India’s Sumit Nagal had his dream debut in the US Open against the legendary Roger Federer on Tuesday as the youngster showed grit and quality to take a break off the former World No.1. However, despite the strong fight, his inexperience finally got the better of him as he lost in four sets.
The World No. 190 was up against his idol but looked hardly unconvincing in his play as he came up with one of the best performances of his career. Federer was given an early hint of things to come when the Indian took the first game 4-6 to everyone’s surprise, becoming the first Indian to do so in the process.
He did it in a brilliant fashion as well. He was trailing 0-2 when he came back to win the set and stun the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd that was rallying behind the 5-time champion. The 22-year-old was playing an unprepared Federer though, who had played only two matches between his run to the Wimbledon final in July and his US Open first-round match on Monday. He made as many as 19 unforced errors in the first set, 10 more than Nagal.
However, with Federer getting into rhythm, things became difficult for Nagal to control. And Nagal’s inexperience saw the athlete getting restless in the second set when Federer was 3-0 up. However, he still managed to take a game to lose it 1-6 after getting broken in the second and fourth games.
Nagal had seen his energy getting sapped standing up to Federer’s intensity and it was evident when he was broken in the very first game of the third set itself. Keeping his calm was getting difficult and he was broken in the fourth game as well to see the set going out of his hand.
By the time, the match came to the fourth set, the outcome was pretty obvious and Nagal was left with giving his all to make a final impression. And though he was broken in the first set again this time, he broke Federer back in the fourth one. Though was Federer was quick to break him back immediately, Nagal made Federer for the last game as he saved four break points before eventually bowing out.
Nagal would be rising to his career-high ranking of 175 after reaching his maiden Grand Slam main draw match.