Who was last Indian before Sumit Nagal to break into ATP top 100 rankings?

2024 Australian Open - Day 5
Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal on Monday attained career-best ranking of 98. Image: Getty

Rising Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal entered the top 100 ATP men's singles rankings on Monday, February 12. This came just a day after he defeated Italy's Luca Nardi 6-1, 6-4 to lift the Chennai Open ATP Challenger 100.

The title triumph propelled him to his career-best ranking of 98 in the latest rankings updated by the ATP. The Haryana-born player has taken giant leaps in the ATP World after starting outside the top 500 in 2023.

Marred with a series of injuries, Sumit was at the mercy of wildcard entries to play qualifiers in the Challengers. But he has now become the 10th Indian player to break inside the top 100 ATP rankings.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran was the last Indian to achieve the feat. The Chennai-born lad attained the No. 97 spot in February 2019 after reaching the semifinals of the ATP Chennai Challenger that season.

Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman, who was seen mentoring Sumit during the Chennai Open, are the two other Indians in men's singles to enter the top 100 rankings.

"Every tennis player’s dream is to at least be in the Top 100. The last few years have been tough with being ranked 500, getting surgery done and not having financial support. I’m very happy that I found a way to push every single day and gave myself a chance to be here," Sumit said in the post-match press conference.

Sumit Nagal wins fifth ATP Challenger

The beginning of 2024 has brought glad tidings for Sumit Nagal. He qualified for the Australian Open draw and then won against a seeded player in Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik in the first round.

The recent Chennai Open triumph marked his fifth Challenger title. He won his first Challenger in Bengaluru Open in 2017 and bagged the Buenos Aires Challenger a couple of years later.

After returning from injuries in 2023, Sumit won two Challenger 75 events - the Rome Open in April and the Tampere Open in July. He will next head to the Bengaluru Open to win the event for the second time after seven years.