India number one male tennis player, Sumit Nagal, is excited to be among those that will be participating in the US open that started on Monday.
The world number 122 is not worried about playing in uncertain times. The competition will be played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rather than pondering about not being under the spotlight, Nagal, who recently turned 23, said one has to survive in this kind of situation.
Not mind playing in empty arenas, Nagal will, who took a set off Roger Federer at the US Open last year, which was his maiden Grand Slam appearance, is hoping to be better than last year.
Although it will be different this time around because he is in the main draw due to a few pull-outs, the 22-year-old who moved five places up on the latest ATP ranking earned it on merit.
The Haryana lad will open his campaign against local favourite Bradley Klahn in the first round. If he succeeds in going past the American, he might likely meet second seed, Dominic Thiem of Austria, in the next round.
The environment won’t be buzzing, unlike last year, due to the bio-bubble. The Indian said it’s not the worst thing that could have happened to him by getting into the main draw, unlike last year that he had to get there through qualifying.
While noting that the world is not at a better place, Nagal said playing tennis is how he will survive.
He further expressed the belief that he is playing very good tennis, having worked hard in the last four-five months.
Nagal, who feels good about his tennis, said he is looking forward to his first main draw match (at a Grand Slam).
Meanwhile, Klahn, who is six places below the Indian in the latest ranking, won’t be a pushover. He had gotten to his season-best at 63 six years ago, and he is a 2010 NCAA champion.
The 30-year-old has won eight Challenger titles and $1.5 million in career prize money.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed