Espoo [Finland], September 18 (ANI): Otto Virtanen of Finland opened the Davis Cup tie with a win against India's number one player Prajnesh Gunneswaran here at Espoo Metro Areena on Day 1 of World Group I first round on Friday. Otto gave Finland a lead of 1-0 by defeating Gunneswaran 6-3, 7-6 (1).
Virtanen (ATP-419) and India's number one player Prajnesh Gunneswaran (ATP-165) stepped in front of about 1,500 spectators at the Espoo Metro Areena for the opening match of the tie.
Match started at a good pace as both players didn't step any wrong foot forward for the starting five games. But in the sixth game of the round, Virtanen's pressure paid off, as he gained a 4-2 lead. The Finn kept the lead intact until the end of the game as he sealed the opening round 6-3 with strong passes.
In the second set, Gunneswaran provided quite a fightback as the match quickly progressed to 4-4. Virtanen first got three consecutive and later two more breakpoints. However, the Indian showed great resistance and overcame the challenging situation.
Virtanen was not disheartened about the lost opportunity as he tied the match at 5-5. On the next serve, Gunneswaran acquired a break but the Finnish player held his nerves to force the game into a tie-break. The tie-break was then dominated by the Finn as he gave the hosts a lead by 1-0 by defeating Gunneswaran 6-3, 7-6 (1).
The next match on Day 1 will be played by World No. 76 Emil Ruusuvuori against India's Ramkumar Ramanathan. Notably, Ruusuvuori is the only Top 100 singles player in action in Espoo, and he will hope to recreate the performances that saw him defeat Austria's Dominic Thiem - then-ranked No. 5 in the world - on this court in September 2019. (ANI)