After losing on Sunday in 2nd round qualification on Sunday, Sumit Nagal got into the second week of Cologne’s (Germany) double header as a lucky loser, facing Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the first match on the minor Court 1 in Cologne’s LANXESSarena on Monday, 19th October 2020. After just about two hours, he lost this match in a mental thriller after winning the first set and looking not too bad at the end of the second set.
The match started strong for Sumit Nagal, who also had the moment of luck, especially in that period. Nagal struggled a bit to win the first game at own serve, but then broke the Serbian twice, the first break converted by a net chord shot. It felt like an easy set with Nagal 5-0 in the lead, but a short medical break gave back confidence to the favorite, while Nagal, who acted so powerful in the beginning more and more often felt to be a copy of local German hero Steffi Graf, doing great topspin shots on the forehand, but being more or less limited to slicing on the backhand. Kecmanovic managed to break Sumit twice, who now also did too many unforced errors and struggled in too frequent situations. The Serbian served in the tenth game to tie the score again, but after leading 30:0, four straight Nagal points in a row lead to the first set victory.
Late Comeback in Second Set – but lost in Tie-Break
Nagal also served first in the second set, but Kecmanovic looked stronger after the three minute break. He broke the Indian right in the first game of the set. He felt to be superior in this period and especially in the fifth game, Kecmanovic again caused a lot of trouble. He tried to push Nagal more often to the backhand – but the Indian now managed more frequently to use his topspin on that side as well. It looked like an easy second set for Kecmanovic, but finally, the deciding phase felt to make both players nervous again: serving for the set at 5-4, the Belgrade player faced two break points. He came back to the deuce, but Nagal got another chance and took the break. The match went into the tie-breaker, where Kecmanovic started with a “mini-break” and was already 3:0 ahead. Nagal could tie with court change, but then struggled too much at own serve. Due to a 7:4 tie-break score, the match went into the third set.
(Too) Straight in Third Set
The third set was a short one, unfortunately. Losing the second set just took too much confidence of the Indian, who just won one game at own serve. Nagal just was not focused any more, had a couple of hard-to-understand errors, so that Kecmanovic was finally the deserved winner of that tennis battle. Divij Sharan is now holding the Indian flag up high in Cologne, partnering Tennys Sandgren (USA) in men’s doubles and facing second-seed Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in Round 1.
This match report has been almost equilvalently posted on Flyctory.com: please check out for my match report including 351 major size pictures of the match: https://flyctory.com/2020/10/19/bett1hulks-championships-sumit-nagal-miomir-kecmanovic/