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India’s Sumit Nagal secures Top 100 ranking debut after winning Chennai Challenger
He was ranked No. 509 on this day a year ago.
Published Feb 11, 2024
India’s Sumit Nagal is set to break into the Top 100 on the ATP rankings for the first time this week after capturing the fifth Challenger title of his career on home soil in Chennai.
The 26-year-old, who’s been at a new career-high ranking of No. 121 for two weeks since the Australian Open, is projected to rise to No. 98 now, according to the ATP’s official live rankings.
“What an emotional day!” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Stoked to have cracked the Top 100 ranking. Feels surreal to achieve it in my home country.”
Nagal first caught the eye of the tennis world five years ago at the 2019 US Open, where he came through qualifying and took a set off of Roger Federer in the first round, eventually falling to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in four sets.
But in the years that followed, he went through a lot—including missing more than half a year of action between 2021 and 2022 due to a hip injury, for which he underwent surgery.
On this day a year ago, he was ranked No. 509.
But he played a full season in 2023, mostly at the Challenger level and highlighted by a pair of Challenger titles in Italy and Finland, and he burst back into the limelight at the start of 2024 at the Australian Open, where he upset No. 31 seed Alexander Bublik in the first round to become the first Indian man to defeat a seeded player at a Grand Slam event in 35 years.
The last time that happened was when Ramesh Krishnan took out No. 1 seed Mats Wilander at the 1989 Australian Open.
After his victory over Bublik, Nagal was asked if he ever stopped believing he would be back in the second round of a major.
“Of course, that was the reason I was playing. That’s the reason I was going through what I had to go through,” he said.
“Of course everyone dreams, everyone dreams to be at a certain place. And I never lost that belief.”
Nagal has a chance to rise even higher on the ATP rankings this week, as he’s playing another Challenger in Bengaluru, India.