How special would it be if you would win the first-ever set of your first-ever Grand Slam? And what if the victory comes against arguably the best tennis player the world has ever seen? Quite dreamy right?
Well, one of India’s rising tennis stars, Sumit Nagal, has lived that dream. The 22-year old Haryana youngster managed to win his first-ever Grand Slam set against the Swiss legend Roger Federer at the US Open before going down in the following sets.
The game was one of the highly anticipated ones of the Indian tennis in recent times, and it didn’t lack in entertainment.
Surprisingly, Federer started the game on a shaky note. But for Nagal, it was going to be one of the best feelings on a tennis court.
The Indian tennis player stunned everyone by breaking the serve of Federer in the third game after the latter committed a double fault on the second breakpoint.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 27, 2019
He ATP World 190, came up with deep returns before setting up winners. Some of them came through delicious inside-out forehands.
At one moment, to the astonishment of the ensemble, Nagal went on break Federer for another time by serving out the entire set after being down 0-30.
The Indian was also aided by Federer’s “rusty” play, seeing him commit 19 unforced errors to Nagal’s 9 in the opener.
Also Read | Here’s all you need to know about Sumit Nagal
However, despite winning the set, Federer’s experience ultimately proved too hot to handle for Nagal to handle. The player eventually bowed out after a hard-fought contest that ended 6-4, 1-6, 2-6, 4-6.
As a consolation, though, Sumit became only the fourth Indian tennis player to clinch a set in a Grand Slam main draw in the past 20 years.
To make it to there, the 22-year-old Jhajjar-born tennis player had to win three challenging qualifying rounds.
‘He’s Going to Have a Very Solid Career’: Federer
After his epic first-round contest in the competition against Roger Federer, the Swiss great praised Nagal for showing the grit to win.
“Never easy to come out and play your best. Even though it’s kind of what you live for, you dream about, playing on the big stage. So I think he did that very well,” he said.
“He knows what he can bring. That’s why I think he’s going to have a very solid career.”
“It was a tough first set for me. He played pretty strong so credit to him. I was missing a lot of balls, so I was trying to cut down the unforced errors. Hopefully, it will get better,” he added.
Hopefully, this experience not only makes him richer by around ₹41.60 lakhs but also makes gives Nagal a taste of scheme of things to come in the future…