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Sumit Nagal aims for Paris Olympics and top 100 ranking

Sumit Nagal, the rising tennis star, aims for the Paris Olympics and breaking into the top 100 rankings, emphasizing fitness and short-term goals.

Sumit Nagal Tennis

Sumit Nagal will be up against Karen Khachanov in the first round of the men's singles draw. (File photo)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 Feb 2024 7:57 AM GMT

Sumit Nagal, the rising tennis star, has laid out his ambitious goals for the upcoming year, emphasizing the importance of fitness and breaking into the top 100 rankings as he prepares for the Paris Olympics.

Nagal, 26, from Haryana, has faced setbacks due to injuries in the past, including missing out on the 2018 US Open and undergoing hip surgery in 2021.

"Staying fit would be the highest priority. The second (goal) would be to play in the Olympics, which would be a nice feeling. But for that, you need to be within the top 100," Nagal told PTI.

Ranked 121st currently, Nagal is confident in his ability to reach the top 100 but acknowledges the unpredictability of tennis and the need to focus on short-term goals. Olympic qualification would only be possible if I keep winning the matches. I have to focus on upcoming matches and not wonder about what's going to happen in the next five months because tennis is a very unpredictable sport where anything can happen. I like to focus day-by-day and keep short goals and tunnel vision than to keep a large picture."

Nagal's recent performance at the Australian Open garnered global attention when he became the first Indian player to defeat a seeded opponent in the main draw.

Reflecting on his Australian Open campaign, Nagal expressed gratitude for the support he received and his newfound confidence.

Acknowledging feedback from tennis legend Anand Amritraj regarding his serve, Nagal said to PTI, "I am focusing a lot on the serves, on the back-end, and coming to the nets. Also, like every player, I'm working on the mental side, as no matter how good you are, it's the most important part of tennis."

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