Sumit Nagal shocks Cristian Garin at Argentina Open | Tennis News – Eagles Vine

Sumit Nagal’s love for red clay endures. The Indian, ranked 150 in the world, celebrated the affair with a shock 6-4, 6-3 win over the world No.22 Cristian Garin in the second round of the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires.
The 23-year-old was rock solid from the back of the court, meticulously engaging the Chilean, his close friend. Nagal created opportunities for himself right through the 1 hour 43-minute clash. He came from 3-4 to win the first set, and then had game points to up 3-1 in the second, but Garin pulled back. From 2-3, Nagal won four straight games to move into his maiden ATP 250 Series quarterfinal.
“I know his game well, we played in 2018 and in 2011 (juniors). We always play good,” said Nagal, who came through the qualifiers. “I was comfortable with the conditions, I had already played a lot of matches. It was about who takes control first. We play a little similar, run a lot, solid backhand, like to hit forehands. Today I was the one on top of it.”
Nagal, who had 19 breakpoint opportunities in the match, converting seven, attacked the Chilean’s second serve to record the biggest win of his career.
Early in the second set, however, the Indian, who was playing his fifth match in six days, looked out of breath. “I didn’t play a lot of matches in the last three-four months,” he said. “I rather have this, the more matches you play, the more confidence you get.”
Nagal, ranked second in the country, is an exception to the rule in India, a country that has produced some fine grass court players, touch artists. More recently, we’ve had hardcourt exponents, so much so that Davis Cup ties shifted from manicured lawns to synthetic courts. Clay, however, was a surface where Indians made better pots than passing shots.
Nagal now 10-0 in Buenos Aires, having won a Challenger there in 2019, said he relishes playing on clay. “I enjoy long rallies, grind, run a lot. I get a lot of time on clay to play my forehand,” he said, adding, “I’ve been living in Germany for the past seven years. It’s true that I like to play a longer clay court season.”
In the last-eight on Friday, Nagal will take on Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolos, who he hasn’t played in a Tour-level match. In 2019 Nagal beat the 33-year-old in two tight sets in a Challenger in France.
Ramos-Vinolos, ranked 46, made the finals in Cordoba last week, beating Diego Schwartzman en route to the title round.
“He has had great weeks, played the finals last week. He played on Sunday and then played Tuesday and Wednesday which can’t be easy,” Nagal said. “It’ll be a fun one, I’m looking forward to it.”

The Times of India

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