Sumit Nagal to face Roger Federer in US Open first round

Sumit Nagal
Sumit Nagal faces a Herculean task against five-time champion Roger Federer. File photo: AFP

New York: Indian youngster Sumit Nagal will face Swiss legend Roger Federer in the main draw of the US Open, which starts on Monday.

The 22-year-old beat Brazilian Joao Menezes 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to make it to the main draw where he joins compatriot Prajnesh Gunneswaran.

Prajnesh, ranked 89 in the world, gained direct qualification into the main draw of Grand Slams while the 190th ranked Nagal had to go through the qualifiers. It is the first time since 1998 that two Indians are part of the singles main draw in a Grand Slam after Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes in the 1998 Wimbledon.

Nagal was down a set and trailing 1-4 in the second before managing to stage a comeback against the lower-ranked Menezes. He had earlier beaten higher-ranked Tatsum Ito of Japan and Canadian Peter Polansky. While both were straight-set victories, Nagal had to win a hard-fought first set tie-break against Ito before taking the second 6-2.

While Nagal faces a  Herculean task in facing five-time champion Federer,  Prajnesh takes on 253rd-ranked German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in the first round.

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