Prajnesh Gunneswaran made a first-round exit from the US Open, losing to world number five Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 1-6, 2-6 on Monday.
The Indian began aggressively but could not maintain intensity after losing the well-fought first set at the Louis Armstrong Stadium. The pressure induced many unforced errors from Prajnesh — 36 compared with his opponent’s 20 — who seemed to be trying too hard.
“The first set was really great from him,” Medvedev said. “It was really tough. I’m happy that I managed to win it 6-4. Then he dropped his level, but that’s kind of normal at the level we are at. Me, I tried to stay consistent throughout the whole match. That’s what he needs to learn to do.”
Medvedev said after the tough first set “it was kind of two easy sets for me with a lot of unforced errors for him. That’s where he should be better.”
Asked how he prepared for the match and whether he knew anything about Prajnesh’s game, the Russian said, “Not really. Actually, it’s funny, but we practised in Chennai once when I was there and I made final. I don’t know if it was four years ago, three? I think it was three years ago. And I practised with him there. I always remember this practice, because this time he was, like, 600. I just got into top 100 and now we are at different level.
“I didn’t remember anything about this practice. So my coach watched some matches of him, which we usually do like this. My coach watches me, tells me what he saw, and this way we prepare the match.”
Prajnesh competed in all Grand Slams this season but is yet to win a round in singles main draw.