Bengaluru, August 27: Despite his loss in the opening round of US Open to Roger Federer, teenage sensation Sumit Nagal won many hearts with his impressive performance at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, while also becoming the first Indian since Leander Paes in 2000 to win a set against the Swiss maestro.
For the records, the 22-year-old was just the fourth Indian to face Federer, after Paes, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna on the ATP Tour.
Before Nagal, Devvarman faced Federer in the second round of the French Open in 2013 and in the ATP event in Dubai (2011), losing in straight sets on both occasions. Bopanna too lost in straight sets when he met Federer at Halle in 2006.
Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist Paes is the only exception to this list, having beaten Federer 7-5 in the first set in Indian Wells Masters in 2000, a match which he went on to loose 7-5, 1-6, 4-6.
Sumit Nagal first Indian to take a set off Roger Federer— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) August 27, 2019
Federer vs Indians
bt Rohan Bopanna 7-6 6-2 - @Halle 2006
bt Somdev Devvarman 6-3 6-3 - @Dubai 2011
bt Somdev Devvarman 6-2 6-1 6-1 #FrenchOpen 2013 (R2)
bt Sumit Nagal 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 #USOpen 2019#USOpen2019
At the Flushing Meadows on Monday (August 26) night, the Jjahhar (Haryana) lad literally gave 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer a scare by winning the first set 6-4, before going on to loose the remaining three 1-6, 2-6, 4-6 in the match which lasted two hours and 29 minutes.
This was also the first time Federer lost a set in a first-round match at the US Open since 2003, when Argentinian Jose Acasuso took the first set 7-5 before going on to lose the remaining three sets.
After the match, Federer was all praise for Nagal saying "he is going to have a solid career".
"I think he knows what he can bring. That's why I think he's going to have a very solid career. But, of course it's not the game that comes out with the biggest surprises. It's really consistent. I think he did it very well tonight," Federer said in the post-match press conference.