Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal has set up a US Open first-round clash against the legendary Roger Federer after his victory in the qualification rounds.
22-year-old Nagal defeated Brazil’s Joao Menezes 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to become only the fifth Indian player to feature in a Grand Slam singles main draw in this decade.
"It means a lot. Everyone dreams about this. I played well in Qualifiers. Every match meant something, I had some history with all of them. It was a roller-coaster. Of course, I am super happy. I don't even know what to say," Nagal told media agencies.
Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Saketh Myneni and Prajnesh Gunneswaran are the others who have played in the main draw of a Grand Slam.
With Prajnesh also playing in the 2019 US Open, India now will have two players in the Grand Slam main draw for the first time since 1998 when legends Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi competed at Wimbledon.
Prajnesh is set to clash with Cincinnati Masters winner and world number five Daniil Medvedev, who conquered Novak Djokovic during his title triumph.
Consistent results on the Challenger Circuit meant that Nagal broke into the top-200 for the first time in his career this year. He had started the year outside the 350-bracket.
Nagal’s match against 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer at Arthur Ashe Stadium will be broadcast at 5:45 am IST on Tuesday.