Thursday, February 29, 2024

Sumit Nagal wins Chennai Open, set to enter top-100 | Tennis News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Sumit Nagal, India’s top singles player, secured his fifth Challenger-level singles title on Sunday by defeating Italian Luca Nardi in the final of the Chennai Open.
This victory is expected to propel Nagal into the top-100 rankings for the first time in his career.
The 6-1, 6-4 win is anticipated to take him to the 98th spot when the updated rankings are released on Monday.
This achievement makes Nagal the first Indian to break into the singles top-100 since Prajnesh Gunneswaran achieved this feat in 2019.
Nagal has had an impressive start to the 2024 season, notably qualifying for the Australian Open main draw and causing an upset by defeating top-30 player Alexander Bublik in the first round.
His performance at the Chennai Open was exceptional, winning the title without dropping a set.
“I’m very emotional (today). You know, every tennis player’s dream is to be top 100 at least. And like I said earlier, to win this match in front of the home crowd in your own country, I don’t think I could have asked for a better place,” Nagal said after his victory.
“I don’t think there were words, everyone was crying. Less words, more tears.
“I’m still very emotional. It’s been very tough last year with being ranked 500, getting surgery done, not having financial support.
“A lot of ups and downs, you know. And I’m very happy that I found a way to push every single day and give myself a chance to be here,” he added.
Nagal also hoped this win will inspire aspiring athletes to pursue a career in singles tennis.
“We’d love to see more people playing the Slams, but I hope this win can push more people to pursue career in singles as well,” he said.
It has been a terrific start to the 2024 season for the 26-year-old Indian, who qualified for the Australian Open main draw and knocked out top-30 player Alexander Bublik in the first round.
“I am happy with the way I am controlling myself and the zone I am in. I think it is very important for a tennis player because sport is very important.
“Once you step on the court, it is just you. And if you are not in the right mindset, or if you are not seeing the right things, it is very tough to change things on the court,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)

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