It took Sumit Nagal a 3rd journey to Melbourne to earn a spot in the principle draw of the Australian Open. But it didn’t come with no sense of catch-up. In October, the 23-year-old retired from an occasion due to a shoulder downside in what turned out to be his final match of the 2020 season. And he’d spend the remainder of the yr making an attempt to get better and get again in prime bodily form.
The time he spent to repair his shoulder although was time misplaced on follow and fine-tuning his tennis abilities. On Tuesday, when Nagal steps on Court 17 at Melbourne Park for his first Australian Open main-draw look, to face World No. 73 Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, he’ll financial institution on the 2 slices of luck he has been dealt.
A wild card to the principle draw meant India’s second-highest singles participant didn’t have to undergo the grind of the qualifying rounds. The second piece of luck, maybe an important for his Grand Slam preparation, was that he wasn’t among the many 72 gamers compelled into exhausting quarantine once they arrived in Australia.
“I’m very lucky because it would have been really awful,” Nagal informed The Indian Express from Melbourne.
“Two months of the last year went into recovering from an injury. And then I came here hoping to get to practise for two weeks and then if I didn’t get to leave the room at all, that would have been awful.”
— Sumit Nagal (@nagalsumit) February 8, 2021
The focus within the two hours he bought on court docket per day throughout the two-week modified quarantine (particular for Australian Open individuals) was for him to realize as a lot match sharpness as he may. Nagal isn’t any stranger to damage, however when he felt a twitch in the identical shoulder that had given him a substantial amount of trouble over the previous few years, the priority was pure.
“I felt a bit of pain in the second game of my match in October, but I thought I could push it to see where I could go. Unfortunately, I couldn’t play tennis for two months after that and I wasn’t in good shape,” he stated.
“The problem was that I was playing when it was too cold, around 10 degree Celsius, and raining a bit. The tennis balls were very heavy and I was playing on clay and indoor hard courts, which is probably why I felt it in my right shoulder. And I’ve had a bad history with my shoulder.”
— Sumit Nagal (@nagalsumit) February 6, 2021
The rescheduled Australian Open has allowed for a couple of tune-up occasions for gamers to get some aggressive match follow. Nagal was slotted to play on the Murray River Open and his first-round opponent, coincidentally, occurred to be Berankis – who got here out with a cushty 6-2, 6-2 win over the Indian.
Much like Nagal although, the 30-year-old Lithuanian has had his share of damage tussles over his profession. But whereas the Indian continues to be a Grand Slam beginner (this will probably be his third main- draw look throughout the majors), Berankis is a veteran.
Great to be again on the court docket immediately. Looking ahead to the Australian Open subsequent week pic.twitter.com/OW04Y6ctGf
— Sumit Nagal (@nagalsumit) February 1, 2021
Having stated that, Nagal’s Grand Slam main-draw sojourns haven’t been any much less memorable. His first look was on the 2019 US Open, the place he received the primary set towards Roger Federer. At Flushing Meadows for the 2020 version, he turned the primary Indian in seven years to win a singles main- draw match. He misplaced within the second spherical to eventual champion Dominic Thiem, however not with no few flashes of brilliance.
The boy from Jhajjar might want to rake up a couple of extra of these massive forehands on Tuesday to return out with a beneficial outcome.