- Sumit Nagal is unhappy with the support being offered to him.
- He had defeated Facundo Bagnis and won the ATP Challenger in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday.
- Nagal's mentor Mahesh Bhupathi considers it a colossal failure of the system.
After winning the ATP Challenger in Buenos Aires, India’s Young tennis star Sumit Nagal has informed that he is indeed unhappy with the support being offered to him in spite of performing well at the big events.
The 22-year-old Nagal had impressed none other than the legendary Roger Federer at the US Open earlier in August this year. The Indian went on to take a set off him in their very first-round contest itself. He then carried forward that momentum by making it to the final of the ATP Challenger tournaments twice.
Sumit Nagal beats Argentina's Facundo Bagnis 6-4, 6-2 to win Buenos Aires ATP Challenger tournament. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/xGJXqsYguv
— ANI (@ANI) September 29, 2019
Nagal capped his last ATP, the Buenos Aires Challenger, with a win on Sunday night. In the process, he also jumped to a career-best ranking of 135. However, Nagal neither had his coach or the physio by his side in the Argentinian city.
“I was all alone here. No one was with me to help out. One way, it has been great that I have been playing good tennis but it’s not easy to do it and I’m really sad,” Nagal informed PTI from Buenos Aires.
“The path is lonely despite doing well at the US Open. I qualified at 22 and led a set against Roger Federer but it still has not made impact anywhere. It’s really sad nobody is coming up to invest into tennis,” he further added.
Nagal was included in the list of the government’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) but only to be dropped later. The scheme offers a monthly financial aid to the tune of ₹ 50,000 to athletes who are medal probables at the Olympics. The annual budget of Nagal amounts to the tune of €220,000 or roughly ₹ 1.5 crores.
Colossal failure of the system: Bhupathi
Nagal’s mentor and Winner of Multiple Grand Slam titles Mahesh Bhupathi called it a “colossal” failure that the system has not provided the required support for the young talent whom he personally selected from the tennis clinic.
“Sumit is obviously a special talent and it shows with what he has done in the last six months. When you see talent like him who are not nurtured and supported keeping in mind the coming Olympics or the next one, I consider it a colossal failure of the system,” Bhupathi expressed.
“Then no one has the right to ask later why India doesn’t produce champions.”
Although Virat Kohli Foundation supports Nagal, it cannot account for all the expenditure. “They are providing a good amount but as you can see in tennis you need a team like all the top 100 players have – coach, fitness, physio etc which adds up,” he added.
“I still have the exact budget which I had in 2018 when I was ranked 350. It’s that when I needed the most which is right now, I see people turning around and walking away.”
Nagal expressed his frustrations when people commit promises only to break them when the time comes.
“I am still stuck. I have to find a way to get my coach on tour to help me. Most of the tournaments I did in summer was by myself. It’s funny how they say if you need any help let us know and when you actually ask them or write an email they don’t even bother replying to you,” Nagal said.