Sumit Nagal’s Impressive Monte Carlo Masters (2024) Run Highlights His Growing Tennis Skill

Sumit Nagal, currently ranked 93rd in the world, exhibited remarkable progress during his recent performance at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Sumit Nagal is improving upon his skills with each match he plays at the top level of the ATP Tour in 2024.

Sumit Nagal’s Impressive Monte Carlo Masters (2024) Run Highlights His Growing Tennis Skill

In the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters, he lost to world no. 7 Holger Rune, capping an incredible run as a qualifier. However, not before he reaffirmed the strides he had made since breaking through at the Australian Open in January.

The world number ninety-three-ranked Nagal overcame a set and a break deficit as well as a protracted rain delay to force a final against one of the best clay-court players in men’s tennis at the moment. Eventually, after two hours and ten minutes over the course of two days, he lost the third set 3-6, 6-3, 2-6. However, he will have a lot of good memories from the game and competition.

For Indian players, facing a player ranked in the top ten is typically an uncommon chance to gain expertise and knowledge. In this matchup, he was the total underdog as a qualifier. He has, of course, notably defeated Roger Federer in a set at the US Open, but he hasn’t had many opportunities to do so because he was not on the top rung of the ATP Tour.

Yes, he defeated three consecutive higher-ranked opponents to advance to the second round of the clay-court Masters, the only tournaments in the world except Grand Slams, and he became the first Indian to win a match there. However, it would have been unsettling to face the world number seven, the Monte Carlo finalist from the previous year, in his sole Masters main draw.

However, Nagal had a serene confidence that defied being outplayed. He didn’t display any nervousness as the match started, hitting his groundstrokes right away and refusing to allow the pressure or the occasion get to him. It served as an illustration of his growth thus far this season.

While Nagal may not have the 20-year-old’s amount of experience, he does have a great deal more on clay courts, where he has excelled.

Nagal matched Rune strike for strike for the whole of the opening set, and the score was tied at 3-3. At that point, Rune picked up his game, secured a critical break to win 5-3, and finished the opening set by serving. For the first time, Nagal appeared uneasy, rushing through things and making mistakes. He splayed his next shots and was broken with a double fault in the opening game of the second set, needing several minutes to recover.

At that moment, the rain stopped, and Nagal resumed his flow following the first shot break. To regain the lead, he held and then engaged in an amazing, hard-charging game that went to deuce for time and took more than a day.

After the rain break, Rune lost some rhythm, which Nagal used to his full advantage. With Rune having given up the first set with a double fault and Nagal having his fourth break point, the match was abandoned.

It was under the dazzling Thursday sun that Nagal shown incredible perseverance to tie the game. He didn’t allow the day’s break phase him, in contrast to Rune, and he came out swinging to take a 5-3 lead and serve the set. It is no easy feat to even take a set off a top-10 player who has advanced to two clay-court Masters finals. He countered his opponent’s blows from baseline, forcing Rune into errors, and he displayed excellent shot control.

The main distinction was that, contrary to what their rankings and experiences would suggest, Nagal played a methodical game and Rune spilled blunders early in the day.

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Rune also took the opening break in the third set, and Nagal gave it his best in a seven-minute match that saw him save three break points and play a forehand bullet down the line to remain in it. However, on this occasion, he decisively countered Rune, maintaining composure throughout and selecting the winners when the opportunity presented itself.

Sumit Nagal’s Impressive Monte Carlo Masters (2024) Run Highlights His Growing Tennis Skill

Rune also gave his next service game his all, but he held with some amazing, adaptable shots, including a brilliant forehand from the baseline and a dash into the net to play low. Under duress, it was impressive, but resistance was short-lived as Rune raised his game. Nagal’s streak of success ended relatively softly as a result of his mistakes and struggling to stay in the game.

His evident frustration at losing the match point suggests that he thought he could have performed better, and it’s encouraging that he held himself to a higher level.

Nagal, a new member of the top-100 club, has the potential to lose against any of the top ten players with an outstanding coaching staff, including Patrick Mouratoglou, Severth Luthi, and Boris Becker. However, he stepped up to the plate and demonstrated his tennis skills on stage. His forehand was lethal, his clay court sliding returns were smooth, and most impressive of all was his unwavering will to keep his game unaffected by outside influences, even if they included some disorder in the audience.

His serving was a very noteworthy accomplishment. Rune repeatedly applied pressure to Nagal’s serve later in the game, especially the second one, indicating that this was a vulnerable spot to exploit. However, he persevered, serving effectively under duress and blocking it from the baseline. It demonstrates that he is adapting as needed to remain among the best in key games.

With more firsts to follow, including a surefire career best ranking in the top-80 and a direct entry into the French Open, Nagal has already achieved unprecedented heights this year. And the clay season, his favorite time of year, is just getting started. There will undoubtedly be more firsts for Nagal and Indian tennis with two more Masters and a Grand Slam on clay still to come.

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