Sumit Nagal became the first Indian man to win a Grand Slam Main Draw match in 7 years on Tuesday, post which he got a chance to play against the 2nd seed and world number 3, Dominic Thiem. Sumit lost the match 3-6 3-6 2-6 to the Austrian, but managed to impress everyone with his impressive baseline game and quick movement around the court.
Quotes from Sumit, as said in an interview to ESPN –
Q) How was the experience playing Thiem today on Arthur Ashe?
Sumit – It was an eye-opener for me. Playing someone like Dominic, who has made a few Slam finals already, it was a good opportunity for me to see where my game is at and see the difference in level.
I’m going to back and keep working on my Tennis, and then aim to play a few more tournaments. Life goes on!
Q) Now that you have your first Grand Slam match win, what are the things that you need to work on to ensure there are many more to come?
Sumit – The first thing for me would be to try and play the whole match at the same level. There were a few moments where I was up & playing good tennis and there were moments where I let myself down and made too many errors. I need to find a balance and try to play consistently above-average tennis throughout
Q) You played Roger(Federer) here last year and now Thiem. What’s with you and these draws?
Sumit – Exactly(laughs). But it’s a good experience to play Roger here last year and then Dominic this year. Draws are draws, sometimes you get tough ones and sometimes you get easy ones. Depends on how you look at it. I enjoy playing players like these
Q) What is the one lesson you’re gonna take from the US Open?
Sumit – I would say experience. Roger has obviously won so many Slams and Thiem has made a few finals. Playing against better players forces you to play at a higher level yourself, and that is how one improves
Q) Last year and this year are very different in terms of the tournament atmosphere. Did you feel anything that impacted you?
Sumit – Well, it definitely impacts the seeds as they are used to playing in front of the crowds. But for players like me, who’ve played majorly in the Challengers, it doesn’t make too much of a difference, because usually there are hardly a few people watching us in the Challengers
Photos from the match can be found below –