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Paris Olympics 2024

A look at Sumit Nagal's qualification for Paris Olympics 2024

Published at :June 20, 2024 at 7:14 PM
Modified at :June 21, 2024 at 7:24 PM
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(Courtesy : X/@nagalsumit)

Mohammed Fazeel

Sumit Nagal clinched a spot in the Indian squad for the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

After winning the Heilbronn Neckarcup ATP Challenger event in Germany, Sumit Nagal qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics. He is the country’s top-ranked singles tennis player. Nagal took the title on Sunday with a victory over Alexander Ritschard in three sets, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3. 

Nagal began the week as World No. 95 and climbed to World No. 71 following the positive result against the World No. 184 from Switzerland. 

His participation at the upcoming Paris Olympics is a worthy talking point among the other successes the young Indian has enjoyed this season. 

How did Sumit Nagal qualify for Paris Olympics?

Sumit Nagal’s win in Germany gave him his second ATP Challenger title of the season after the event in Chennai. The Indian has won four other titles on the Challenger Tour, with the win in Heilbronn being his fourth clay court title. 

Nagal, with 777 ATP points and a PIF ATP Ranking of World No. 71, fell short of the requirement to qualify. The top 56 players from the ATP and WTA Tour gain automatic entry into the quadrennial event. However, the rule limiting the participants from each country to no more than four allowed Nagal to sneak in. 

Sumit Nagal’s journey to Paris Olympics

Sumit Nagal has caused quite a stir in 2024. Nagal, who wound up at No. 138 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, climbed from 138th place at the beginning of 2024 in the ATP rankings to World No. 98 by February. The Indian reached the second round at the Australian Open in January and won the challenger event in Chennai the following month. 

Following his debut in the ATP top 100, ‘Lady Luck’ continued to smile on Nagal. He made the Indian Wells main draw as a ‘lucky loser.’ He later qualified for a main draw appearance at the Monte-Carlo Masters.

Nagal’s first round win against Alexander Bublik in Melbourne was the first by an Indian against a seeded player at a Grand Slam since 1989. In Monte Carlo, he became the first Indian to qualify for the Masters event, before going on to becoming the first from his nation to win a main draw match in the Principality.  

While he fell at the first hurdle at Indian Wells, he defeated World No. 38 Matteo Arnaldi in the opening round at Monte Carlo and took a set off No. 7 Holger Rune in the next. 

Despite following out of the top 100 briefly in February, he clawed his way back in by the first week of March. Now at a career-best ranking of World No. 71 and with the confidence that comes with it, Nagal will look to make his presence as India’s best singles player count in Paris. 

Sumit Nagal had to overcome a dip in fortunes at high-profile tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami and Roland-Garros. He did not make the most of his ‘lucky loser’ status at Indian Wells and despite gaining direct entry into the main draw, could not go far at the clay court major. Nagal exited in the first round at both events. In Miami, he could not get past the qualifiers. 

Major highlights of Nagal’s career

  • Won boys doubles title at 2015 Wimbledon partnered with Vietnam’s Ly Hoang Nam.
  • Has won over future top 10 players Matteo Berrettini, Hubert Hurkacz, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe in his junior career.
  • First tour-level win came at 2019 Davis Cup against Pakistan.
  • Makes Grand Slam debut at 2019 US Open as a qualifier.
  • First win at a Grand Slam comes at the 2020 US Open.
  • Breaks into the top 200 in 2019 and the top 100 by February 2024.
  • Reaches career-high ranking of World No. 71 in June 2024. 

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