India’s Sumit Nagal failed to spoil the party for birthday boy Dominic Thiem on Thursday, but still managed to grab eyeballs thanks to his dogged performance in the US Open second round match at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. Thiem, who turned 27, eased to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win to set up a third-round clash against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic. While Sumit Nagal was unable to really test the world number three, who put in a dominant display, the Indian showed moments of brilliance that even Thiem applauded.
One such moment came in the third set with Nagal 1-3 down. Thiem started the game with a powerful serve down the ‘T’, leaving Nagal scrambling to get his return in. The young Indian’s loopy backhand return gave the world number three the opportunity to hit hard forehand which Nagal easily returned.
However, after another back and forth, Thiem unleashed a precise backhand cross-court shot, Nagal stretched full length and once again managed to retrieve the ball but left the court wide open.
Thiem took the ball on the full and hit a cross-court forehand, but the persistent Nagal didn’t give up and scurried to the other end of the court and came up with an absolute scorcher of a forehand winner down the line.
A mightily impressed Thiem, stunned by the turn of events, applauded Nagal’s shot and could also be heard saying “bravo”.
Watch the entire point here:
Qualifies into the main draw last year. Makes it to Round 2 this year.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 3, 2020
Despite his gutsy performance, Nagal just didn’t have the firepower to topple the second-seeded Austrian. Nagal did break Thiem’s serve twice and also hit 12 winners but Thiem was just too good.
The Austrian made 31 unforced errors, something that will need ironing out when he takes on Cilic, but also hit 30 winners, backing it up with seven aces.
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