Sumit Nagal eyes top-100 ranking after promising show against Federer

Following his promising show against Roger Federer that saw him claim a set against the Swiss great, Sumit Nagal has said he's now aiming to break into the top-100 of the ATP rankings.

Roger Federer shakes hands with Sumit Nagal after the men's singles first round match on Monday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Following his scratchy opening round victory over Sumit Nagal in four sets, Roger Federer predicted “a very solid career” for the Indian youngster.

"[It's] never easy to come out and play your best,” said Federer about Nagal. “Even though it’s kind of what you live for, you dream about, playing on the big stage. I think he did that very well.”

“He moves well, moves the ball around well. Sort of very much a clay-courter. He knows what he can bring. It’s not the game that comes out with the biggest surprises. [But] it’s really consistent. He did it very well.”

READ| Sumit Nagal first Indian to take a set off Federer

For Nagal, playing Federer at the Arthur Ashe stadium under lights was unlike any other experience before. “It was my first time in such a big stadium and playing one of the best tennis players. I enjoyed every moment being there,” he said.

“Tennis-wise, it was a bit up and down. I was a bit nervous as it was my first time. In the second and third sets my energy levels went really down and I started missing a lot of first serves. After I won the first set, instead of focusing on what I did well, I started thinking too much. Things change in a matter of seconds and that’s what happened.

“He [Federer] is always making you think. You have no idea where the next ball is going to come. I have never had that feeling with anybody else I have played,” Nagal added.

After the promising effort, Nagal, ranked 190 now, said he was aiming to crack the top-100 in order to play the ATP Tour level events more regularly. “Challengers is not the place you want to be for the rest of your life,” he said. “You just want to do your job and get out as soon as you can. But it’s just going to be Challengers until I break into the top-100. I want to do it this year. I have a few clay challengers lined up. That’s what I am chasing.”

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