“Every third set win is another boost” – Nagal after winning against Jason Jung to progress to the quarterfinals of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger 2023

Sumit Nagal defeated Lucky Loser Jason Jung 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 in three sets after losing the first. With this win, he will advance to the quarterfinals of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger 2023 where he is set to face Jay Clarke. In his all Indian doubles match with Mukund Sasikumar against Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan/ Sriram Balaji, Nagal/Sasikumar lost to the top seeds 7-6, 6-0. Here are a few excerpts from his post-match interview.

Q) Can you talk us through the singles match win? How do you think it went?

Nagal: “Started a little bit nervous in the first set. Wasn’t doing my game plan that I was supposed to. But the longer the match went, the calmer I got. I got over my nervousness and figured out things.”

Q) It seemed like he was pinning you to the baseline in the first set. But after the second set you started hitting a bit heavier. Was that something you had to figure out on the go?

Nagal: “Exactly. I was nervous that most of the balls were short in the first set. So, he was more attacking and I didn’t have time. But by the second set I realised I needed to create some more time and space between the baseline and myself. And then things got better.”

Q) Do you feel more confident about your game plan, hitting heavier and implementing it if things start going your way? Does that reduce your unforced errors as well?

Nagal: “I mean, that’s just my game style to hit heavy and to move better. You also need to get less errors than the opponent. But there are days when you come out and you don’t feel the way you want to feel. You don’t hit the way you want to hit. Then it’s just about fighting, figuring things out, trying to rebuild the points, trying to rebuild the momentum, trying to hit heavier and higher. So that’s all part of the game. But that only comes, you know, when you’re trying to think ‘ok, why is not working?’ “

Q) The way you were able to turn it around after the first set today, does that give you more confidence in going ahead?

Nagal: “Sure. I mean, every third set win is another boost.”

Q) Can you talk about your experience playing doubles with Mukund Sasikumar?

Nagal: “It was fun. I mean, we were playing after 10 years or something. I enjoyed! It was fun to be on the court with him.”

Photos by Srividya Balayogi

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