Sumit Nagal working on mental aspects ahead of Chennai Open Challenger

After struggling with shoulder injury for major part of 2018, Sumit Nagal prepares to put on a strong show at the Chennai Open Challenger.

The partnership with Javier Ferrer has not gone as planned for Sumit Nagal.   -  M. Vedhan

For Sumit Nagal, 2018 offered a lot of promise and hope especially after ending the year before on a high, winning the Bangalore Challenger event and coming within touching distance of breaking into the top 200.

Last year, he also joined hands with Javier Ferrer, brother of former French Open finalist David Ferrer. But a decent start of the season went downhill quickly with a string of poor results that has seen his ranking plummet to 349 from a career high of 213 early last year.

The 21-year-old who shot to fame after winning the junior Wimbledon doubles crown in 2015, is now hoping to resurrect his career starting from the Chennai Open challenger which begins at the SDAT Tennis stadium here on Monday.

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Speaking about last year, Nagal cited a combination of injuries and fall out with his coach for the drop in form that saw him pick up only 67 ATP ranking points.

“Everyone has a season where things are up and down. At important times when you win from tough situations, you get extra confidence and when you don't, the confidence also goes down. I had to change coaching teams after a few months and I couldn't play without pain in my shoulder. So I stopped for two months in the middle of the year. Overall, I wouldn't say I really enjoyed playing some matches last year,” Nagal told Sportstar.

Nagal said that every tennis player will go through an off season in his career.   -  M. Vedhan


Elaborating on the reasons for his fall out with Ferrer, Nagal added, “There were a lot of things from coaching to fitness and physio. I was getting a lot of injuries and I did not know the reason. At the end, it was not working well so we decided to end the partnership.”

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With the new ranking system, points are going to be hard to come by and Nagal is aware of it and insists while he has the game, the mental aspect is one in which he needs to work hard on this year.

“For me, it is about finding a way when things are not going as per plan. At times it is very easy to quit or go off the boil but you need to figure out a way say when your forehand or serves are not working. 

“The game is not an issue. Once I fix my mental part then things will change very fast and that is what I am primarily focusing on.”

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