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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 7:31 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 7:31 AM (IST)AUSTRALIAN OPEN QUALIFYING

Inching closer

Prajnesh one win away from first Grand Slam; Ankita, Ramkumar out
Inching closer
Prajnesh Gunneswaran beat Spain’s Enrique Lopez Perez. File

Melbourne, January 10

Prajnesh Gunneswaran inched closer to his maiden Grand Slam appearance with another straight-set win, but Ankita Raina and Ramkumar Ramanathan were ousted from the Australian Open qualifiers after suffering narrow defeats here on Thursday.

Prajnesh, seeded sixth, beat Spain’s Enrique Lopez Perez 6-3 6-3 in the men’s singles second round. “I played a better match than yesterday and remained solid throughout. I broke three times and there were not too many games where my serve was in danger. I played good mentally as well,” Gunneswaran said. “I did the right things, attacked when I got chances. Looking forward to the final round tomorrow,” he added. 

The world No. 112 will next take on Japan’s Yosuke Watanaki, ranked 192.

World No. 132 Ramanathan lost 7-5 5-7 6-7(6) to Germany’s Rudolf Molleker, ranked 207. “I served well and had a break point at 3-3 in the final set but missed the backhand down the line. You have to take those chances,” said Ramanathan.

In the women’s singles, Ankita also had a one-set advantage but went down 

6-4 2-6 4-6 to Spain’s 29th seed Paula Badosa Gibert. “I tried to play attacking tennis but I slowed down in the second set. I was aggressive again in the third but my opponent was serving big today,” said Ankita. — PTI

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