw of the US Open due to the bio-bubble rules.
The 30-year-old, who was among the alternates and flew to New York, missed out by one spot as the new rules stated that a doubles player would get into the draw even if a singles spot opened up.
The clay-court Grand Slam, usually the second Major of the year, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the main draw will begin next week. Unlike the US Open earlier this month, Roland Garros has included the qualifying draw.
Meanwhile, India No 1 Ankita Raina got her French Open qualifying campaign off to a solid start by beating Jovana Jovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the opening round on Tuesday. She will face Japan’s Kurumi Nara, the 22nd seed, in the next round on Thursday.
Earlier, India’s top-ranked male player Sumit Nagal, seeded 16th, lost 6-7 (4) 5-7 to Germany’s seasoned player Dustin Brown in the first round.
Nagal became the first Indian in seven years to win a singles match at a Grand Slam with his opening round victory at the US Open this year.
The third Indian men’s singles player to feature in the French Open qualifiers, Ramkumar Ramanathan, lost 5-7, 2-6 in the first round to local wildcard Tristan Lamasine in straight sets.