Prajnesh Gunneswaran keen to regain title at Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger
Bengaluru : Prajnesh Gunneswaran is keen to regain the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger title, which he won in the 2018 edition as the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association gears up to host two back-to-back ATP Challenger events starting on Sunday with the qualifiers.”I have great memories of Bengaluru. I practiced at the KSLTA for a fairly long period and I have had a good outing at the Challengers,” Prajnesh said. “I have many titles here and it is like a second home for me in India other than Chennai. I am looking forward to coming back to the City which is very familiar to me and winning would definitely add to my joy,” said the 32-year-old in an interview from Pune.Currently ranked 228 in the world, Prajnesh who got into the main draw of the Bengaluru Open yesterday expects a stiff competition during the weeks to come.”Definitely it is going to be tough. I’m sure there are a lot of good players, especially because it’s right after Pune and then the two Challenges are in a row. So a lot of the higher ranked players end up staying, which is not necessarily good for the Indians, but it is good to have an event with quality players. It’s always nice to watch and be a part of it,” he said.
Prajnesh who has two ATP Challenger titles and nine ITF titles to his credit was not in the best of shape during last year which also saw Covid-19 curtailing most of the efforts of the players across the world.”It was surely not a fun year. Just having a visa was not enough as there were new updates about regulations and measures every week. It was difficult travelling which was hectic and stressful,” said the Southpaw. “I have not had a great year in terms of my results as I have been carrying some injuries. I could not train much but over the last two months I have gotten past that and I am raring to go,” said Prajnesh.Speaking about the back to back events, Prajnesh said that these kinds of events will only augur well for the players especially the Indians. “It is nice to hold back to back events as it makes things easier for everyone. You don’t need to move from one place to another and get used to the conditions, flights, hotels etc,” while adding “We need to have at least about 10 Challengers in India and more and more AITA and ITF events for our players to get a chance to hop onto the bigger Tours. In these times when the events are scarce, the twin legs of the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger comes as a boon to the players.”Prajnesh who had reached the second round of the qualifying in the first Open of the year in Australia this year hopes for a better show at his favourite hunting ground.