Australian Open 2021: India's Sumit Nagal crashes out after straight-set loss in opening round
India’s tennis star Sumit Nagal crashed out of the Australian Open 2021 on Tuesday after losing to Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania in straight sets in the opening round in Melbourne.
Nagal, who won a set against Roger Federer during his maiden Grand Slam game at the US Open 2019, put in a great fight before going down 2-6, 5-7, 3-6 against 30-year-old Berankis, who is one of the most prominent players from Lithuania.
In the opening set on Tuesday, Nagal failed to convert a couple of breaks and that put the Indian a lot of pressure. Berankis ensured Nagal was not given any time to settle in as he zoomed away with a 6-2 win in the first set.
Continuing the momentum, Bernakis went 4-0 up in the second set but an excellent fightback from 23-year-old Nagal saw the scoreline go level at 4-4 and also unforced errors from Bernakis gave away easy points to his opponent. However, the Lithuanian ensured he won the key points and a brief setback that did not shake his composure as he went on to claim the second set 7-5. Even though Nagal fought hard in the third set as well but was forced to settle for a straight-set loss.
Nagal, who has featured in two Grand Slams so far (US Open 2019 and 2020), has not been impressive in Australia, having failed to make it through the qualifiers of the 2018 and 2020 Australia Open. Even ahead of the ongoing 2021 edition, Nagal made it to the main draw through a wild card entry.
Earlier, Nagal had admitted that his preparation for the Australian Open was not ideal but he was prepared to give it his all in the tournament.
"It is the same situation for everyone, for me, I would have liked to play some more tournaments, but unfortunately I had to end my last season a month earlier. There is nothing I can change, I am trying to practice as much as possible," Nagal had said during a virtual press conference before the game.