New York, Sep 2
Sumit Nagal turned the primary Indian tennis participant to win a spherical at a Grand Slam in seven years when he downed American Bradley Klahn in his US Open first spherical, establishing a contest towards world No. 3 Dominic Thiem, right here.
Returning to the Flushing Meadows the place he took a set off Roger Federer final 12 months, the Indian obtained previous the native rival, ranked only a rung above the Indian at 126th, 6-1 6-Three 3-6 6-1 in two hours and 12 minutes on Tuesday night time.
Somdev Devvarman was the final Indian to win a foremost draw match at a Major and by the way, it was on the US Open in 2013 when he beat Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko after coming by means of qualifiers.
“I qualified for a junior Slam in 2013 here and then the men’s and now to win my first round here means a lot. I enjoy playing here and it has worked out in my favour few times,” mentioned Nagal.
“It was not easy to walk inside the court knowing this match is more in your favour. I was definitely nervous and especially playing for my first slam win but I did the things I was supposed to and kept my composure.”
Somdev, who retired in January 2017, had reached the second rounds of Australian Open, French Open and US Open in 2013 other than enjoying a second spherical on the Wimbledon in 2011 however by no means went past that.
After Somdev, Indian tennis noticed the rise of Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran however none of them may win a foremost draw spherical.
Ramkumar didn’t even qualify for a foremost attract many makes an attempt. Saketh Myneni certified for US Open singles in 2016 however misplaced to Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely.
Bhambri had to deal with accidents and that halted his progress. Between 2015 and 2018 he competed in all 4 Majors however by no means crossed a spherical.
Nagal mentioned Indian tennis ought to have finished higher and partly blamed it on the not-so-helpful “system” as nicely.
“In one way, yes (happy for Major win) but in another way, we could do so much better. We have so many people playing this sport, we have great talent but no system, which makes me feel sad,” the 23-year-old mentioned with out elaborating a lot.
Up subsequent for him will probably be Austria’s prime participant Thiem, who superior to second spherical after his Spanish rival Jaume Munar retired earlier than the beginning of the third set. Thiem was main 7-6(6) 6-Three when Munar discovered it troublesome to proceed as he injured his knee in the course of the second set.
A fierce fighter, Nagal hardly cares for reputations and is anticipated to make it robust for the world No. Three on Thursday.
“I am ready and excited to play him. It’s going to be fun and (I will) see where I stand in terms of my tennis level,” he mentioned.
Nagal got here right here after enjoying on clay courts just like the final 12 months. It seems making the floor swap comes simply to him. Nagal made the quarterfinals of the Prague Open, performed on purple filth, within the lead as much as the US Open.
“Courts here are nice and bouncy. I mean it is a little fast this year but last year it was nice. I think it’s not even about adapting anymore. It’s just about match-ups and how your game works on different type of surfaces,” he mentioned. PTI