Tennis: Sumit Nagal to lead India's challenge at Bengaluru Open

January 24, 2024
Sumit Nagal, who made his presence felt at the Australian Open by knocking out world number 27 Alexander Bublik

Bengaluru, Jan 24 (IANS) Sumit Nagal, who made his presence felt at the Australian Open by knocking out world number 27 Alexander Bublik, will lead strong Indian challenge at the Bengaluru Open, starting February 10.

Ranked 137, Nagal is the lone Indian to get direct entry at the ATP Challenger tournament where the cut off was set at a stiff 257. A total of 21 players from 11 different nations have qualified for the main draw at the ATP 100 Challenger tournament.

Benzamin Bonzi, the world number 106 from France, is the highest-ranked player to have entered the tournament.

“This year, the competition is set to elevate further. With eight players ranked in the top 200, including four within the top 150, the level of tennis is such that distinguishing between players in the 100-200 range is challenging. We anticipate some outstanding contests among the players and Bengaluru is excited to welcome them,” said Priyank Kharge, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Minister for IT, BT & RDPR, Government of Karnataka, and Senior Vice President, KSLTA.

Nagal had won this tournament back in 2017 and backed himself to win another title after a strong show at the season’s first major, where he qualified for the main draw and did not drop a set in first four matches.

“After the morale-boosting success at the Australian Open, I am brimming with confidence and anticipation as I return to my roots. This edition is expected to be high on challenges, there are many strong contenders, making this edition more challenging and definitely exciting to watch.

“My journey continues, and I am enthusiastic about going back on court and making a lasting impact. I am eagerly waiting to be in action in Bengaluru and play infront of the wonderful crowd of Bengaluru. I have always enjoyed playing in the city and the Bengaluru Open is one of the nicest events on the challenger tour. Always onward and upward!”, expressed Nagal.

Sunil Yajaman would continue as the Tournament Director for the sixth edition of the prestigious ATP Challenger event, which will be organised by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) at the KSLTA Stadium.

The last five editions (from 2018-2023) have thrown different singles winners. While Max Purcell had prevailed in an all-Australian final in 2023, Aleksandar Vukic and Tseng Chun-hsin emerged winners in the back-to-back events in 2022.

James Duckworth took the title in 2020 and India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran grabbed the singles trophy in 2018



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