India's Sumit Nagal says playing World No. 3 Dominic Thiem on the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open on Thursday was an eye-opening experience for him. The 23 year old Nagal played on the Ashe Stadium for the second year in a row - he lost to Roger Federer in four sets in the first round last year.
This time, he was beaten by the No. 2 seeded Thiem in the second round in straight sets 3-6 3-6 2-6. According to the Indian Tennis Daily website, Nagal says playing the Austrian helped him see where his game is at. "It was an eye-opener for me.
Playing someone like Dominic, who has made a few Slam finals already, it was a good opportunity for me to see where my game is at and see the difference in level. I’m going to back and keep working on my Tennis, and then aim to play a few more tournaments.
Life goes on!
Sumit Nagal says he needs to try and play the whole match at the same level
Nagal became the first Indian to win a Grand Slam match in seven years with his first-round win in New York and says he needs to work on maintaining a high-level throughout the match, especially when it comes to the top players.
"The first thing for me would be to try and play the whole match at the same level. There were a few moments where I was up & playing good tennis and there were moments where I let myself down and made too many errors.
I need to find a balance and try to play consistently above-average tennis throughout. Draws are draws, sometimes you get tough ones and sometimes you get easy ones. Depends on how you look at it. I enjoy playing players like these" The US Open has been devoid of any fans this year due to the global pandemic but the Indian said that this may have a bigger impact on the top stars of the game rather than players like him, who have been grinding their way through the Futures and Challenger events where there aren't too many fans usually.
"Well, it definitely impacts the seeds as they are used to playing in front of the crowds. But for players like me, who’ve played majorly in the Challengers, it doesn’t make too much of a difference, because usually there are hardly a few people watching us in the Challengers." Sumit Nagal is the highest-ranked Indian player in the ATP singles rankings currently at No. 124.