Melbourne, January 21: India's top-ranked star Prajnesh Gunneswaran crashed out in the first round of the Australian Open after losing in straight sets to Japan's Tatsuma Ito in Melbourne on Tuesday (January 21).
World no.122 Prajnesh, who entered the main draw of the men's singles event as a lucky loser in the qualifiers, went down 4-6 2-6 5-7 to world number 144 Ito in a match that lasted for 2 hours and 1 minute.
The match was originally scheduled for Monday (January 20), but heavy rain meant it was moved to Tuesday (January 21).
The result means, Ito will now play world no.2 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second round on Wednesday (January 22).
This was Prajnesh's fifth straight appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam event having earlier played in the Wimbledon, French Open and the US Open due to his better rankings.
With Prajnesh's ouster, India's campaign ended in the singles event of the Australian Open.
In men's doubles, India's Divij Sharan and his Kiwi partner Artem Sitak will face Spanish-Portuguese pair of Pablo Carreno Busta and Joao Sousa in the opening round, while Rohan Bopanna and Japanese Yasutaka Uchiyama will play 13th seeded American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan.
In the women's doubles, Sania Mirza and Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine will take on Chinese combination of Xinyun Han and Lin Zhu in the opening round.
Returning to the court after a two-year maternity break, Sania won the Hobart International title partnering Kichenok last week.
(With Agency inputs)