Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal faced off against Roger Federer in his Grand Slam debut. The 22-year-old player from Haryana beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion 6-4 in the opening set of the match. However, Federer bounced back and will move to the next round.
New York: Sumit Nagal, Indian tennis player from Haryana won the first set against Roger Federer in his Grand Slam debut. However, the Indian player will take a back seat after losing the following sets to the world number 3, who will now move to the next game.
The 22-year-old born in Jhajjar in Haryana would have felt he was living a dream when he beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion 6-4 in the opening set of the match.
Federer soon bounced back and righted the course, winning the next three sets to progress to the second round of the US Open for the 19th time in a row.
However, Sumit Nagal put up a spirited performance throughout and made the whole of India sit up and take notice of his talent in the 2 hours and 30 minutes that he played against Roger Federer.
In the course, Nagal also became only the only the fifth Indian male player to feature in a Grand Slam singles main draw in this decade. He is currently ranked 190 in the world. Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Saketh Myneni and Prajnesh Gunneswaran are the only ones who played at singles Majors between 2010 and present.
Ahead of his first-round clash with Federer, Nagal had said, “It’s probably the best thing that could have happened. I was hoping I get to play Roger someday. He is God of tennis, so yeah I am looking forward to it.”
India's Davis Cup captain Mahesh Bhupathi, who was first to spot Nagal's talent and took him under his wings to provide support, said the match against Federer was a career-defining moment for the 22-year-old, who grew up in West Delhi.
Nagal, who won his maiden Challenger title in Bengaluru in 2017 could not build on that success. He had blamed the change in support staff for the poor results as he was knocked out of 16 tournaments in the first round itself after the high of Bengaluru Open title.
But later, he began to train with Serbian coach Milos Galecic at Paine in Germany and results have started to show. Somdev - one of the best counter punchers India has produced - had also trained with Milos.
Last Updated 12:06 PM IST