Bengaluru Open 2024: Sumit Nagal Eliminated After Losing In Semi-Finals

Bengaluru Open 2024: Sumit Nagal Eliminated After Losing In Semi-Finals

Sumit Nagal's campaign in the Bengaluru Open has ended after losing in the semi-final to Stefano Napolitano.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, February 17, 2024, 10:28 PM IST
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Sumit Nagal. | (Image Credits: Twitter)

Sumit Nagal could not handle the cunning approach and nerve of Italy's Stefano Napolitano as the second seeded Indian bowed out in the semifinals of the Bengaluru Open on Saturday. Napolitano, the seventh seed, overwhelmed Nagal 7-6 (2), 6-4 after an intense 2 hour and 17 minutes match.

He will face ninth seed Seongchan Hong of South Korea in the title clash on Sunday. In the first semifinal match, Hong defeated eighth seed Spaniard Oriol Batalla 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

As is his wont in this tournament, Nagal began the match with an early break in the second game to establish a 2-0 lead in the opening set, which he soon swelled into 4-1 after holding his serve in the third and fifth games.

Everything was functioning so smoothly for Nagal in this phase as his powerful serve and forehands found their trajectory to perfection.

But Napolitano began his counter-punch from that point and the first hint came in the shape of a break in the seventh game. A wide forehand from Nagal gave him the break and a much-needed foothold.

The Italian held the next game to go level at 4-4 and from there both the players managed to retain their serves to make it 6-6 as the first set entered the tie-break, a first for Nagal in this event. Napolitano exploited Nagal's weakness on the backhand very cleverly in the tie-break, hitting constantly to that side to frustrate his rival.

Sumit Nagal struggles with his injured playing hand:

Napolitano soon built a 3-0 lead and never ceded the ground and won the set 7-2, and fittingly, it was Nagal's backhand that hit the net to give the Italian the crucial point. The second saw Napolitano take a 2-0 lead with a break in the second game with a stunning forehand down the line winner.

However, Nagal broke back immediately in the third game to make the scoreline 1-2 and he took an extended medical time out to tend to his playing hand. It seemed to have rejuvenated the Indian as he held his serve in the fourth game without much fuss to go level at 2-2.

A clutch of unforced errors by Napolitano helped Nagal earn a break in the fifth game and take 3-2 lead, and he appeared to have hit the overdrive.

But the joy was short lived as Napolitano effected a break in the sixth game as Nagal drove a backhand, his Achilles Heel on this day, into the net. The score went level at 3-3.

Stefano Napolitano takes advantage of a jaded Sumit Nagal:

It might have just knocked the stuffing out of the Indian as he looked a tad jaded and his movements slowed down considerably from thereon. The seventh, eighth and ninth games were gone by serves despite Nagal struggling with his serves and ground shots.

But it was clear that Napolitano was having a slight edge over his opponent, and that translated into a winning break in the 10th game. Fortune too seemed to have favoured Napolitano as his two shots hit the top of the nets before rolling into Nagal's court, handing him a 15-40 lead.

Nagal slammed a backhand, what else it could have been on this day, into the net as Napolitano held his arms aloft heralding his victory.

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