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Nagal attains 77th place; set to play at Paris Olympics

Updated on: 11 June,2024 07:44 AM IST  |  New Delhi

The Indian won 6-1 6(5)-7 6-3 in the final that lasted two hours and 22 minutes.

Nagal attains 77th place; set to play at Paris Olympics

Sumit Nagal

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Nagal attains 77th place; set to play at Paris Olympics

India’s Sumit Nagal climbed 18 places to a career-best 77th in the latest ATP rankings issued on Monday, all but sealing a spot in the Paris Olympics men’s singles draw. Nagal has 713 ATP points. The improvement in his rankings was due to Nagal bagging the men’s singles crown at the Heilbronn Neckarcup 2024 Challenger event in Germany on Sunday, beating Switzerland’s Alexander Ritschard in a three-set thriller.

The Indian won 6-1 6(5)-7 6-3 in the final that lasted two hours and 22 minutes. Rankings, as on Monday, will be the basis for deciding entries for the Games. As per the established criteria, the top 56 players, both in men’s and women’s rankings, will attain automatic qualification for the Olympics but no more than four per country can make the cut for the Games, a rule which allows lower ranked players to sneak into the draw.

Nagal looks good to secure the last available ranking-enabled spot in the draw. The last time India had a player in the Olympics main draw was the 2012 Games when Somdev Devvarman made it thanks to a wildcard. “Elated to win the title in Heilbronn this week. It was an important week for me, and I’m proud to have produced my best tennis when it mattered the most,” Nagal posted on X after his final win.

“If I win a match like this, I can be proud because the fight was insane. Ranking is secondary, first goal is to play good tennis,” he said at the end of his match. The 26-year-old Nagal would be the sole Indian in the men’s singles event in Paris. The International Tennis Federation will notify national federations about qualified athletes by June 12, following which National Olympic Committees will confirm their entries by June 19.

This was the sixth ATP Challenger title for Nagal and the second of the year after the Chennai Open crown on home soil earlier this year. Nagal, who is currently the best-ranked Indian singles player, has won four ATP Challenger titles since 2023 and the win in Heilbronn was his fourth title on clay tennis courts.

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