Indian tennis sensation Sumit Nagal has taken the country by storm in recent times. Nagal made it to the quarter-finals of the Argentina Open 2021 recently, only to go down fighting to the 5th seed A Ramos Vinolas in three sets. While Nagal has won a lot of admiration for his potential, an abrupt comparison with a tennis legend has surprised him.
In a recent interview with Argentinian publication Ole, Sumit Nagal revealed the Spanish tennis legend, Rafael Nadal, to be his favourite tennis player, who incidentally has a similar sounding last name as him. Nagal revealed that he was flattered by these comparisons but made it clear that they made little sense as Nadal is a phenomenon in the sport. Although Sumit Nagal may be amused by the comparisons, he did admit that Rafael Nadal was indeed one of his idols alongside former World No.3 David Ferrer.
Nagal said, "I love watching Rafael Nadal play. He is one of the players that I see play the most, but I also loved to appreciate every movement of David Ferrer - how he moved, his shots, his mentality, how hungry he was, his competitive instinct. Everything. They are my top two idols."
With clay being Nagal's favourite surface, it is no surprise that 'The King of Clay' is indeed his favourite tennis player. Clay has historically not been suited to Indian players, but with the Indian having been based in Europe for the past few years now, he has developed a strong liking for the surface. "Seven years ago, I went one summer (to Germany) to play Inter-clubs and since then, I have become fond of the surface. It is my favourite surface," added Nagal.
Even though Sumit Nagal lost to fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the quarter-finals of the Argentina Open 2021, he did make India proud by recording his biggest career win in the previous round. Nagal beat world number 22 Cristian Garin in straight sets and recorded his first ATP win over a top 25 ranked player. As a result, the Indian's ranking has improved to 139 from 150.
Although Sumit Nagal may have earned his best career win at the 2021 Argentina Open, perhaps his best performance was against Roger Federer at the US Open in 2019. Nagal took the first set against the 20-time Grand Slam champion, thereby almost giving a scare of an upset. However, Federer fought back and managed to beat Nagal convincingly in the end with a scoreline of 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.