Prajnesh Gunneswaran finished with the runner up trophy after going down to Denis Kudla of USA in final of the Atlantic Tire Championships, the ATP Challenger event in Cary.

The fourth seeded Indian squandered an early advantage to lose 6-3, 3-6, 0-6 in the men’s singles summit clash in one hour 33 minutes on Sunday.

Prajnesh, ranked 146th, started on a bright note, putting up a dominant display to take the opening set. However, the Indian southpaw was unable to keep the momentum going as the second-seeded American came back strongly in the next two sets to claim the title.

Despite the loss, it has been a good week for the 31-year-old Indian. He had beaten Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci in three sets before receiving a walkover against Denmark’s Mikael Torpegaard in the semi-final. He had also beaten former world No 8 American Jack Sock earlier in the tournament.

This was Prajnesh’s seventh Challenger final. He has won two title – Anning (China, April 2018) and Bengaluru (November 2018).

He is expected to rise up the ATP rankings 137th in the world after this performance, just two spots below India No 1 Sumit Nagal.