Australian Open: Prajnesh Gunneswaran makes main draw as lucky loser

Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost 6-7 (2), 2-6 to Ernests Gulbis in his final round qualifying match. AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

Prajnesh Gunnewaran sneaked into the Australian Open men's singles main draw as a lucky loser on Saturday and might run into world No. 2 Novak Djokovic if he clears the first hurdle.

Prajnesh lost the final qualifying round match to Latvia's Ernests Gulbis in straight sets but was fortunate to make the main draw as one of the direct entrants withdrew from the tournament.

A good draw has put Prajnesh against Japanese Tatsuma Ito, ranked 22 places below him at 144. He not only has the opportunity to win his first Grand Slam main-draw match but also set up a showdown with Djokovic.

It will be Prajnesh's fifth straight appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

Last year, the Chennai player had come through the qualifiers in Melbourne but made the cut at Wimbledon, French Open and the US Open owing to his ranking alone.