India’s highest ranked singles tennis player, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, qualified for his first-ever ATP Masters 1000 event at the Indian Wells as he defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
World No. 97 had qualified for the Australian Open as well, earlier this year, but never made it through to the main event of an ATP Masters 1000 event. Prajnesh Gunneswaran will be facing France’s Benoit Paire in the first round on Saturday early morning, which would also be their first-ever meeting.
The Indian Wells is considered to be the fifth Grand Slam and is the largest tennis tournament major after the Grand Slams. Defending champion, Juan Martin Del Potro, won’t be defending champion as he has been sidelined due to a knee injury. Novak Djokovic is the top seed in the 96-member tournament.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran won’t be the only Indian in action at the ATP 1000 Masters Event. In the doubles, Rohan Bopanna would be in action against Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray on Friday along with his Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov. Ramkumar Ramanathan could have increased the number of Indians participating in the tournament had he got the better of Filip Krajinovic, who blanked him 6-4, 6-0 in the qualifiers.