Prajnesh tennis

India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran celebrates after beating compatriot Saketh Myneni of India during Final match of Bengaluru Tennis Open 2018 (ATP Challenger Tour) at Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association, in Bengaluru on Nov. 17. (IANS photo)

CHENNAI - On a high after a successful season, India's number one singles tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran has set his goal of being in the top 50 in the coming year.

Prajnesh won two Challenger titles this year and said that 2018 has been a good one.

"2018 has been my best season. I'm looking to have a better 2019. I have given myself a good platform to push and I hope that happens," Prajnesh said on the sidelines of a TNTA event to honour past and present players from Tamil Nadu.

The 29-year old is ranked 107 in the ATP rankings, as of Dec. 24.

"I mean being inside the top 100, possibly if I do well there is a chance to be in the top 50 in the world. But I am more interested in making sure I improve enough to be able to compete in the Tour level, in the Tour events.

"... And as long as I am inside the top 100, then I have done a decent job of keeping my ranking and my level. But the goal would ideally be to get around 50," Prajnesh continued.

Prajnesh felt he was getting better in playing attacking tennis.

"I think I have started playing better attacking tennis. My return of serve has also gotten better. Overall, a better match player...mainly due to the volume of tournaments I played over the last two years," he said.

About the chances in the Davis Cup qualifiers against Italy to be played in Kolkata in February, Prajnesh said the Indian team will put up a good fight.

"Italy are definitely a very strong side and the task ahead is not an easy one. They have six players within the top 100 in the team. But then we have a slight advantage because we will not only be playing at home but also on grass," he said.

Prajnesh also said being the No.1 player or the No.2 in the team does not matter much once he steps on the court.

"To be honest, being the top singles player in the country will add a little more responsibility in Davis Cup...but then when you step on the court it doesn't matter whether you are the No.1 player or No.2.

"All that matters is that there is pressure and you are facing a top player. So you have to do everything to win," he added.

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