Sumit Nagal’s Journey to Roland Garros 2024: From Australian Open Triumph to Facing Karen Khachanov

Explore Sumit Nagal’s remarkable journey from making history at the Australian Open to facing World No. 18 Karen Khachanov at Roland Garros 2024. Get insights from former India No. 1 Somdev Devvarman and discover Nagal’s prospects for future success in tennis.

Sumit Nagal became a household name in January earlier this year when he made history at the Australian Open. After battling through the qualifiers in Melbourne, Nagal stunned Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik to become the first Indian man to win a main draw match at the Australian Open in 11 years, earning 180,000 Australian dollars in the process. His triumph also broke a 35-year-old record, making him the first Indian man to defeat a seeded player in the singles draw of a Grand Slam, leaving the country in absolute awe of his achievement.

Since then, Nagal has been a regular in main draw matches at top ATP tournaments, with his best showing on clay at the Monte Carlo Masters. His impressive run saw him rise to a career-best ranking of No. 80 and secured his direct entry into the main draw at the French Open.

Now, at 26 years old, Nagal is set to become the first Indian man to feature in the main draw at the Stade Roland Garros since Prajnesh Gunneswaran in 2019. With the experience gained over the last few months since his Australian Open feat, does the expectation rise?

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According to former India No. 1 Somdev Devvarman, Nagal has been around the tour long enough to handle the expectations. “At this point, Sumit’s been around the tour for long enough. He’s 26 years old, been now in the top hundred. Had a few wins, had a few runs, did well at the Masters, and played against the top ten guys. I think that he should be feeling as good as he has. Physically, playing his game, he’s as good as he’s ever been,” said Devvarman.

However, Nagal faces a tough opening match at Roland Garros against World No. 18 Karen Khachanov. Devvarman acknowledges the challenge but remains optimistic about Nagal’s chances. “Let’s be honest, it’s a huge challenge. Karen Khachanov is one of the toughest matches out there. But I’d like to see a fight. I think Sumit has it in him. If Sumit plays well, really well, he’ll give himself a chance,” he stated.

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Following the clay-court season, Nagal has also guaranteed himself a main-draw appearance at the prestigious Wimbledon Championships. Despite this, Devvarman believes Nagal still has time before he can start regularly winning main-draw matches. “It’ll take a little bit of time. When you’re in the main draw of all of these majors and you’re unseeded, sometimes you require a little bit of luck,” he explained.

As Nagal continues to make strides in his career, fans eagerly anticipate his performances at Roland Garros and beyond. With determination, hard work, and a bit of luck, Nagal could pave his way to more historic achievements in the world of tennis.