Sumit Nagal wins maiden Challenger trophy
Sumit Nagal's sensational campaign at the ATP Bengaluru Open culminated in a superb fashion as he lifted his maiden Challenger level title with a three-set win over Briton Jay Clarke, here yesterday
Sumit Nagal's sensational campaign at the ATP Bengaluru Open culminated in a superb fashion as he lifted his maiden Challenger level title with a three-set win over Briton Jay Clarke, here yesterday. Unseeded 20-year-old Nagal defeated his British opponent 6-3 3-6 6-2 in the summit clash of the USD 100,000 hard court event, earning crucial 100 ATP ranking points.
Nagal, who is ranked 321, is likely to gain more than 80 places on the ATP ranking list when the new rankings will be issued on Monday. The effort won Nagal a decent prize purse of USD 14,400 and more importantly he will now be ranked close to 225 which will be his career-best rank. "I had to be aggressive against Clarke because he is a great player and move across the court quickly," Nagal said after the match.
The tournament has been a big breakthrough for Nagal, who toppled India's best singles players Yuki Bhambri and other international established players such as Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic, who is ranked 102 in the world. Confidence writ large on Nagal's face as he confounded Clarke with his nimble movement across the court. "Going into the match, I was nervous, but when I took on the courts, I drew inspiration from myself, team and spectators, who were backing me. Spectators play a very vital role," he said after the match.
Nagal won the first set easily but Clarke fought his way back to remain in hunt for the crown. Clarke began the third and final set by breaking Nagal in the very first game but in a counter-attack, Nagal broke back. Nagal again broke Clarke in fourth game and open up a 3-1 lead and saved a breakpoint in fifth game to pull away. Clarke won the next game after he saved one break point, but lost the ninth game of the final set. India hosted only two Challenger level events this year and both were won by home players. Bhambri had won the USD 50,000 Pune Challenger last week.
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