Rohan Bopanna wants Sumit Nagal to work on his serve

Veteran tennis star Bopanna feels if Nagal works on his serve, it will help him stay level with the opponent rather than catching up in every set.

Sumit Nagal in action against Dominic Thiem at the US Open.   -  FILE PHOTO/AP

Rohan Bopanna is a big boy with a big game in the big league. He was a top quality singles player before he started focusing on his doubles as a better economic option.

More than worrying about his game and progress, the 40-year-old Bopanna keeps an eye on the future. It was no wonder that he made it a point to watch Sumit Nagal’s two matches from court side at the US Open.

“The biggest key for Sumit will be to really work on his serve. It will be a huge factor if he can improve on it. Instead of trying to catch up in every set, I would have loved to see him stay level, and then possibly use his forehand to dictate the points,” observed Bopanna, after Sumit’s match against three-time Grand Slam finalist Dominic Thiem.

READ| Sumit Nagal will continue to get better, says mentor Mahesh Bhupathi

Bopanna remarked that Sumit had to do something different, and could work on his transition to the net, as it was “tough for him to rally and beat Thiem from the back court’’.

“A little more transition towards the net, when he sees the opportunity, and working on his serve will definitely help him play better against these top level athletes,” said Bopanna.

It was indeed a remarkable turn around for Sumit to play so well against second seed Thiem in the second round of the US Open, after having lost in the first qualifying round of the Australian Open and then winning a solitary game against Marin Cilic in the Davis Cup tie earlier this year.

READ| US Open: Thiem eases past Nagal to reach third round

“I think, playing at this level a few more times, playing big matches like these and practising with these guys, Sumit will start understanding a lot better, in terms of how to sustain a good level of game for three to four hours,” opined Bopanna.

The former world No.3 doubles star was impressed with the quality of tennis that Sumit was able to generate against Thiem, albeit in patches.

“In the fifth game of the first set, when Thiem was serving, Sumit kept trying to push him to hit harder and harder. Thiem started missing a few balls. The key is to constantly hit the ball deep. Anytime, you give these top guys a short ball, they are so good at attacking it and controlling the point,” he said.

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