Sumit Nagal feeling upbeat at US Open start

Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal starts his US Open campaign against USA’s Bradley Klahn on Tuesday.

By Utathya Nag ·

Heading into his US Open first-round match against Bradley Klahn, Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal is placing his faith on his recent form to put together a good run in New York.

Sumit Nagal, India’s top-ranked men’s singles tennis player, is the only one from his country in this year’s US Open singles competition, which gets underway from Monday. Nagal starts on Tuesday.

“I feel like I am playing very good tennis. I have worked a lot in the last four-five months and feel pretty good about it,” Sumit Nagal told the Times of India.

“I am looking forward to my first main draw match (at a Grand Slam) this year,” Nagal added.

Photo: Sumit Nagal/Instagram.

Ranked 124 in the ATP singles circuit, Sumit Nagal heads into his second Grand Slam on the back of some impressive results. After the COVID lockdown eased in June, the 23-year-old marked a positive return to the sport, winning the PSD Bank Nord Open in Germany.

With competitive events resuming from August, Sumit Nagal reached the quarter-finals of the Prague Open ATP Challenger event, before losing to former world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in three sets.

Considering his form, the Indian will be confident of a good result against Klahn who is ranked five places below him. Nagal said playing a left-handed Klahn will work to his advantage.

“I like playing against lefties. So that is one good thing for sure. I could have played a seed in the first round. I am going to grab this opportunity,” the Indian stated.

The 30-year-old Klahn, however, has experience in his side and will enjoy the home advantage.

US Open nostalgic for Nagal

Sumit Nagal, though, has his own history with the hallowed Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York – the venue of the US Open.

The 2019 edition of the event was the Indian tennis player’s first-ever Grand Slam main draw appearance of his career. Drawn against Roger Federer in the first round, the Indian youngster lost but created waves after taking a set off the Swiss tennis legend.

Nagal couldn’t help but feel nostalgic about his return to the Flushing Meadows but admitted that things do feel a little different this time around. This is because the tournament is being played sans fans in a biosecure bubble due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I had my first Grand Slam main draw here last year, qualified for it. Looking at all the situations this year, I have got into the main draw, not the worst thing that could happen to me,” he said.

Apart from Nagal, India’s Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan will be in action in the doubles event at the US Open but with different partners.

You can check out the US Open schedule for India here.