It was a brilliant match of tennis between Indian star, Sumit Nagal and 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Denis Istomin in the first round of Tokyo Olympics. The Indian, who got a late entry into the Games, came out the victor in three tight sets 6-4,6-7,6-4 to register his first win at the Olympic Games.
Nagal started the match on a positive note, holding serve and covering the court well. He even managed to create chances on Istomin’s serve but couldn’t capitalize. At the end, he sneaked away with a break and took the opening set 6-4.
The second set started with even more intensity than the first. Both the players pushed each other to the absolute limit and held serve nicely. They engaged in big rallies and covered the court beautifully. But Nagal found his groove a soon stormed to a 5-2 lead. But a minor hiccup from Nagal gave Istomin a chance to bounce back and take the set into a tie-breaker. And after 71 minutes of intense tennis, Istomin came out the victor to take the match into a decider.
Both the players started fresh in the third set and it Sumit’s young legs had a lot more left. He was making the Uzbek move around but wasn’t able to penetrate his serve. They were tied at 4-4 and that is when Sumit struck and broke Istomin’s serve for a decisive break and went on to win the set 6-4 to register his first Olympic win on debut.
He also became the first Indian male tennis player to reach the second round of Singles since Leander Paes in 1996.
Nagal will next face second seed Daniil Medvedev in the second round.