Having earned qualification for his maiden ATP Masters 1000 event, India’s best-ranked singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran made sure his run at the Indian Wells Masters 1000 event did not end in the first round.
Gunneswaran downed world number 69 Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the opening round to record his maiden win at this stage.
The 29-year-old left-hander had sealed his entry into the Indian Wells main draw earlier on Thursday, defeating Italian Salvatore Cruso 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in an hour and 41 minutes to make the cut.
Paire has been a regular feature at Grand Slams for the majority of this decade – with two fourth round appearances to boot, at the US Open 2015 and Wimbledon 2017, while Gunneswaran only made his major debut at this year's Australian Open in January.
The Indian saved five out of eight break points he faced and converted four of the six break opportunities.
The result means Gunneswaran will now record another career-best spot in ATP rankings at the end of the Indian Wells Masters.
Next up for him is world number 18 Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.