Sumit Nagal's fairytale run at Argentina Open ends in quarters

The Indian's last eight tie with Albert Ramos-Vinolas went to three sets

By Olympic Channel Writer
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Sumit Nagal stepped out onto the red clay court of the Lawn Tennis Club in Buenos Aires having already broken new ground at the Argentina Open.

Having reached the quarter final stage of an ATP Tour event for the first time, Nagal was looking to continue exploring new territory against number five seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain.

However, at the end of a gripping encounter, Nagal was left defeated after three closely contested sets.

The early signs for the Indian were positive.

A composed Nagal showed a nice blend of attacking shots deployed at the right moment - getting the crucial break of serve in the fifth game of the opener before going onto take the set 6-4.

The second set though went the way of the Spaniard.

Ramos-Vinolas eliminated some of the errors that had strewn his first set performance and the pressure on Nagal increased.

In the sixth game of the second set, Nagal sent a backhand long and the fifth seed had his first break to lead 4-2.

After holding his serve, Ramos-Vinolas then broke Nagal's serve again, this time to love, to wrap up the second set 6-2 and force a deciding third.

Sumit Nagal hits backhand in his quarter final encounter
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

There was no let-up in levels from either player in a fiercely fought third set.

However, in the sixth game it was Ramos-Vinolas who forced another vital break of serve.

But the boy from Delhi still found a way of keeping the match alive.

With Ramos-Vinolas serving for the match and a place in the semi-finals, Nagal summoned another huge effort to put the match back on serve.

It was just reward for the 23-year old's dogged determination against a vastly more experienced opponent.

In the end though, Ramos-Vinolas just had the edge, breaking Nagal once more to seal a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 triumph after a battle that lasted nearly two and a half hours.

Nagal can still reflect on an amazing week in Argentina - having advanced through three qualifying games to record his first wins on the ATP Tour proper.

A huge learning experience for the 23-year old and a massive confidence boost as the clay court season begins.