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French Open: Khachanov eliminates Sumit Nagal in the first round

Despite facing an uphill battle, Nagal showed resilience in the third set, pushing it to a tie-breaker.

Sumit Nagal

Sumit Nagal through to the final of Heilbronner Neckarcup 2024.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 27 May 2024 5:10 PM GMT

India's top singles player, Sumit Nagal, faced a tough challenge in his French Open debut, succumbing to Russia's Karen Khachanov in straight sets. The match concluded with Nagal losing 2-6, 0-6, 6-7(5) on Monday.

Ranked 95th, Nagal struggled to counter the powerful and consistent play of Khachanov. Despite his impressive victory over world number 31 Alexander Bublik at the Australian Open, Nagal couldn't replicate that success on the clay courts of Roland Garros.

The match commenced under damp conditions due to earlier rain, which slowed the court slightly and favored extended rallies. Nagal began strongly but was broken in the third game by Khachanov. Although Nagal managed to save three breakpoints and fight back, an unforced error ultimately gave Khachanov the first break.

Following a 21-minute rain delay, Khachanov returned to the court with increased intensity, making it difficult for Nagal to respond. The Russian's precise and forceful hitting left Nagal scrambling defensively.

Khachanov secured another break in the seventh game of the first set, clinching it with a dominant inside-out forehand. The second set saw Nagal immediately on the defensive, losing his serve in the opening game. Khachanov quickly established a 3-0 lead, saving two break points and extending his advantage to 5-0 before finishing the set without losing a game.

Despite the challenging situation, Nagal showed resilience in the third set, pushing it to a tie-breaker. However, Khachanov's experience and skill prevailed, ending Nagal's campaign at 2-6, 0-6, 6-7(5).

With Nagal out, Indian tennis fans will now look forward to Rohan Bopanna and Yuki Bhambri, who are set to compete in the men's doubles with their respective partners.

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