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Sumit Nagal story: How Bhupathi spotted the India star and other lesser known facts

Sumit Nagal story: The lesser known facts

Bengaluru, August 27: Sumit Nagal is the new darling of Indian sports fraternity, having stretched Roger Federer to four sets in the US Open first round at the Arthur Ashe stadium on Tuesday (August 27). Nagal might not have won the match but he gave a fight to Federer, the owner of 20 Grand Slams.

It is not a story of overnight stardom but a result of meticulous work from his childhood backed by supportive parents. MyKhel traces the journey of Nagal.

1. The tennis childhood

1. The tennis childhood

Sumit Nagal was born in Delhi to Suresh, a teacher, and Krishna Nagal and has an elder sister Sakshi. Suresh enrolled Sumit to DDA tennis academy in Paschim Vihar at the age of 7 and used to take buses to reach the academy along with his parents. Soon, he began to make a mark in junior circuits and won an U-12 championship in Hyderabad beating an opponent elder to him - an event that convinced his father to let Sumit continue in tennis.

2. The Bhupathi influence

2. The Bhupathi influence

Sumit was one of the early trainees in a junior programme started by Mahesh Bhupathi in 2008 aimed at finding an Indian singles Grand Slam winner. The Appollo Tyres-sponsored programme was shut in 2010 but Sumit continued to train under Bhupathi for another year before moving to Canada. Sumit continued in Canada till 2014 under the coaching of Bobby Mahal. In 2014, he shifted to Germany to train under Argentine coach Mariano Delfino. Later in 2018, he hired Javier Ferrer, brother of David Ferrer, as his coach. His current coach is Sascha Nensel.

3. Trophy years begin

3. Trophy years begin

In 2015, he paired with Ly Hoang Nam to clinch the Wimbledon boys' doubles titles. And two years later, he knocked out fancied Yuki Bhambri en route to winning the Bengaluru Open. Sumit was a wildcard entry into the tournament.

4. How the year 2019 panned out for Sumit

4. How the year 2019 panned out for Sumit

Sumit's best result of the current year was reaching the semifinals in the Milan Challenger, the Bratislava Challenger, the Lyon Challenger, the Samarkand Challenger and the Savannah Challenger. Right now he holds a 32-18 win-loss record in the circuit, with a 26-12 record on clay courts.

5. Playing Roger Federer

5. Playing Roger Federer

It's not about winning or losing all the time. It's just the experience. It's playing someone who has 20 Grand Slams. I'm just some dude from India. I'm fine with that until I make my name. That's it. He's just too good. You never want to copy him. If you watch Federer and what he's doing with the ball and then you try to do the same, you're just going to break your racquets. It's never going to happen. That's why he's not my idol. Just too good. That's how I see it," said Sumit.

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Story first published: Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 15:04 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 27, 2019
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