India’s Sumit Nagal has booked the perfect Grand Slam debut and will take on 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the first round of the US Open.
Nagal qualified for the final Grand Slam of the year beating Brazil’s Joao Menezes 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the third and final round of qualifying on Friday. In doing so, he becomes only the fifth Indian to feature in a Grand Slam singles main draw in this decade and the youngest to qualify for a Grand Slam main draw in 25 years.
Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Saketh Myneni and Prajnesh Gunneswaran are the only ones who have played at the Slams this decade.
Nagal came into the US Open qualifiers confident, backed by terrific results during the clay-court season. He had started the year outside the 350 brackets and had to overcome a difficult period, encountering injuries but came back strong. Consistent results on the Challenger Circuit meant that he broke into the top-200 for the first time in his career.
With Prajnesh also playing in this US Open, India now will have two players in the Grand Slam main draw for the first time since 1998 when legends Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi competed at the Wimbledon
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