Monday, June 24, 2024

Sumit Nagal stuns world number 38 Matteo Arnaldi at Monte Carlo Masters

Sumit Nagal 1
Sumit Nagal in action. PTI file

Monte Carlo, April 8: In a thrilling encounter at the ATP Masters event in Monte Carlo, India’s leading singles player Sumit Nagal caused a major upset, defeating world number 38 Matteo Arnaldi in a hard-fought three-set battle.
Nagal, making his debut in the main draw of an ATP Masters 1000 event through the qualifying rounds, displayed remarkable resilience as he bounced back from a set down to clinch a memorable victory against the Italian opponent with 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 scoreline.
The triumph marks Nagal’s first main draw win at this level of competition.
Nagal’s next challenge awaits against Holger Rune of Denmark, ranked seventh in the world.
This is also Nagal’s third victory over a top-50 player and second time in the current season.
The 26-year-old had toppled the then world number 27 Alexander Bublik in straight sets at the Australian Open in Melbourne at the start of the 2024 season. He had also defeated then world No. 22 Chilean Cristian Garin in Argentina Open in March 2021.
Nagal, who qualified into the main draw with wins over higher-ranked players, has ensured himself a career-high rank of 80 with today’s victory in the clay court event.
Ranked 95th in the world, Nagal had also qualified for the Indian Wells Masters in March this year but fell to formidable Canadian Milos Raonic in the first round. He had also competed in the Qualifiers of the Miami Masters but could not make the main draw.
The first set was on even keel with both players breaking each other once. Serving to stay in the set, Nagal lost his serve in the 12th game with Arnaldi attacking the Indian’s first serve.
However, Nagal remained unperturbed and broke his rival twice in the second set for a comfortable 4-1 lead. His serve came under pressure in game six but he held and closed the set force a decider.
After trading a break with Arnaldi, Nagal broke his rival’s serve for the second time in the seventh game of the thrid set to take a 4-3 lead and that proved to be decisive in the final outcome of the match. He consolidated the lead by pocketing the eighth game and served out the match in game 10.
Nagal had beaten world number 63 Flavio Cobolli of Italy 6-2 6-3 in the first round of qualifying event.
(ToI With inputs from PTI)