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Tennis

Sumit Nagal finishes runner-up in Perugia Challenger

Italy's Luciano Darderi halted the Indian's fine run in the final.

Sumit Nagal finishes runner-up in Perugia Challenger
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Sumit Nagal with the runner-up trophy at the Perugia Challenger. (Photo credit: Nagal/X)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 Jun 2024 5:24 AM GMT

Sumit Nagal fell short of securing back-to-back titles on the ATP Challenger Tour as he lost to World No. 34 Luciano Darderi in the Perugia Challenger final on Sunday.

The match ended with a 6-1, 6-2 score line in favor of the top-seeded Italian, concluding in just 62 minutes.

Nagal's exhausting schedule

Nagal, playing his 10th game in the last 12 days, looked tired from his recent run, which included a win in the Heilbronn Challenger at Germany, his sixth career Challenger title and took him to his new career high of 77 in the ATP Rankings, positioning him for a potential spot in the men’s singles event at the Paris Olympics.

After a hard-fought three set victory over Spain's Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the semi-final, Darderi, a much fresher competitor, took control early, breaking Nagal three times to take the first set in just 27 minutes.

Although Nagal made early inroads in the second set to halt Darderi’s run of eight consecutive games, the Italian soon regained his dominance and in the sixth game, took a 4-2 lead, breaking the Indian's serve once more while he was serving to stay in the match.

Ranking Milestone

Despite the defeat, Nagal moved up to 71st in the live ATP rankings, surpassing Leander Paes' career-high of 73.

The win puts him joint fourth on the all-time list of highest-ranked Indian men since the introduction of computerized rankings in 1973, tied with Sashi Menon, and only behind Somdev Devvarman (62), Ramesh Krishnan (23), and Vijay Amritraj (18).

Earlier this year, he won the Chennai Challenger and had a key second-round appearance at the Australian Open.

However, in the Perugia final, the 26-year-old Nagal was outclassed by his Italian opponent, falling short in his bid for a third title this year.

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