India’s number one Prajnesh Gunneswaran blew a set lead to lose his third round match at the 2019 ATP Kaohsiung Challenger on Thursday.
Enrique Lopez Perez defeated Gunneswaran 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 to march into the last-eight stage of the Kaohsiung Challenger.
Gunneswaran took the first set and things looked like they were going to go into a tie-breaker in the second when he was serving to stay in the set. However, Gunneswaran went 0-40 down on his serve and Perez converted at the first opportunity to take a 6-5 lead.
The Spaniard then served it out to take the match into a third.
Things looked to be headed in the same direction in the decider as well but Gunneswaran faltered while serving at 3-3. Perez got a break-point at 30-40 on his serve and took his chance.
Both players then held on to their respective serves, and while Gunneswaran had a break-point in the 10th game of the final set, his opponent held on to his nerves and finished off the match.
Earlier, Gunneswaran had lost his serve early in the match but broke Perez back immediately to level things off at 2-2. This sequence of events repeated again before Gunneswaran won the decisive break of serve in the 12th game when Perez had to serve to stay in the set.
Perez will now face the winner of the match between Yuichi Sugita and Steven Diez in the quarter-final.
The Indian had earlier got a bye in the first round and then overcame S Sekiguchi of Japan in straight sets to set up this meeting against Perez.
Two other Indians, Sasikumar Mukund and Saketh Myneni were also a part of the first round draw. While Mukund made the second round before going down to the 10th seeded Marc Polmans, Myneni’s campaign was ended in round one by another Australian, Max Purcell.