Press Trust of India MelbourneJanuary 10, 2019UPDATED: January 10, 2019 18:19 IST Prajnesh Gunneswaran will be looking for his first appearance in a Grand Slam tournament. (Australian Open Photo)HIGHLIGHTSPrajnesh Gunneswaran is the only Indian standing in the singles disciplinePrajnesh won the Asian Games bronze medal last yearAnkita Raina and Ramkumar Ramanathan bowed out in the second round of Australian Open qualifiersIn-form Prajnesh Gunneswaran inched closer to his maiden Grand Slam appearance with another straight-set win but Ankita Raina and Ramkumar Ramanathan were ousted from the Australian Open Qualifiers after suffering narrow defeats, here [Melbourne] Thursday.Prajnesh, seeded sixth, got the better of Spain’s Enrique Lopez Perez 6-3, 6-3 in the men’s singles second round.”I played a better match than yesterday [Wednesday] and remained solid throughout. I broke three times and there were not too many games where my serve was in danger. I played good mentally as well,” Prajnesh told PTI.”I did the right things, attacked when I got chances. Looking forward to the final round tomorrow,” he added.The world number 112 will next take on Japan’s Yosuke Watanaki, ranked 192 in the world.If Prajnesh wins tomorrow’s [Friday] match, it will be his first main draw competition at a Grand Slam. He unfortunately missed out on playing at 2018 French Open when as a lucky loser he made the main draw but since he had left Paris and entered a Challenger tournament, he missed out on the chance.Injured Yuki Bhambri had played in all four Grand Slam main draws in 2018.Placed 132 in the world rankings, Ramkumar played a very close match before losing 7-5 5-7 6-7(6) to Germany’s Rudolf Molleker, ranked 207.”I served well in the match and had a break point at 3-3 in the final set but missed the backhand down the line. It was just a few inches wide. You have to take those chances,” rued Ramkumar.advertisementIn the women’s singles, Asian Games bronze medallist Ankita also had a one-set advantage but went down 6-4 2-6 4-6 to Spain’s 29th seed Paula Badosa Gibert, world number 142.”I tried to play attacking tennis but I felt I slowed down a bit in the second set. I was aggressive again in the third. But the girl (opponent) was serving big today which was the deciding factor,” said Raina.Also Read | Tricky draw for Federer as Swiss legend eyes hat-trick in MelbourneAlso Read | Indian-origin boy to spin the toss coin in Australian Open 4th roundAlso Read | Federer, Serena favourites to win 2019’s 1st Grand Slam tournamentFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPTI Tags :Follow Prajnesh GunneswaranFollow Ankita RainaFollow Ramkumar RamanathanFollow Australian Open Next Australian Open: Prajnesh enters final round of qualifiers, Ankita, Ramkumar bow outAustralian Open: Prajnesh Gunneswana beat Spain’s Enrique Lopez Perez 6-3, 6-3 to make it to the final round of men’s singles qualifiers.advertisement
Sao Paulo: Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese committed a horrendous error as Brazil ensured top spot in their Copa America group on Saturday with a 5-0 victory in Sao Paulo. Goals from Casemiro, Roberto Firmino, Everton, Dani Alves and Willian ensured the Selecao would finish top of Group A and will play their quarter-final in Porto Alegre, potentially against out-of-sorts Argentina, their bitter rivals. “We knew we’d get there sooner or later because we worked very hard,” captain Alves told TV Globo. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ Medvedev”It’s thanks to wins like this that we’re connected with the fans. When we’re all together, we feel the positive energy,” he added, alluding to the jeers that greeted the team in their first two group matches. With Peru already 1-0 down, it was Gallese’s dreadful error that led to Firmino’s goal and swept the mat from under Peru’s feet, with the game turning into a rout. Darwin Machis scored a brace as Venezuela beat Bolivia 3-1 in Belo Horizonte and leapfrogged Peru into second place, securing a quarter-final at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsPeru, who finish third on four points, must now wait nervously to see what happens in the other two groups on Sunday and Monday to find out if they will qualify for the knock-out rounds as one of the two best third-place finishers. Never before since the Copa America adopted a 12-team format in 1993 with eight sides going through to the quarter-finals, has a side mustering four points failed to progress. Hosts Brazil took an early lead in scrappy fashion when Philippe Coutinho’s corner was flicked on at the near post for Marquinhos to head goalwards from inside the six-yard box, with Gallese rooted to his line. The ball came back off the post, grazed Marquinhos’s shoulder and was then headed over the line by Casemiro on 12 minutes. If Gallese was partly at fault there for not commanding his area, he was totally to blame for Brazil’s second. The goalkeeper dallied over a clearance and when he tried to hoof the ball upfield, it cannoned off a jumping Firmino, looped over his head and again came back off the post. The ball bounced back to Firmino who waltzed around the stranded Gallese and slotted the ball into the empty net on 19 minutes. Peru had barely been in the game but captain Paolo Guerrero did curl a free-kick over the top. Yet the match was effectively over as a contest on 32 minutes when Everton cut in off the left flank and fired a snap effort into the bottom corner, with Gallese a touch slow to react and beaten at his near post. With almost two thirds of the match to go, Peru were relying on a favor from Bolivia to hold onto second place in the group. Brazil, who were boosted by a visit from the injured and absent Neymar on Friday, did not let up in the second half. Alves was next in on the scoring act after playing a pair of one-twos with Arthur and Firmino before firing across Gallese on 53 minutes. Willian sealed the rout in the last minute with a stunning strike from the corner of the 18-yard box. And there was still time for Gallese to give away and then save a Gabriel Jesus penalty in stoppage time.