Sumit Nagal first Indian to take a set off Federer

Ranked 190 in the world, Sumit Nagal is the fourth Indian to face Roger Federer, after Devvarman and Bopanna, but the only one who has managed to win a set against the Swiss legend.

Sumit Nagal became the third Indian to face Roger Federer and the first one to take a set off the tennis ace.   -  Getty Images

Roger Federer may have won his US Open first round encounter against tournament debutant Sumit Nagal, but he certainly had to work for it.

Despite a strong  4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win for Federer, one of the biggest takeaways from this game is a unique record Nagal has registered against his name.

While he won adulation from the crowd at Arthur Ashe with his remarkable forehand shots, that first set victory was the high point of Nagal's game on Tuesday, making him the first Indian to take a set off Roger Federer.

READ : US Open: Federer fends off Nagal in New York test

The former junior Wimbledon champion took advantage of the 19 unforced errors Federer made, along with confident stroke play to claim the first set against the 20-time Grand Slam winner.

Renowned statistician Mohandas Menon crunched the numbers to see how Indians have fared against Federer in major tournaments.

Nagal is the fourth Indian to face Federer, after Paes, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna.

Before Nagal, Devvarman faced Federer in the second round of the French Open in 2013, losing to the latter 6-2, 6-1, 6-1. The two also faced off in Dubai in 2011, with Devvarman tasting defeat again. Bopanna met Federer at Halle in 2006, with the latter taking the game 7-6, 6-2.


Nagal's 6-4 win in the first set stands out or another reason. He is the only Indian to have taken the first set off Federer, becoming only the fourth player to do so, after Peter Wessels, Jose Acasuso and Francus Tiafoe to claim the first set with Federer on the other side of the court.

This was also the first time Federer lost a set in his first round match at the US Open since 2003, where Jose Acasuso took the first set 7-5 before going on to lose the tie to Federer 7-5, 3-6, 3-6, 0-2.

Nagal became only the fourth Indian to win a set in the main draw of a Grand Slam in the last 20 years. Only Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni have managed to win a set in a Grand Slam main draw before Nagal, in the last two decades.

(With inputs from PTI)

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