India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran battled back from a set down to reach the semi-finals of the Atlantic Tire Championships, an ATP Challenger in Cary, USA, on Friday night.

He beat Brazil’s Thomaz Belluci 3-6. 7-5, 7-6 in a tight encounter.

The Indian started slowly as he was comfortably beaten in the first set but bounced back well to clinch the tie in three sets.

He converted five out of the seventeen break points that came his way and prevailed despite seeing his opponent break him five times as well.

He won 66% of his first serve points a tally bettered by his opponent (67%) but he did well to hold his nerve in the final set to clinch a last-four berth.

The fourth-seeded Indian will face Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Prajnesh had beaten former world No 8 Jack Sock to reach the quarter-finals, a win that went a long way in boosting his morale.