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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeOther SportsSumit Nagal is turning things around

Sumit Nagal is turning things around

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but he is waging a lonely battle as the only Indian in the top-level singles

Nagal has battled his way back to his best form and level after injury setbacks, rising from outside the top 500 last year. This year, he has turned things around, fighting a lonely battle to represent India in top-level singles play.

After defeating World No. 38 Matteo Arnaldi of Italy 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the opening round on Monday, Sumit Nagal became the first Indian to win a main draw match at the Monte Carlo Masters. Additionally, Nagal made history by being the first person from the nation to win a main draw match at one of the three clay-court Masters 1000 events, which began in 1990.

Nagal has risen from being ranked outside of the top 500 last year, after a protracted struggle to regain his best form and level following physical setbacks. This year he has turned things around, going up against it alone as India’s representative in the world’s best singles action.Since qualifying for the Australian Open’s second round at the beginning of the year and making his maiden career entry into the top 100, the 26-year-old has only gotten better. He placed first in an ATP Tour event in February in Chennai, then finished in the semifinals in Bengaluru, both on the Challenger Tour. He made it into the main draw of the Indian Wells Masters 1000 showcase the following month.

Nagal’s steady improvement has propelled him to an enviable place among the top 100. His rating has let him to immediately compete in the qualification stages of top ATP events, and his performance in Challengers has allowed him to maintain his position. The top 104 players are allowed direct entry into the four Grand Slam events, which provide opportunities to earn significant prize money. Nagal received $180,000 for his second-round finish in Melbourne this year. He received $18,230 for winning the Challenger in Chennai.These money will enable him to continue his career, invest in his own game, and achieve results, particularly on his chosen surface of clay. After qualifying for the main tournament at Monte Carlo and winning his first round, he will be confident heading into the summer clay season, which culminates in the French Open next month.
“I’m just enjoying playing tennis right now, competing,” Nagal said after his victory on Monday. “Looking at my last few years, when I lost so much time (due to injuries), this is the best I could have hoped for.”

On Monday, the Indian dropped a close opening set, breaking back quickly in the seventh game to keep things on serve before falling while serving to stay in it at 5-6. Nagal seized control from then, relying on his ability to grind out points in extended rallies. To win the second set, he broke Arnaldi’s serve three times. He also made sure nerves didn’t get in the way, breaking back swiftly after losing his lead to secure the victory in the decider.

“It was a very good match from my side,” remarked the Uruguayan. “The match is best-of-three; losing the first set does not imply you have lost. I knew that as the rallies lasted longer, I would win the majority of the points. So I just tried to figure things out, modify my tactics between the first and second sets, and once I gained control of the rallies, it felt a little easier for me.”In the second round at the French Principality, India’s top seed will meet Denmark’s Holger Rune, the seventh seed and last year’s finalist.

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