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Updated January 16th, 2024 at 22:21 IST

'I don't know what I would have done': When Virat Kohli financially rescued Tennis star Sumit Nagal

After attaining victory in the first round of Australian Open 2024, Sumit Nagal is on a roll. Reflecting on the past, Nagal had the backing from Virat Kohli.

Prateek Arya
Sumit Nagal and Virat Kohli
Sumit Nagal and Virat Kohli | Image:X.com
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Sumit Nagal has impressed the Indian Tennis fraternity with his magnificent gameplay in the first round of the Australian Open 2024. The India No.1 defeated World No.27, Alexander Bublik, in straight sets to advance to the second round of the tournament. Nagal has turned the eyeballs towards him with his victory and has attained praise from several foremost personalities, varying from Sachin Tendulkar to Rohan Bopanna.

3 things you need to know

  • Sumit Nagal defeats Alexander Bublik in round one of the Australian Open 2024
  • Nagal won the match in straight sets
  • Sumit Nagal received financial help from Virat Kohli's foundation

Also Read | 'Why players going abroad': Nagal's anger towards AITA comes to fore

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Virat Kohli's Foundation rescued Sumit Nagal

The glory came after a long struggle where he was even finding it hard to fund his coach, and now as the victories have come, the financial duress has also alleviated. While in the case of Nagal, tables turned in a matter of four months, but reflecting on the time, when he was left with just Rs.80,000 in his bank account, many Nobel men came forward to help him recover from the situation.

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Among the few entities who came for his aid is Virat Kohli's foundation. Sumit Nagal has in the past expressed gratitude for the initiative led by the India batter, and highlighted that Kohli's foundation stood with him during the thick and thin.

“Virat Kohli's foundation has been supporting me since 2017. I haven't been performing well for the last two years and was facing a financial crisis. If I didn't have Virat Kohli supporting me, I don't know what I would have done." 

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"Early this year, when I was flying from Canada to Germany after a tournament, I had six dollars in my wallet, just six dollars after the help that I have been getting, so imagine what a mess I must have been before. But I survived, and things are getting better. If people fund athletes, it will only help the sport flourish in the country. I am fortunate to get that support from Virat."

Also Read | Exclusive: Former Indian tennis player Purav Raja discusses the Australian Open

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Focus on Round 2

With the win, Sumit Nagal would be brimming with confidence. He would be expected to take the momentum to the second round, where he would face the Chinese Shang Juncheng. Nagal will return to the court on Thursday, January 18, 2024.

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Published January 16th, 2024 at 22:21 IST

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