World No. 129 Sumit Nagal started well against higher-ranked opponent Laslo Djere but couldn’t carry the momentum throughout the match.
India’s Sumit Nagal exited the Forte Village Sardegna Open in Sardinia, Italy, after a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Serbia’s Laslo Djere in the first round on Tuesday.
Nagal had beaten France’s Geoffrey Blancaneaux 6-3, 6-3 and Slovakia’s Andrej Martin 6-4, 6-2 in the qualifiers. But the Indian wasn’t able to carry the momentum into the main draw of the ATP 250 Challenger tennis tournament.
Against his Serbian opponent, placed 55 places above him in the ATP rankings, world No. 129 Sumit Nagal made a good start. The Indian broke Djere in the second game of the first set to race to a 3-0 lead.
The Serb, however, responded with intent as he broke Nagal’s serves in the fifth, seventh and ninth games whilst holding his own, to turn the set on its head and win it 6-3.
Nagal’s effort to mount a comeback in the second set suffered an early blow with Djere breaking the Indian again in the second game to set the tone.
The Indian managed to hold his serve in the fourth game to make it 3-1, but Djere upped the ante and wrapped up the set 6-1, after breaking Nagal in the sixth game.
It was the second time in a week that Sumit Nagal lost to Laslo Dere after the Serb ousted the Indian in the Round of 16 of the ATP Parma Challenger last Wednesday.
Nagal’s Indian peer Ramkumar Ramanathan, meanwhile, bowed out of the Ferrero Challenger Open at Alicante, Spain after losing a hard-fought first-round clash 7(7)-6(4), 7(7)-6(3) against local player Carlos Alcaraz Garfia.
Both sets went to the tie-breaker but it was the Spaniard who held his nerve to come out on top on both occasions.
There was, however, good news in doubles at the Ferrero Challenger. Sriram Balaji and Swiss partner Luca Margaroli saw off a stiff challenge from USA's Hunter Reese and Poland's Jan Zielinski to reach the quarter-finals.
The Indo-Swiss duo, seeded third doubles event, won 6-0, 3-6, 14-12 as the round of 16 match ended in the tie breaker.