India's top-ranked tennis player Sumit Nagal says winning his first ever Grand Slam main draw match was "a special moment and a match I will not forget" The 23 year old Indian defeated American Bradley Klahn 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round of the US Open on Tuesday to become the first Indian since 2013 to reach the second round of a Grand Slam men's singles event.
The last Indian to do so was former India No. 1 Somdev Devvarman, who reached the second round of the Australian Open, French Open and the US Open in 2013. The 2019 US Open was the stage where Nagal made the international headlines for the first time in his career - he qualified for the main draw and took a set off Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer in the first round, before losing the match 6-4, 1-6, 2-6, 4-6.
Sumit Nagal ready and excited to play World No. 3 Dominic Thiem at the US Open
According to the Indian daily The Economic Times, Nagal says, "I qualified for a junior Slam in 2013 here and then the men's and now to win my first round here means a lot.
I enjoy playing here and it has worked out in my favour few times. "It was not easy to walk inside the court knowing this match is more in your favour. I was definitely nervous and especially playing for my first slam win but I did the things I was supposed to and kept my composure."
"In one way, yes (happy for major win) but in another way, we could do so much better. We have so many people playing this sport, we have great talent but no system, which makes me feel sad." He next meets the No.
2 seed Dominic Thiem, of Austria in the second round, who was leading his opponent Jaume Munar 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 when the latter retired. This will be the first meeting between the two players. "I am ready and excited to play him.
It's going to be fun and (I will) see where I stand in terms of my tennis level." Sumit Nagal is currently ranked No. 124 in the world rankings - which is two spots below his career-best ranking of No. 122. He recently reached the quarter-finals of the ATP Challenger in Prague where he lost to three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.