Will face World No. 89 Karlovic in the third round
Weeks after climbing into the top 100, Prajnesh Gunneswaran continued his dream run with the biggest win of his career, beating World No. 18 Nikoloz Basilashvili, to enter the third round of the Indian Wells Masters.
The Indian was tested in a gruelling two-and-half hour match, which he won 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-6(4), to set up a third-round encounter against the big-serving Ivo Karlovic. Prajnesh termed the win against Basilashvili as one of his best.
“It was a very high-quality match and he showed why he is in the top 20,” Prajnesh told from Indian Wells. “I had a chance in the second set but couldn’t convert it and he played better in the tie-break. I was so close to winning it in straight sets, so when it goes into the third set it is tough mentally to reset. But I am happy I was able to do that.
“In the first match, the conditions were windy and I don’t think Paire played his best. But today he (Basilashvili) played at his best, so to beat him shows I can play at this level. Now the important thing for me is to do this on a consistent basis but this definitely is a milestone and one of my best matches.”
Explaining what he had done for this match, Prajnesh said, “I knew he was a guy with a powerful game so I had to be proactive and be aggressive to put him on the back foot. I was happy I could execute my plans.”
Important results: Second round: Men: Novak Djokovic bt Bjorn Fratangelo 7-6(5), 6-2; Philipp Kohlschreiber bt Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 6-4; Ivo Karlovic bt Borna Coric 6-4, 7-6(2); Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-6(4); Dominic Thiem bt Jordan Thompson 6-4, 7-5; Alexander Zverev bt Martin Klizan 6-3, 2-0 retired; Milos Raonic bt Sam Querrey 7-6(1), 6-4; Felix Auger-Aliassime bt Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2.
Women: Naomi Osaka bt Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-4; Danielle Collins bt Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-1; Ekaterina Alexandrova bt Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 2-6, 7-5; ; Karolina Pliskova bt Misaki Doi 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-1; Venus Williams bt Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-4; Mona Barthel bt Madison Keys 3-6, 6-1, 7-5; Aryna Sabalenka bt Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-0; Angelique Kerber bt Yulia Putintseva 6-0, 6-2.