Prajnesh Gunneswaran regained the India number one spot with a dominant straight sets win over Kazakhstan’s Dmitry Popko, carrying him into the Orlando Open semifinals here on Friday.
The fourth seeded Indian won 6-0 6-3 against the sixth seeded Kazkakh in the quarterfinals of the USD 52,080 hard court tournament.
The win will take Prajnesh, who is ranked 137th this week, to at least to 133 in the ATP singles chart even if he does not make the final.
It will push Sumit Nagal to number two as he is placed 136 this week and has not played in the last two weeks. Prajnesh had reached the final of the Cary Challenger last week and has carried his good form into this event.
Popko was off colour today as his erratic serve and ground strokes made the job of Prajnesh very easy.
Ramkumar Ramanathan had made a first round exit after losing 3-6 4-6 to local lucky loser Nick Chappell. It was his second consecutive first-round defeat after ending runner-up at the Eckental Challenger.