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Karlovic halts Prajnesh’s dream run 

Indian Wells, March 12

Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s terrific run at the Indian Wells Masters came to an end following a straight-set defeat against the big-serving Ivo Karlovic but the left-handed Indian is confident of replicating success at the big stage consistently.

The Indian qualifier fought hard before losing 6-3 7-6(4) to the tall Croat, who fired 16 aces in the match.

“It was very difficult to return his big serve. I had some chances, I did not take them and that’s pretty much what decided the match,” world No. 97 Gunneswaran, who failed to convert two break chances, said.

It was Gunneswaran’s maiden appearance at an ATP Masters event and he bagged 61 ranking points with his stupendous effort, which will catapult him to a new career-best rank of 82. “Overall, it was a very good run. I am confident I will be able to do this again. Obviously time will tell,” Gunneswaran said. “Over a period of time I should be able to deliver such results consistently. I am not sure if it will always be at the Masters, or a 250 tournament or a Grand Slam. I hope it happens at the bigger events. At the end of the day, if I am consistently competing against these players and finding success then I am on the right track,” added the Chennai player, who earned a prize purse of $48,775. 

Meanwhile, India’s Rohan Bopanna and his partner Denis Shapovalov bowed out of the men’s doubles event after a 4-6 6-1 10-8 defeat against Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini in the second round. 

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