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Davis Cup: Prajnesh Gunneswaran loses to Otto Virtanen, India, 0-1 to Finland


Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost in just one hour and 25 minutes 3-6 6-7 (1) to Otto Virtanen.© AFP

Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost again against a lower ranked player in the Davis Cup to leave India behind 0-1 in the World Group I draw against Finland, Friday in Espoo. Against Otto Virtanen, as low as 419 on the ATP rankings, the 165th position Prajnesh lost 3-6 6-7 (1) in just one hour and 25 minutes. Ramkumar Ramanathan must now beat Finland’s number one player, Enil Ruusuvuori, who maintains India in the rankings. It was a good draw for India with Prajnesh playing first against a player with a lower position, but Virtanen stroked smoothly and walked away with an easy win.

Prajnesh saved two breaks early but dropped service in the sixth game to fall behind in the first set.

The left-hander got a chance to break back when Virtanen made a double foul on the second point in the next game, but Prajnesh could not take the chance.

Virtanen served the set without any fuss in the ninth game. With home support, Virtanen kept the Indian under the pump.

Prajnesh again runs the risk of dropping the service early in the second set, but he managed to retain the third game after a few points.

Prajnesh continued to fight to 4-all, but was down 0-40 after suffering a double fault in the ninth game.

However, he saved five break points and eventually retained the game with a well-calculated precipitation.

The Indian loved the 11th game and now had to break his rival, who played effortlessly.

He got that small chance when Virtanen hit the net up front at dieuce point, but the Finns pulled an bait at the break point.

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In the end, it goes to a draw, in which Prajnesh falls behind 0-3 and then 1-5.

An angular serve that Prajnesh could not give back gave the home player a match point, which he converted into an easy winner.

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