Tennis Prose



Biofile Sumit Nagal Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP no. 159. Career best ranking was 122 in August 2020.

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 152

DOB: August 16, 1997 In: Jhajjar, India

First Memory Of Tennis: Actually first day of tennis I can’t forget this because I was on the court for an hour and I only hit two balls with my racquet. It was something funny because I didn’t know tennis when I started. I had no clue what is tennis. And then I’m like trying to figure it out. Because I played cricket and if you play cricket, it’s easy with the hand-eye coordination. On the court I’m like, how tough can it be? 45 minutes, the ball is going over my racquet, under my racquet. I’m like, Huh? Interesting. Then I remember the first ball that I connect – I was so happy. That day I only hit two balls on my racquet (age 7).

Tennis Inspirations: David Ferrer was a lot. I really enjoyed the way he played. Of course, you know, big names, but they are too good for me to copy. So, for me, David Ferrer, what he did. Especially with these four players who are playing incredibly good tennis and to be world no. 3 and to be in a Grand Slam final and to win a Masters Series was pretty big.

Last Book Read: I’m reading Usain Bolt’s biography right now

Current Car: I don’t have a car right now. I like to rent cars so I can try different cars.

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: Mahesh Bhupathi from India. Ex world no. 1 doubles player. Won a lot of Slams. Met him in India when I was ten. At a tournament in New Delhi.

Greatest Career Moment: Probably playing Roger in 2019. Qualifying for my first Slam and to play him on Monday (on Ashe Stadium US Open).

Most Painful Moment: Probably getting surgery two years ago and doing the rehab. Or figuring it out, I need to get surgery. I would say this was the most difficult for me.

Favorite Tournaments: US Open by far.

Funniest Players Encountered: Probably Tiafoe, yeah.

Funny Tennis Memory: Probably junior. Things we used to do in juniors were nuts. (Any examples?) Ah [laughs]. No, no, no, no examples [laughs]. There’s too much.

Best You Ever Felt On Court: Huh… best I ever felt, in the zone… Probably the third set in my final round of qualies, yeah. Second set I was 4-1 down to Joao Menezes, who I had never beat before. Third set I was crushing. I was playing really good tennis, really smart tennis. High percentage and making it easy for myself.

Strangest Match: Probably my first pro point. He (opponent) had just finished college. This was back in 2012 (Sumit turned pro in 2015). Final set 60, okay. Then he comes off and calls a supervisor. (He said) Courts too slippery. I don’t want to play here. Clay at IMG Bradenton. What is this? I never heard a court too slippery. (He said) Yeah, I want to change the court. After the first set, which I’d never seen happen in my life. Once you’re on the court, you can’t really change. And I won 76 but that was probably the strangest thing that ever happened.

Why Do You Love Tennis: I get a chance to prove myself, to do my best. To compete. I love competing. And I think tennis gives me that.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Mint chocolate chip.

Favorite artist: Eminem.

Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: Cricket.

People Qualities Most Admired: Honesty. Punctual. People who are on time. And simple. Like, not too much drama. There’s already enough drama going on in everyone’s life. The more simple it is…

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