Sumit Nagal is an Indian tennis player who has been earmarked for great things since the time he was 10.
Nagal has already displayed a fierce competitive spirit and a willingness to learn in his short career so far, and has earned widespread praise for his ability to challenge players considerably stronger than him. He is one of India's strongest hopes for Grand Slam contention over the next decade or so.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: NA
French Open: Qualifying 1st Round (2018)
Wimbledon: Qualifying 1st Round (2018)
US Open: Round 1 (2019)
Highest Ranking: No. 213
Style of play
Nagal's game is based on robust shot-making from the back of the court mixed with the occasional foray to the net. He is an attacking player who takes the ball early, and is capable of redirecting pacy shots off both wings.
Nagal hits his forehand with a lot of topspin, while his backhand is flat. He throws in slices and drop shots on occasion, and constantly looks for ways to turn a rally to his advantage.
Nagal is fairly comfortable at the net, and can hit both drive volleys and drop volleys when he finds himself there.
Strengths and weaknesses
Nagal's forehand is arguably his biggest weapon. He can control the pace and pattern of a rally by driving his forehand in different directions, and can also defend well off it. Nagal's forehand return is particularly strong, and he often hits clean winners with that shot.
Nagal's serve is solid but not threatening, owing largely to his relatively short height. His backhand also suffers a little from lack of power, and has been exploited fairly frequently by his opponents.
Nagal has a strong net game, and has shown the ability to knife his volleys into the corners on points set up by his big forehand. His attacking mindset has earned him plenty of success on quick courts already, while his topspin-heavy forehand is also suitable to clay.
Nagal was born in Jhajjar, Haryana, and started playing tennis at the age of eight. His father Suresh Nagal is a teacher, while his mother Krishna Devi Nagal is a housewife.
Nagal's favorite players are Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and his favorite surface is clay. He is a big fan of cricket in addition to tennis, and has gone on record saying that if he wasn't a tennis player, he would have become a cricketer.
Nagal's talent was visible from a very early age, when he was 10 he was inducted into Mahesh Bhupathi's Mission 2018 program. He moved to Canada for his training after that, and then to Germany, but he continued to receive backing from Bhupathi.
In 2015 Nagal won the Wimbledon boys' doubles title with Ly Hoang Nam, becoming only the sixth Indian to ever win a junior Grand Slam. He has gone from strength to strength after that, even defeating his countryman Yuki Bhambri on his way to the 2017 Bangalore Challenger title.
Nagal was also at the center of controversy in early 2017, after reports emerged that he had been dropped from India's Davis Cup team by the AITA owing to disciplinary issues. It was alleged that Nagal had been nursing a hangover which caused him to miss a practice session, and also that he had brought his girlfriend along to the tour without seeking permission from the authorities.
Nagal denied all the allegations, and was shown support by Somdev Devvarman. Since then, Nagal has been more in the news for his tennis than his discipline problems, which is good news for all Indian tennis fans.
Social media presence:
Sumit Nagal Instagram: @nagalsumit
Sumit Nagal Twitter: @nagalsumit