Chandigarh, India’s rising tennis star Sumit Nagal clinched the $54,160 ATP Challenger tournament after beating Facundo Bagnis in the men’s singles final in Buenos Aires. Seventh-seeded Nagal registered a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 win over the Argentine 8th seed in a game which lasted for one hour and 40 minutes on Sunday.
After this win, Sumit will now enter the top 135 of the ATP rankings when the new list is released on Monday. This is the second Challenger title in Nagal’s career. Earlier, he had won his career’s first Challenger title in Bengaluru in 2017.
Earlier this month, Sumit had achieved his career-best ATP ranking of 159 after finishing runner-up in the Banja Luka ATP Challenger, where he lost to Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands in the final.
In August , Sumit Nagal had earned recognition by qualifying for US Open main draw where he was pitted against tennis icon Roger Federer. At that time, Sumit had taken a set off Swiss maestro Roger Federer in the first round before losing 6-4 1-6 2-6 4-6.
Nagal who came to Buenos Aires without his coach remained cool and composed throughout the match and played superbly.
On Red Clay surface, Nagal served well and kept his first service 73 per cent in in comparison to 57 by Bagnis. Nagal saved both break points and won three out of nine break points while the Argentinian player saved six out of nine break points but could not win any of the two break points.
Nagal won 81 per cent points (30/37) on his first service and 64 per cent points (9/14) on his second service. Bagnis won 62 per cent points (29/47) on his first service and 44 per cent points (16/36) on his second service. He won total 57 points while Nagal secured total 77 points. Sumit Nagal earned $7200 and 80 ATP points while Bagnis got $4240 and 49 points.
After winning the title, Sumit Nagal was quoted as saying “It’s my first time in Argentina and in Buenos Aires. I decided to come because there were not many tournaments in Europe, and I thought I could do well. I’ve started in the best way, going from less to more in the week and this brings me closer to being able to get into the Top 100.’
‘I have Cristian Garín from Chile as an example that last year he won three straight challengers in a year and got into it. I was very confident in the match with Federer in the US Open and when a player is confident everything changes, that is tennis, it can make you unbeatable,” he added.
Nagal, a former cricketer, is of the opinion that “Indian tennis is improving, there are some players in the top 200 but there is a long way to go. In the last 15 years there was only one player in the top 100 in singles and some prominent double players namely Paes and Bhupathi.” It was on the advice of his father that Nagal switched to tennis from cricket.