Nagal excited to play for India

Nagal excited to play for India

Youngster has his eyes on Australian Open qualifiers

Nagal excited to play for India

Sumit Nagal, the youngest in India's Davis Cup team against Spain, is excited to find himself in the big league. Playing for India is a matter of pride for the 19-year-old, even as his eyes are firmly fixed on making the cut for the qualification round of the 2017 Australian Open.

Nagal, who has been training at the Schuttler-Waske Tennis University in Offenbach, Germany, for over a year, said he was looking to shoot up his rankings by playing in series of futures and challenger events.

"I have been training at the same academy. I got to play some good players this summer, played in a few challengers also. I am trying to learn a few more things. I will be looking to play in a lot of futures and challengers in the remaining part of the year, so I could make the cut for the qualifiers of the Australian Open. By December, I need to be around 250 in the ranking,” Nagal, who is currently ranked 380, said.

Nagal insisted he enjoyed being part of the Davis Cup team and had been picking the nuances from the doubles legend Leander Paes. The Delhi boy was the reserve player in India’s previous tie, but was drafted in the side for the World Group play-off against Spain, after Rohan Bopanna pulled out due out due to injury.

“It is a great honour to be playing for India and to face Spain when they’ve got their best-ever team. I’ll be very happy to play against one of them if any opportunity arises. I would say, in Davis Cup, team spirit is important. Everyone counts, be it the coaches, the captain, the players or the physio. We all know that Spain is a very tough team. They have the best players. I don’t understand how they managed to be like this. I would love to pick anything from their game!,” he said.

Solid training

Nagal, who enjoys playing on clay, has had solid training sessions with the senior members of the team at the R K Khanna Tennis Stadium. “These courts aren’t that slow anymore. These are getting really fast. I like slow and bouncy hard courts,” he was quick to point out.

“I  am  having a good training with the team. With someone like Leander around, I try to grasp in terms of the way he is thinking about the ball, about the surrounding, about the support. It’s more about what to do, when and how. So it is more about learning from his experience.”

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