Davis Cup: Sumit Nagal fights but comes up short

Fatigue took a toll on Sumit Nagal, as the Indian ace lost 3-6 6-1 3-6 in first reverse singles as Spain take 4-0 lead over India.

Written by Tanuj Lakhina | New Delhi | Published:September 18, 2016 8:37 pm
India Spain Davis Cup Tennis Sumit Nagal showed early nerves to be broken on his very first service game but as the match progressed, he got better. PTI

On Saturday, India’s Saketh Myneni – partnering Leander Paes – were up 5-4 and serving for the set to take a dominant two set lead against Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez but he was broken and the team lost the set on a tiebreak.

In the fourth set, India were 3-0 up but then let go of that lead to lose after being broken twice. This gave Spain an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff.

Move into Sunday in the first reverse singles and the same happened in the third set to Sumit Nagal. Nagal who came in as a change for Myneni played Lopez in the fourth rubber and then let the momentum slip from 3-0 up.

It did not help matters that Sumit was already suffering from breathing issues, as Anand Amritraj revealed later, to go down tamely as he lost the next six games. The win gave Spain a 4-0 lead in the contest.

In a marathon second game of the third and deciding set, Sumit saved six break points with big hitting on his forehand and aggressive play at the net to keep Marc in the hunt.

After saving three break points, Sumit immediately called for the trainer to check his rib area out with hints of cramps. With a full medical timeout, Sumit continued but never looked comfortable from then on. He held serve eventually to go up 3-0 but that was the final game he won in the contest.

Making his Davis Cup debut, Sumit showed early nerves to be broken on his very first service game but as the match progressed, he got better.

That momentum changed in the fourth game of the second set. Marc who admits that his serve is his weakest link suffered on that front from then on to be broken four straight times.

Sumit clinched the second with a forehand winner into open court to force a decider.

The reverse singles were a best of three sets affair after Spain led 3-0 and couldn’t be beaten from then on.