sports nagal loses

File photo of Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal in action against Malek Jaziri of Tunisia during the Bengaluru Open 2020 at Cubbon Park, in Bengaluru on Feb 11, 2020. (IANS photo)

WASHINGTON – Indian tennis star Sumit Nagal bowed out of the ongoing US Open after suffering a straight-sets defeat to world number three Dominic Thiem in their second-round contest.

Thiem, who was celebrating his 27th birthday Sept. 3, comprehensively defeated Nagal 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 23-year-old Indian threatened early in the first set, levelling the scoreline after being down 0-3. It brought back memories of when he stole the opening set against Swiss legend Roger Federer in the first round contest during his US Open debut last year. But the second-seeded Austrian put his foot on the gas pedal to reel off the next three games, taking the set and denying Nagal a chance to recreate that 2019 scenario.

Thiem's dominance continued as he broke Nagal at love to end the second set, and the Austrian's momentum never slowed the rest of the way. Nagal fought through to the very end, but a volley that sailed long handed Thiem the victory.

"Thank you 2020 US Open. Lots to learn. Going to keep working hard! Thanks for all the support everyone," said Nagal in a tweet after the defeat.

During the course of the match, Thiem converted on 6 of 14 breakpoint chances and finished with 30 winners while Nagal fired 12 winners and committed 38 unforced errors.

"I think it's going in the right direction," Thiem said after the match. "It's difficult to say where I stand, I've been playing a lot of exhibition matches while we were away, but it's not the same as here, where it's more serious. I would like to get back to where I was before we stopped playing."

Thiem will now face 2014 champion and No. 31 seed Marin Cilic.

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