Melbourne, Feb 9 (IANS) Ace India tennis player Sumit Nagal on Tuesday faced a crushing straight-sets defeat against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis in the first round contest to bow out of the men’s singles event of the Australian Open.
Nagal, India’s second-highest ranked men’s singles player, lost 2-6, 5-7, 3-6 to Berankis in a match that lasted two hours and six minutes at Court 17. Last week, the 23-year-old Indian had lost to the world number 72 in the build-up event.
This was Nagal’s third Grand Slam men’s singles appearance as he had competed in 2019 and 2020 edition of US Open. He had won in the first round of the US Open in his last appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam. It was the first time an Indian had progressed beyond the opening round of a Grand Slam in singles event since Somdev Devvarman in 2013.
Meanwhile, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan will take India’s challenge at the Australian Open as they will compete in the men’s doubles event with their respective partners.
Bopanna and his partner Ben McLachlan of Japan will face Korean pair Nam Ji-Sung and Min-Kyu Song in their first contest on Wednesday while Sharan, pairing up with Igor Zelenay of Slovakia, will take on the German pair of Kevin Krawietz and Yannick Hanfmann in their opening round contest on the same day.