Nagal goes down fighting to Rune at Monte Carlo Masters

Sumit Nagal
Sumit Nagal fought hard before losing in three setes. Photo: AFP/Valery Hache

Monte Carlo: Putting up a brave fight, India's Sumit Nagal took a set off world No. 7 Holger Rune before losing his rain-hit second round match of the Monte Carlo Masters, here on Thursday.

In an impressive show of grit and gumption, Nagal threatened to spoil Rune's party by taking the second set after the second round match, which was suspended due to rain on Wednesday, resumed. However, he lost his serve twice in the final set.

The Indian qualifier was behind 1-2 against seventh seed Rune in the second set, when the heavens opened up.

He lost 3-6, 6-3, 2-6 after battling hard for two hours and 11 minutes in the prestigious clay court event. Nevertheless, it was a memorable tournament for him as he became the first Indian to win a singles main draw match at a Masters event on clay.

Nagal had taken a set off the great Roger Federer at the 2019 US Open.

The 26-year-old Nagal dropped his serve in the second game of the final set to fall behind but broke back immediately and held his own serve to make it 2-2. However, he lost his serve again in the sixth game and the match was settled there.

At the Roquebrune-Cap-Martin clay court, he first humbled the eight-seeded Flavio Cobolli in the qualifier, and then third seeded Facundo Diaz Acosto to sail into the main draw of the tournament.

He, then, stunned Italian Matteo Arnaldi in the first round with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Meanwhile, India's Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden had lost their round of 16 men's doubles match to Mate Pavic of Croatia and Marcelo Arvalo of El Salvador on Wednesday. They lost 3-6, 6-7 (6-8). 

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