Nagal stuns world No. 38 Arnaldi at Monte Carlo Masters

It was Nagal's third victory over a top-50 player and second time in the current season. File photo: AFP/ Brennan Asplen

Monte Carlo: Sumit Nagal on Monday became the first Indian player to win a singles main draw match at an ATP Masters event on clay when he shocked world No.  38 Matteo Arnaldi in a gruelling three-set contest in Monte Carlo.

Nagal, who entered the ATP Masters 1000 event via qualifying route, erased a one-set deficit to turn the tables on his Italian opponent for a memorable 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win in the first round. He will next take on world No. 7 Holger Rune from Denmark.

This is Nagal's third victory over a top-50 player and second time in the current season. The 26-year-old had toppled the then world No. 27 Alexander Bublik in straight sets at the Australian Open in Melbourne at the start of the 2024 season.

He had also defeated then world No. 22 Chilean Cristian Garin in Argentina Open in March, 2021.

Nagal, who qualified into the main draw with wins over higher-ranked players, has ensured himself a career-high rank of 80 on a day when he touched career-high rank of 93.

Nagal had also qualified for the Indian Wells Masters in March this year but fell to formidable Canadian Milos Raonic in the first round. He had also competed in the qualifiers of the Miami Masters but could not make the main draw.

The first set was on even keel with both players breaking each other once. Serving to stay in the set, Nagal lost his serve in the 12th game with Arnaldi attacking the Indian's first serve.

However, Nagal remained unperturbed and broke his rival twice in the second set for a comfortable 4-1 lead. His serve came under pressure in game six but he held and closed the set force a decider.

After trading a break with Arnaldi, Nagal broke his rival's serve for the second time in the seventh game of the third set to take a 4-3 lead and that proved to be decisive in the final outcome of the match. He consolidated the lead by pocketing the eighth game and served out the match in game 10.


As Arnaldi hit his forehand over the basline on match point, Nagal let out a roar to celebrate his win.


Nagal had beaten world number 63 Flavio Cobolli of Italy 6-2 6-3 in the first round of qualifying event and followed that up with victory over Argentina's world number 55 Facundo Diaz Acosta. PTI AT KHS 04081923

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