Sumit Nagal made a good impression in the US by honorably yielding to Dominic Thiem in the second round of the US Open. The Indian tennis player, who had already made his mark last year by snatching a set from Roger Federer, admitted that he is not yet able to withstand high levels of concentration for three hours, a factor that acquires even greater importance in tournaments.
Grand Slam. Former Indian No. 1 Yuki Bhambri believes compatriot Nagal has clear room for improvement, especially after becoming the first player from his country to pass a round in New York in the past seven years. Number 124 ATP knocked out Bradley Klahn in the first round, but he couldn't do anything against a Thiem in great form following his sensational defeat in Cincinnati the previous week.
Nagal on Roger Federer
Focus and not just a poignant serve is the way forward for him, believes Sumit Nagal, who made quite an impression in the US Open with his swift leg-speed and killer forehand that drew applause even from Dominic Thiem to whom he lost in the second round.
Nagal believes not able to sustain highlevels of concentration “for three hours” needed for gruelling five-setters and moving away from strategy are areas holding him back. “When you lose focus, you lose intensity and when the intensity isn’t the same, you make errors and wrong choices.
Even if I lose my focus, I should be able to restart,” said Nagal. “If I keep playing best-of-five sets and more Slams, I will get used to it,” he said. Having played against the best in the sport, the likes of Roger Federer, Marin Cilic, Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem, what has he learnt? “Talent is one thing but you must be able to control emotions (like Federer),” Nagal said.
“If you look at Federer, he could do that when he was 21-22, earlier than most players”. Meanwhile, Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley has known Federer for quite some time considering he is a six-time champion of Melbourne Park.
But many fans of the Swiss maestro started to doubt whether the 39-year-old would be able to return to tennis after a tough 2020. Federer announced during the forced coronavirus break that he would be forced to sit out the remainder of the year after a re-occurring knew injury, which required follow up surgery.