sports sumit nagal

Sumit Nagal of India hits a return during the match against Marin Cilic of Croatia at the Davis Cup Qualifiers between Croatia and India in Zagreb, Croatia, March 7, 2020. (Goran Stanzl/Pixsell via Xinhua/IANS photo)

NEW DELHI – Indian tennis star Sumit Nagal scripted history by becoming the first Indian since 2013 to enter the second round of the US Open.

Nagal stormed into the second round of the Grand Slam by defeating US' Bradley Klahn 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 on Sept. 1. With this the 23-year-old became the first Indian to win a singles main draw match at a Grand Slam in the last seven years.

Nagal will face second seed Dominic Thiem at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Nagal maintained a win percentage of 80 percent on his first serves in the first set during which the experienced American made 15 unforced errors.

The Indian continued to dominate and clinched the second set 6-3 but was broken at a crucial juncture in the 3rd set after which Klahn held his serve and forced a 4th set.

Nagal gathered his focus back and clinched an early break. There was no looking back from thereon as the Indian youngster wrapped the first-round match in 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, Divij Sharan and his Serbian men's doubles partner Nikola Cacic crashed out in the first round of the US Open. The Indo-Serbian pair lost 4-6, 6-3, 3-6 to 8th seeds Nikola Mektic and Wesley Koolhof.

Sharan, who was on the list of athletes recommended for the Arjuna Award this year, had earlier partnered Robin Haase at the Prague Challenger. It was his first tournament since the Covid-19 induced lockdown on the tennis calendar.

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