Tennis

Nagal masters Clarke again

Hard-fought win: Defending champion Sumit Nagal had the measure of Jay Clarke for the second time in a year.

Hard-fought win: Defending champion Sumit Nagal had the measure of Jay Clarke for the second time in a year.  

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Cem knocks out second seed Trungelliti

Defending champion Sumit Nagal had the measure of Brit Jay Clarke for the second time in a year, beating him 6-4, 7-5 in the opening round of the $150,000 Bengaluru Open.

The two had last met on these very courts, but in a high-stakes final which went the distance. If the tennis had matched the occasion then, Monday’s match came nowhere close. Clarke, the tournament’s seventh seed, was far from the player that his ranking of 174 suggested.

Nagal, though ranked 309, showed enough signs of life after what has until now been a washout year.

The Indian broke early in the match to go 2-1 up. He faced the first threat to his serve in the very next game, but was brave enough to serve and volley on his second serve to deny his opponent. Clarke did get back to 3-3, but Nagal’s was the slight upper-hand as he broke in the ninth game and closed out the set 6-4.

In the second, both players struggled with their serves, but the difference was Nagal’s forehand which didn’t let him down whenever summoned. Clarke’s, on the other hand, broke down.

After they traded breaks early on, Nagal had a look at the Clarke serve at 3-3, 30-30, but a bad backhand volley put paid to his hopes. Minutes later, Nagal was down 15-30 serving at 3-4 and then a set-point down at 4-5. Clarke fluffed both and it wasn’t long before Nagal took the match.

Clarke was not the only casualty among the seeds, with Argentina’s Marco Trungelliti, the second highest in the competition, beaten by Turkey’s Ilkel Cem 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3). Earlier in the day, Sasi Kumar Mukund became the lone Indian to qualify for the main draw with a clinical 6-1, 6-1 win over Frenchman Mick Lescure.

The results: First round: Sumit Nagal bt Jay Clarke (GBr) 6-4, 7-5; Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kaz) bt Scott Griekspoor (Ned) 6-3, 6-2; Marc Polmans (Aus) bt Maverick Banes (Aus) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2; Ilkel Cem (Tur) bt Marco Trungelliti (Arg) 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3); James Ward (GBr) bt Tsung-Hua Yang (Tpe) 7-6(4), 6-4.

Qualifying (final round): Youssef Hossam (Egy) bt Siddharth Vishwakarma 6-4, 6-4; Sasi Kumar Mukund bt Mick Lescure (Fra) 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles: Max Purcell & Luke Saville (Aus) bt Chandril & Lakshit Sood 6-2, 6-2; Prajwal Dev & Niki Poonacha bt Alexander Pavlioutchenkov (Rus) & Filip Peliwo (Can) 1-6, 7-6 (3), [10-2]; Saketh Myneni & Arjun Kadhe bt Sanchai & Sonchat Ratiwatana 6-3, 3-6, [11-9].

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 4:44:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/nagal-masters-clarke-again/article25478990.ece

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