Tata Open Maharashtra: Sumit Nagal bows out after spirited fight | Tennis News – Times of India

PUNE: Manas Dhamne, all of 15, made an impression with his fearless approach before being overpowered by Michael Mmoh, while a tenacious Sumit Nagal, true to his style, fought hard before bowing out of the men’s singles event at the Tata Open Maharashtra here on Monday.
Given a wild card entry into the country’s premier tennis tournament, Dhamne got a taste of high-level tennis on the opening day of the ATP 250 event, before exiting the tournament with a 2-6, 4-6 defeat against the world number 115.
In another match involving a home player, Filip Krajinovic outgunned wild card entrant Nagal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in an intense opening-round match that lasted two hours and 24 minutes.
Up against a physically stronger and technically superior opponent, Dhamne gave a glimpse of what he could bring to the table as he grows up and matures. He did not have the legs to win those intense rallies and lacked power to trouble his rival consistently, but showed a lot of heart for a fight and that vindicated his wild card entry.
“I am really happy with the way I performed. There were a few important moments and I could have played better. I have learnt how to handle such situations. There was no pressure, no expectations. I have never played these guys, I just wanted to go on court and play,” said Dhamne.
“I need to improve physically and the serve also needs to get better. The positive thing was that I kept fighting till the end. I still had the energy to play a third set, it shows I have improved in the last 6-7 months,” said Dhamne, who trains with Italian coach Riccardo Piatti.
The 24-year-old Mmoh praised the teenager saying, “I was not expecting that (fight). He caught me by surprise. He has a bright future ahead,” said Mmoh.
Dhamne had the home fans interested in the fourth game of the opening set when he hit a stunning backhand passing winner and followed that up with a solid forehand, which Mmoh netted to earn two break points.
The American though came out serving strong to hold and made it a one-way traffic after that.
Dhamne also used the drop shots and backhand slice, showing presence of mind but lacked execution at times. His intermittent winners prevented the match from being bland.
The American had an early break in the second set and was soon close to finishing the contest but dropped his serve with a double fault and looked like feeling the heat, losing a few points in a row.
Mmoh though closed the match in the 10th game with a perfect body serve.
Initially, Nagal struggled to contain his unforced errors but as the match wore on, he got more control on his ground strokes.
Krajinovic packed a lot of power in his ground strokes which he used to pin Nagal on either flank to open the court and then smashed the volley winners for points. The Serb charged to the net more to break Nagal’s rhythm.
The 25-year-old from Jhajjar lost the first set but it was far from easy for the Serb to get easy points. Nagal kept it a tight affair with his matching strokes.
Krajinovic was serving to stay in the set at 4-5 when Nagal created an opening with a forehand winner after an intense rally. Under pressure, the Serb opted to go for a backhand drop shot but Nagal reached out for the ball and blasted a forehand winner on the left of Krajinovic to seal the second set.
Nagal earned two break points with his deep returns in the second game, inducing unforced errors from Krajinovic but the Serb came out with some solid serving under pressure to escape.
Serving at 30-all in the ninth game, Nagal took a risk by attempting a drop shot but that landed on the net to give Krajinovic a break point. The Indian helped the cause of his rival by hitting a forehand long.
Krajinovic came out to serve out the match and went up 30-15 with a great pick up. Nagal made it 30-all with an inside-out forehand winner. A simple drop volley winner on Nagal’s weak return gave the sixth seed his first match point but Nagal again saved that with a similar shot.
Nagal netted a forehand to hand the Serb his second match point, which he converted when the indian hit a forehand wide.
In other matches, Serbian Laslo Djere knocked out fifth seed Slovakian Alex Molcan 6-2, 6-4 while Dutch Tallon Griekspoor sent packing seventh seed Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-4, 7-5.
Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi made short work of Chinese-Taipei’s Chun-Hsin Tseng 6-0, 6-3. Roberto Carballes Baena defeated fellow Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-1, 7-5.

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