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After big US Open Federer game, Sumit Nagal wanted to be by himself

The tennis player took out time for himself, went for a shower, and got a massage.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Sep 09, 2019, 09.37 AM IST
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 The five greatest comeback stories from sports, of teams and players who reached their lowest point, but triumphed again.

What is a failure if not an opportunity to bounce back stronger? Even the greatest of sportspersons have faced crippling defeats, only to return bigger and stronger.

Here are some rousing instances when athletes and teams, after being humbled on the field, roared back to inspire generations to come.
The five greatest comeback stories from sports, of teams and players who reached their lowest point, but triumphed again. What is a failure if not an opportunity to bounce back stronger? Even the greatest of sportspersons have faced crippling defeats, only to return bigger and stronger. Here are some rousing instances when athletes and teams, after being humbled on the field, roared back to inspire generations to come.
A day after his match against Roger Federer, 22-year-old Sumit Nagal spoke to ETPanache from his hotel room in New York. Living out of his suitcase has become a way of life for the young Indian, who practices in Germany at the Nensel Academy. As he spoke on the phone, his bags were packed and he was set to leave the city he loves for a Challenger tournament in Italy.

Sharing what was going on in his mind after his first set win, Nagal said, “Yeah, I thought for a bit that I could win the match. I thought it could be a five-set match and anything can happen. When I sit back and look, there were times here and there where I stepped away from the tactical plan. I think we all learn from mistakes. I hope I do too.”

After the biggest match of his career, the Delhi lad chose to just go away to his corner. “I did not want to speak. My trainer, my coach, the team who were supporting me came. But other than that, I went for a shower, got a massage, did my usual things and got back home to my room,” Nagal said.

A tweet from Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, whose foundation supports Nagal, boosted his confidence.


“I have not spoken to him [Kohli] much,” Nagal said. “When I was selected for the scholarship by his foundation, he said, ‘Congrats’ and I said, ‘Thank you’. I do my thing and he does his thing. The tweet about him being on my side instead of Federer’s was motivating for me. Many people asked me about it and it was a great gesture for which I am very thankful,” Nagal said, knowing Kohli is a fan of Federer.

Preparations to play the winner of 20 Majors in the huge Arthur Ashe Stadium were the usual for the World No 190. “I knew that I was playing Federer and all. But you still do your routine. I did not do anything different, nothing. I did my warm ups, everything similar, the usual,” said Nagal, whose immediate goal is to crack the top 100.

ANI
​Sumit Nagal (R) had a dream Grand Slam debut on August 27 as he played against Roger Federer​ (L).
Sumit Nagal (R) had a dream Grand Slam debut on August 27 as he played against Roger Federer (L).

Making the first round of the US Open main draw pays players $58,000. Nagal says it will be spent quickly, given the costs involved in a tennis player’s life. “It is not like it is a million. It is $58,000, which all goes back,” he says. “A week here [New York)] costs you at least $3,000 to $5,000. I have been here for eight to 10 weeks. It goes away fast, personally.”

Nagal added, “The US Open has been a special Grand Slam for me. This was the first junior Slam I qualified for. I have a lot of friends here. What I learnt from the Federer match? I’d say it is how to control your nerves, think and play each point rather than the whole set. I learnt how to put pressure, use some tactical play.”

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The five greatest comeback stories from sports, of teams and players who reached their lowest point, but triumphed again. What is a failure if not an opportunity to bounce back stronger? Even the greatest of sportspersons have faced crippling defeats, only to return bigger and stronger. Here are some rousing instances when athletes and teams, after being humbled on the field, roared back to inspire generations to come.
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