India’s lone warrior in the second round of the Pune Challenger, Sumit Nagal went down fighting against Czech Republic’s qualifier Dominik Palan. With Nagal’s exit, India’s hope in the Pune Challenger comes to an unfortunate end. Palan, who has won a couple of ITF events in India last year, sparked a surprise against local lad Nagal.
Nagal lost the second round clash 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted over two hours at the Shri Chhatrapati Sports Complex Tennis Stadium organized by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA).
Nagal was in his element in the first set and he made no mistake in wrapping it up quickly. However Palan gradually increased his level in the second set and broke the local lad early on and then never allowed him to fight back. On level terms, Palan entered the third set with more momentum as he increased the pace of the game catching Nagal off guard many times.
Palan’s momentum saw him break Nagal in the first game of the third set. Hence the Czech carried the momentum forward and closed out the set and the match. Nagal provided a brief hope in the ninth game as he had three breakpoints to get back on level terms. But Palan held his serve brilliantly, closing out the game and progressing to the next round of the Challenger event.
In other Singles clash, second-seeded Chun-Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei defeated Serbian Hamad Medjedovic 6-4, 6-4 to make it to the next round with ease. In the all-Italian clash fourth-seeded Luca Nardi came back after losing the first set against compatriot Lorenzo Giustino 6-7(11), 6-0, 6-4.
The Indians however did their job in the Doubles event as the likes of Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Manish Sureshkumar, Mukund Sasikumar, Vishnu Vardhan, Anirudh Chandrasekar and N Vijay Sundar Prashanth, Arjun Kadhe progressed into the quarterfinals and the Indian tennis fans will hope that atleast one of the pairings with go on to lift the trophy.
Apart from them Indian Doubles veteran Purav Raja and his partner Petr Nouza from Czech Republic have also made their way to the quarterfinals after winning the first round clash. Raja and Nouza will face the all-Indian duo of Anirudh Chandrasekhar and N Vijay Sundar Prasanth.