Nagal’s DafaNews Bengaluru Open campaign ends

Bengaluru, Feb 18 (UNI) India’s top men’s singles player Sumit Nagal’s campaign at the DafaNews Bengaluru Open came to an end after a hard-fought loss against Italy’s Stephano Napolitano in the semifinals at the KSLTA Tennis Stadium here on Saturday.

Nagal, who had won the Chennai Open ATP Challenger last week, tried his best against the Italian but fell short in the 7-6(2), 6-4 loss.

The 26-year-old started strong as he opened up a 4-1 lead in the opening set before Napolitano began his fightback. The Italian saved a couple of break points with his big serves in the sixth game and then immediately broke the Indian’s serve to put the pressure back on the home favourite.

Napolitano again broke Nagal in the ninth game to take the lead for the first time but the second-seeded Indian responded with a break immediately in the next game as the set went into a tiebreak.

It was the Italian who prevailed in the tiebreak as Nagal lost a set for the first time in nine matches.

The second set was an equally intense affair with Nagal drawing first blood when he broke Napolitano’s serve in the fifth game. The Italian, however, restored parity in the very next game to make it 3-3.

With the momentum in Napolitano’s favour, Nagal serve was again under pressure in the eighth game but he managed to save a couple of break points to stay in the match.

However, Napolitano managed to find a way past Nagal’s serves two games later to put an end to India’s hopes in the singles category. The Italian will now face South Korea’s Seongchan Hong, who got the better of Spain’s Oriol Roca Batalla 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the other semi-final.

Earlier, 2017 Bengaluru Open champion Nagal, who broke into the top-100 ATP ranking last week, was honoured before the semifinal clash by KSLTA Sr Vice President Priyank M Kharge in the presence of KSLTA Secretary Maheshwar Rao, IAS, and Tournament Director Sunil Yajaman. He was also given a cheque of Rs 5 lakh in recognition of his outstanding performance.

DafaNews Bengaluru Open is being organised by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA). The ATP Challenger event began on February 12 and will conclude on February 18.


Singles: 9-Seongchan Hong (Kor) bt 8-Oriol Roca Batalla (Esp) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; 7-Stephano Napolitano (Ita) bt 2-Sumit Nagal 7-6(2), 6-4.

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