Maharashtra Open: Sumit Nagal stuns opponent placed 96 spots above him in ATP rankings
What's the story?
India's Sumit Nagal has qualified for the men's singles event of the Maharashtra Open defeating Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the second round of the qualifying event on Sunday.
In case you didn't know
Sumit Nagal won the 2015 Wimbledon boys' doubles title alongside his Vietnamese partner Ly Hoang Nam becoming only the sixth Indian to win a junior Grand Slam Title. Earlier this year, he was dropped from the Indian Davis Cup squad amid controversies but he clarified his stance saying he was injured and hence missed the prestigious tournament.
Last year, in November, he won the ATP Bangalore Open by defeating UK's Jay Clarke in the final. Enroute to the title, he defeated top seed and then 102-ranked Blaz Kavcic in the quarter-final and his Indian compatriot Yuki Bhambri in the semi-final. The ATP Challenger tour win saw his rank come below 250 for the first time in his career.
The heart of the matter
The 20-year-old defeated Divij Sharan in straight sets (6-2, 6-3) in the first round of the qualifiers event in the Maharashtra Open. He was then set to face the Spaniard Adrian who beat India's Shahbaaz Khan 6-2, 6-0 in straight sets. Adrian is almost hundred ranks above him and also 12 years older than him in age.
On Sunday, Nagal went on the front foot easily winning the first set but allowed the Spaniard to claw back in the game with a 6-3 win. While the third set was a comparatively close encounter, the Indian ensured to book his place in the first round of the ATP 250 tournament.
The Indian would be going up against Ilya Ivashka of Belarus in the first round of the Maharashtra Open starting on Monday.
It was a beautiful sight to for the eyes of Indian tennis fans as an Indian youngster beat a Spanish seasoned player. In his first appearance in an ATP Tour event, Nagal's opponent in the first round is ranked just lower than him and he would be hoping to qualify for the second round of the ATP 250 tournament.