Sumit Nagal loses in the first round of the French Open

Sumit Nagal

Sumit Nagal, India’s top-ranked singles player, faced a challenging first-round exit at the French Open against world number 18, Karen Khachanov. Despite a promising run in the build-up to the French Open 2024, including reaching the second round of the 2024 Australian Open, Nagal couldn’t secure a win against Khachanov.

Nagal, ranked 94th globally, qualified for the main draw due to consistent performances on tour. This achievement made him the first Indian male player to qualify for the French Open main draw since Prajnesh Gunneswaran in 2019. However, leading up to the clay-court Grand Slam, Nagal struggled with form, missing the Madrid and Rome Masters and having first-round exits at the Bordeaux Challenger and Geneva Open.

On the other hand, Khachanov, the 18th seed, came into the tournament with a strong record. He reached the quarterfinals of the French Open last year and won the Qatar Open 250 in February. Khachanov boasts an impressive 21-7 record this season, highlighting the formidable challenge Nagal faced in the opening round.

Sumit Nagal’s performance in the first round

The match started with Khachanov showing his dominance early on. The Russian player’s powerful serves and aggressive baseline play proved too much for Nagal. Khachanov took the first set comfortably with a score of 6-2.

In the second set, Khachanov continued his dominance, not allowing Nagal to win a single game. The Russian player’s relentless attack resulted in a 6-0 victory in the second set.

The third set saw a resurgence from Nagal. The Indian player put up a spirited fight, showing glimpses of the form that had earned him a spot in the main draw. However, despite his best efforts, Nagal fell short in the tie-breaker, losing the third set 7-6.

With this victory, Khachanov defeated Nagal in straight sets, with a score of 6-2, 6-0, 7-6. The match marked the end of Nagal’s journey in the French Open, while Khachanov advanced to the second round.

Despite the loss, Nagal’s participation in the French Open is a significant achievement for Indian tennis. It marks the first time an Indian man has competed in the French Open singles main draw since 2019.

This match, while a setback, is part of Nagal’s journey in the world of professional tennis. His performance in the third set against a top-ranked player like Khachanov shows his potential and the promise of more competitive matches in the future.

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