22-year-old Sumit Nagal scripted history as he got the better of Roger Federer in the first set of his first round clash of the prestigious US Open. Ranked 190 in the world, it was mere formalities for the great Roger Federer to pip the Indian, but the Jhajjar born had some other plans.
The 38-year-old Swiss started in a convincing fashion by breaking the service of Nagal at the start. The Indian hit back and broke his service on two occasions to surge ahead and take the set 6-4. Crowd was stunned by the heroics of this young player, who comes from the country which is doubles centric and has produced Grand Slam champions like Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna in doubles category.
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Federer made a thunderous comeback in the second set and his rising confidence didn’t helped the cause of Nagal. The 20 times Grand slam champion won the set 6-1. He didn’t give any chance to the Indian in the third set and won it 6-2.
In the fourth set, Nagal was trailing 2-0, but he made a comeback and leveled it back to even terms. Federer marched his way ahead 4-2 but Nagal made it 5-4 at one stage. The Swiss legend kept his nerves and held his service to win the fourth set 6-4 and advance to the second round.
Despite the loss, Sumit Nagal won many hearts by putting up a great show against the legendary player. He already made many admirers in the United States and a great future is at stake for this Indian born Germany bound player.
Nagal was participating in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. He is only the fourth Indian player to qualify for a Grand Slam in the singles category in the last six years. This time Prajnesh Gunneswaran is also taking part in the tournament along with Nagal. This is the first time since 1998 when two Indian players are playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam. Nagal is the youngest player to reach the main draw.
Not to forget, Yuki Bhambri made it to the US Open main draw last year but he is currently out of the reckoning following an injury.