Roger Federer heaped praise on India's Sumit Nagal after the latter put up a spirited performance in the opening round loss at this year's US Open. The talented youngster succumbed to a 6-4, 1-6, 2-6, 4-6 defeat in a match that lasted two hours and 50 minutes in his maiden Grand Slam appearance.
Sumit Nagal must've felt like he was living a dream as he stepped onto the court to face the greatest tennis player of all time - Roger Federer. The 22-year old did well to win the opening set against a rusty looking Federer but the veteran bounced back to win the next three sets as he sealed a spot in round two. Nagal ultimately succumbed to a 6-4, 1-6, 2-6, 4-6 loss in what was his maiden appearance at a Grand Slam main draw on Monday night.
Federer, who has a career tally of 20 Grand Slams, said that Nagal has a solid future ahead of him if the youngster continues to work towards achieving his goals.
"I think he knows what he can bring. That's why I think he's going to have a very solid career. But, of course, it's not the game that comes out with the biggest surprises. It's really consistent. I think he did it very well tonight," Federer said after the match.
Federer, who is a five-time US Open champion, further congratulated the Indian youngster as he claimed that Nagal handled the pressure of playing on the big stage with poise and confidence. The Swiss great also suggested that Nagal showed signs of being a 'clay-court' specialist.
"I guess maybe how he handled the moment. Never easy to come out and play your best. Even though it's kind of what you live for, you dream about, playing on the big stage. So I think he did that very well.
"I think his game is based on being really consistent, moving well, moving the ball around well. Sort of very much a clay-courter. That's also the surface he's basically played the entire year almost," Federer added.
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