New York: After earning a dream Grand Slam debut for himself, Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal gave the legendary Roger Federer a tough fight in the first round of US Open 2019. Federer needed four sets to win the match as Nagal took the first set 4-6 as he showed no nerves. But Federer bounced back in match strongly as he won the second and third sets comfortably.
Final Score: FEDERER 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 NAGAL
After losing the first set, Roger Federer wins three sets in a row to beat Sumit Nagal in the first round match. Going into the match, no one would have anticipated that 190th ranked Nagal, who had to play the qualifying rounds, would give Federer a fight but Nagal put up a spirited performance. In the fourth set too, he competed till the very end, but Federer was too good once he shook off any rust.
So incredible was Nagal's start to the match that the post-match presenter also asked Federer in jest whether during the first set he thought he was playing Nadal instead of Nagal.
So that't it then, Federer has advanced to the second round of the US open for the 19th time in a row.
Third Set: Federer 6 - 2 Nagal
Roger Federer is stamping his class on the game now. After losing the first set, Federer won the second 6-1 against Sumit Nagal and has taken the third set 6-2. The resurgent Swiss star played some superb forehand winners, improved his first serve percentage and cut down on the unforced errors by a big margin as he comes back into form.
But to Nagal's credit, he is not giving up and is making Federer earn his points. The youngster, who remember is making his Grand Slam debut, is keeping his composure in front of the imposing Arthur Ashe crowd and giving a good account of himself.
Second Set: Federer 6 - 1 Nagal
After a tough first set, Roger Federer looks to be back in his groove, at least somewhat, as he takes the second set 6-1, after racing off to a 5-0 lead. But this is still not normal course for Federer as he hit 14 unforced errors in the second set as Nagal chased down everything, well almost, the Swiss maestro threw at him.
After going up a double break, Federer saved both break points he faced, and held onto his lead throughout. The final game of the set was a long drawn-out one as Federer needed seven set points to finally draw level in the match.
First Set: Federer 4 - 6 Nagal
Nagal, ranked 190th, has not shrunk from the occasion, grabbing the first set, 6-4 in stunning scenes from the Arthur Ashe stadium from New York. Federer has just not got his game going as Nagal has pulled off the unthinkable in the first set.
He quickly trailed by 0-2, but got back on serve when Federer double-faulted down break point in the third game. Nagal then took advantage of a slew of Federer misses to break him and go up 5-4. Then he served out the set.
Federer has got only 48 percent of his first serves in and had three doubles faults. He had 19 unforced errors.
The two athletes are facing-off against each other at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer, going for his sixth US Open title, is the favourite against Nagal, who is making Grand Slam debut.
Nagal has received the backing of countryman and India cricket team captain Virat Kohli. In a post on social media Kohli said that he will cheering for Sumit Nagal as he battled Federer in a highly-anticipated 1st-round match. “Congratulations to @nagalsumit for qualifying for the #USOpen. A humongous task facing the great @rogerfederer, but we will be cheering for you. Best Wishes and good luck,” Kohli wrote on Twitter.
How to Watch
The US Open match between Roger Federer vs Sumit Nagal is being broadcast on Start Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 2 and Star Sports Select 1 HD and Star Sports Select 1. The live streaming of the US Open match between Roger Federer vs Sumit Nagal will be available on Hotstar.
Nagal Qualifying Journey
When Nagal stepped on the court to take on Brazil's Joao Menezes in the final qualifying round on Friday, he would not have thought a win would pit him against a global superstar, who has 20 Grand Slam titles to his name.
Nagal lost the first set but regrouped for a 5-7 6-4 6-3 win over the Brazilian in two hours and 27 minutes.The 22-year-old Indian has become only the fifth Indian player to feature in a Grand Slam singles main draw in this decade.
Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Saketh Myneni and Prajnesh Gunneswaran are the only ones who have played at Tennis Majors. Nagal had also become only the sixth Indian player to win a junior Grand Slam title in 2015 when he won Wimbledon boys doubles with Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam.