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Nagal loses Challengers final in Perugia

17 Jun, 2024 00:05 IST|Sakshi Post

Perugia, June 17 (IANS) Sumit Nagal's remarkable run on the ATP Challenger Tour met a formidable obstacle as he fell short in the final of the Perugia Challenger, succumbing to World No. 37 Luciano Darderi in a brisk 62-minute match.

The final score, 6-1, 6-2, did little justice to Nagal’s recent surge in form and tenacity on the court. Having played 10 matches in the last 12 days, including a triumphant campaign in Heilbronn, Germany, where he clinched the sixth Challenger title of his career, Nagal had propelled himself to new heights in the ATP Rankings.

Nagal’s victory in Germany was a testament to his grit and skill, propelling him to a career-high ranking of 77 and virtually securing his spot in the men’s singles event at the Paris Olympics. However, the physical toll of his relentless schedule became evident in Perugia. The 26-year-old Indian entered the final after a grueling three-set semifinal battle against Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles, which left him visibly fatigued against a fresher opponent in Darderi.

Darderi, the top-seeded Italian, wasted no time asserting his dominance, breaking Nagal thrice to take the first set in just 27 minutes. Nagal, showing glimpses of his resilience, managed to break Darderi’s eight-game winning streak by leveling the second set at 1-2.

However, the Italian swiftly regained control, breaking Nagal again in the sixth game to establish a 4-2 lead. Darderi's relentless pressure proved too much, and he broke Nagal for the sixth time while the Indian was serving to stay in the match, sealing his victory.

Despite the defeat, Nagal’s remarkable journey in recent weeks has seen him rise to 71 in the live ATP Rankings. This ascent has significant historical resonance, as it places him above the legendary Leander Paes, who achieved a career-high ranking of 73.

Nagal now stands joint-fourth on the all-time list of highest-ranked Indian men since the advent of computerised rankings in 1973, sharing the spot with Sashi Menon and trailing only behind Somdev Devvarman (62), Ramesh Krishnan (23), and Vijay Amritraj (18).

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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