Melbourne, Jan 16: In a triumphant display of skill and determination, Indian tennis star Sumit Nagal marked a significant milestone in his career by securing a convincing victory in the first round over Alexander Bublik in the Australian Open 2024.
The 26-year-old Indian tennis player, who had faced disappointment three years ago at Melbourne Park, delivered a stellar performance to advance to the second round.
Facing off against Alexander Bublik, the World No. 137 confronted the challenge with precision and skill. The 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (6-1) victory not only propelled Nagal to the next round but also marked his second appearance beyond the first round in a Grand Slam. His previous accomplishment came in the 2020 US Open when he defeated Bradley Klahn before facing eventual champion Dominic Thiem.
The significance of Nagal's win extends beyond his achievements, as he became the first Indian in 36 years to defeat a seeded player in Grand Slam men's singles since Ramesh Krishnan's triumph over Mats Wilander at the 1988 Australian Open.
Nagal's stellar performance against Bublik showcased his ability to handle the pressure of high-stakes matches. Despite Bublik's higher world ranking at No. 27, Nagal dominated the proceedings, breaking early in the first and second sets. The third set brought its share of drama as Bublik fought back, forcing a tie-breaker. Nagal, however, maintained composure, ultimately securing victory after a double fault from his opponent.
Looking ahead, Nagal's next challenge awaits in the form of the winner between Chinese wildcard Juncheng Shang and Mackenzie McDonald, the player who famously defeated Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open last year. (IANS)