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Bengaluru Open: Sumit Nagal bows out in semi-final

India's top-ranked singles tennis player Sumit Nagal lost to Italy’s Stephano Napolitano in the semi-finals of the Bengaluru Open.

Sumit Nagal Tennis

FILE PHOTO: Sumit Nagal became the first Indian player to win in the first round of a Grand Slam at the Australian Open since 1989. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 Feb 2024 3:57 PM GMT

India’s top men’s singles player Sumit Nagal’s campaign at the Bengaluru Open came to an end after a hard-fought loss against Italy’s Stephano Napolitano in the semi-finals at the KSLTA Tennis Stadium here on Saturday.

Nagal, who had won the Chennai Open ATP Challenger last week, tried his best against the Italian but fell short in the 7-6(2), 6-4 loss.

The 26-year-old started strong as he opened up a 4-1 lead in the opening set before Napolitano began his fightback. The Italian saved a couple of break points with his big serves in the sixth game and then immediately broke the Indian's serve to put the pressure back on the home favourite.

Napolitano again broke Nagal in the ninth game to take the lead for the first time but the second-seeded Indian responded with a break immediately in the next game as the set went into a tiebreak.

The Italian prevailed in the tiebreak as Nagal lost a set for the first time in nine matches.

The second set was equally intense with Nagal drawing first blood when he broke Napolitano’s serve in the fifth game. The Italian, however, restored parity in the very next game to make it 3-3.

With the momentum in Napolitano’s favour, Nagal serve was again under pressure in the eighth game but he managed to save a couple of break points to stay in the match.

However, Napolitano managed to find a way past Nagal’s serves two games later to end India’s hopes in the singles category. The Italian will now face South Korea’s Seongchan Hong, who got the better of Spain’s Oriol Roca Batalla 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the other semi-final.

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