Tokyo Olympics: Sumit Nagal ousts Denis Istomin to win a match in Tennis singles for India after 25 years
Sumit Nagal makes an eventful start in the first round of his debut Olympics in Tokyo by winning the first round for India after 25 years
Even if Sumit Nagal's entry into the Tokyo Olympics as late as on 16th July came as a complete surprise, it was even more astonishing that the Indian would smoothly sail into the second round after defeating Denis Istomin.
Playing for the Uzbekistan flag, the former World No. 33 player, Denis Istomin was no match for a pumped-up Sumit Nagal, even though the 34-year-old ace put up a solid fight.
The thrilling combat went on for 2 hours and 34 minutes before it ended up in Sumit Nagal's favour, who booked himself a date with World No. 2 Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round.
The last time India ever won at the Olympics in Tennis was when Leander Paes won a Bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Sumit Nagal, who did not have much hope for making the cut for Tokyo was in for a pleasant surprise when the withdrawals started taking place and pushed the Indian into the Men's Singles roster and in a tricky draw.
For a former World No. 33, Denis Istomin has slipped down the rankings to a lowly No. 197 currently and has struggled to find his usual consistency. Quick to convert on any given chance, the 23-year-old Sumit Nagal gave it his best shot and won the match most comprehensively after a 3 set affair with a tie-breaker in the second set.
With Sumit Nagal moving onto the second round, India's hope in the Men's Singles remains afloat. Now, all eyes will be on the Women's Doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina as they will be opening their campaign against the Kichenok sisters.