Prajnesh, Bopanna, Mohit progress to 2nd round of qualifiers

Prajnesh Gunneswaran made a stunning return from oblivion as he shocked senior pro Karan Rastogi in the Chennai Open singles qualifiers, here today.

Prajnesh, who was a finalist in the senior national championship in 2007 and the winner of junior championship same year, scored an impressive 6-1 6-3 win over Rastogi. Prajnesh had trained at Spanish Tennis Academy for a few years before vanishing from the competitive scene.

Also advancing to the second round was Rohan Bopanna and Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash. Bopanna progressed when his opponent Vijay Sundar Prashanth opted out of contest after losing the first set 3-6. Mohit outplayed Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-2,6-2 in his first round.

Dutch star Thiemo de Bakker saw off Spain's Arnau Brugues-Davi in a compelling encounter as he beat his rival 7-5, 7-6 (7-5). Among the defeated Indians Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Sriram Balaji put up a brave fight while Neeraj Elangovan, Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan, Akash Wagh and Abhijeet Tiwari lost tamely.

Nedunchezhiyan went down fighting to Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-7 (7), Balaji lost to Rajeev Ram of USA 5-7, 4-6.

Elsewhere, a Russo-French encounter produced one of the day's best matches as Edouard Roger-Vasselin (France) saw off Alexander Kudryavtsev 6-3, 3-6, 4-2. Roger-Vasselin and Kudryavtsev had both played in last year's main draw after coming through the qualifiers.

Results: Izak Van Der Merwe (RSA) bt Jame Baker (GBR) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4; Inigo Cervantes-Huegun (ESP) bt Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan 6-1, 7-5; Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) bt Neeraj Elangovan (IND) 6-0, 6-0; Thiemo De Bakker (Ned) bt Arnau Brugues-Davi (ESP) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5); Vasek Pospisil (CAN) bt  Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) 7-6, 7-6; Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash (IND) bt Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) 6-2, 6-2; Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) bt Karan Rastogi (IND) 6-1, 6-3; Rajeev Ram (USA) bt Sriram Balaji (IND) 7-5, 6-4; Rik De Voest (RSA) bt Abhijeet Tiwari (IND) 6-0, 6-4; Treat Conrad Huey (PHI) bt Akash Wagh (IND) 6-2, 6-4; Rohan Bopanna (Ind) bt Vijay Sundar Prashanth (Ind) 6-3, 6-0; Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) bt Alexander Kudryavtsev (RUS) 6-3, 3-6, 4-2 (Kudryavtsev retired) .

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