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Sumit Nagal to face Miomir Kecmanovic in Wimbledon debut

Sumit Nagal will face Miomir Kecmanovic in Wimbledon’s main draw, with a potential third-round clash against World No. 1 Jannik Sinner awaiting him.

Sumit Nagal to face Miomir Kecmanovic in Wimbledon debut

Sumit Nagal is currently ranked 72 in the world rankings. (File Photo)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 29 Jun 2024 6:17 AM GMT

Sumit Nagal, the first Indian in five years to compete in the main draw of Wimbledon’s Gentlemen's Singles, will face Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in his debut match, as announced on Friday.

This marked Nagal’s second consecutive direct entry into a Grand Slam event, following his participation in the Australian Open earlier this year.

Nagal, 26, is set to challenge World No. 53 Kecmanovic in what promises to be an exciting first-round match. The two players have met once before, in an ATP 250 event in Cologne four years ago, where Kecmanovic won in three sets (4-6, 7-6(4), 6-1).

This match is a significant milestone for Nagal, as it marks his first appearance in the main draw since Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s participation in 2019.

Nagal’s path at Wimbledon is challenging, as he shares his section of the draw with top seed and World No. 1 Jannik Sinner.

If Nagal advances, he could potentially face the formidable Italian player in the third round. Nagal's previous experience at Wimbledon included an appearance at the 2018 qualifying round, where he lost to Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak.

However, he had earlier success at the tournament, winning the Boys’ Doubles title at Junior Wimbledon in 2015 alongside Vietnam’s Lý Hoàng Nam.

Breakthrough Year for Nagal

This has been a breakthrough year for Nagal, who made headlines by defeating 31st-seeded Alexander Bublik in the opening round of the Australian Open in January.

This victory made him the first Indian man in 35 years to defeat a seeded player in a Grand Slam. His success continued with a win at the Chennai Open ATP Challenger, which helped him move into the ATP top 100.

Nagal further showcased his talent at the Monte Carlo Masters, where he became the first Indian man to secure a main-draw win, defeating Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi in the first round.

Recently, he clinched his sixth Challenger Tour title in Heilbronn, Germany, boosting his ATP ranking to 77 as of June 10, securing his qualification for Wimbledon.

Nagal followed this triumph with a runner-up finish in Perugia, Italy, elevating his ranking to 71, the joint-fourth highest ever achieved by an Indian man since the introduction of the computerised ranking system in 1973.

Men’s Doubles

In the men’s doubles category, Indian Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden, who are seeded second, will face the French pair of Adrian Mannarino and Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. Bopanna and Ebden, the reigning Australian Open champions, reached the semifinals of last year’s Wimbledon.

N. Sriram Balaji, Bopanna’s partner for the upcoming Paris Olympics, will team up with Britain’s Luke Johnson to challenge the fourth-seeded pair of Mate Pavic and Marcelo Arevalo, who recently won the French Open.

Yuki Bhambri, another Indian player, along with his French partner Albano Olivetti, will compete against the Kazakh duo of Alexander Bublik and Alexander Shevchenko.

Nagal has also entered the doubles draw, partnering with Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic. They will face Spain’s Pedro Martinez and Jaume Munar in the first round.

As Nagal prepares for his main-draw debut at Wimbledon, he carries the hopes of Indian tennis fans eager to see him succeed on one of the sport’s grandest stages.

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