Sumit Nagal achieved the distinction of being the first Indian to take a set off the great Roger Federer in a Grand Slam when the two clashed in a first-round match at the US Open. The Indian youngster from Haryana incredibly won the first set 6-4 to put the cat among the pigeons and provide a glimmer of hope for the possibility of a miracle at the Arthur Ashe Stadium but it wasn't to be. The 20-time Grand Slam champion upped his game to show his class as he cruised in the second and third sets to shut down any talk of an upset. Sumit Nagal, though, didn't throw in the towel and kept persisting, breaking the Swiss maestro in the fourth set to stay alive in the match. But Federer managed to close out the set and with it clinch his 1,224th career victory and book a 2nd round meeting with Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur.
After Sumit Nagal's brilliant showing in the first set, US Open saluted the Indian youngster.
"A stunner on Ashe! World No. 190 Sumit Nagal puts together a spirited performance to take the first set 6-4 off Roger Federer," the US Open's official handle tweeted.
Fans on Twitter were also full of praise for Sumit Nagal and hailed the youngster for his spirited showing.
Well played Sumit Nagal.Although Sumit Nagal lost, But surely it was an exciting match . Winning a set against @rogerfederer is nothing less than an achievement. #FederervsNagal #USOpen pic.twitter.com/XN3WVuHDiq— Mahesh Kanakaraj (@maheshmech06) August 27, 2019
This moment...— Hari Priya CR (@cr_hariPriya) August 27, 2019
Hopefully, this is just a start from young Sumit Nagal. pic.twitter.com/j1XPijvVlt
"I played like my beard today. I was rusty," Federer said after the match.
The shock first set was a wake-up call, a 38-year-old legend who was 61-0 in Grand Slam first rounds since the 2003 French Open trailing a 22-year-old from Haryana who is ranked 190th and fell to 0-5 in tour-level matches.
Roger Federer, the third seed, produced 19 unforced errors in the first set as Nagal impressed with his court coverage and all-round play.
But the 38-year-old bounced back to clinch his 1,224th career victory.
"Just tried to forget it, play tough, stay with him. It was a tough first set for me," Federer said. "He came back and played really strong. I was missing a lot of balls and trying to cut back on unforced errors.
"It all came back just in time."
(With AFP Inputs)