“A Surreal Feeling”: Sumit Nagal Joins Indian Tennis Contingent at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/17/2021, 5:30 AM EDT


Sumit Nagal became the latest addition to the Men’s singles category at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The 23-year-old Indian benefitted from several withdrawals to make the cut for the global sporting spectacle.

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Although he received confirmation about his qualification at awfully short notice, Nagal expressed delight on his first ever appearance at the Games.

Sumit Nagal becomes the third Indian tennis player to take part in Tokyo Olympics 2020

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The ATP Rankings were a primary factor in the eligibility criteria for the Tokyo Olympics. In addition, male tennis players also needed to make three Davis Cup teams between the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. While the Top 56 receive direct qualification for the singles category, no more than four players can take part from a single country.

This opens up opportunities for players outside the top 56 to make the cut for the Olympics. And while Nagal is a part of India’s Davis Cup team since 2016, he ranks 154 in the world today. However, the Olympics considered the ATP Rankings as on June 14, the deadline for confirming participants at the Games.

During that period, Nagal ranked #144 which helped him make the cut for Tokyo by the narrowest of margins. However, his compatriot Prajnesh Gunneswaran missed out due to his #148 ranking at the time. After the announcement, the 23-year-old took to Twitter to express his delight.

He wroteNo words can express my emotions. A surreal feeling to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Grateful to all your support and wishes.”

 

Nagal only the third Indian tennis player to compete at the Olympics

Nagal will be the only Indian to take part in the men’s singles category at the Olympics this year. In addition, he joins veteran Sania Mirza and fellow first-time Olympian Ankita Raina as the third Indian tennis player to compete at the Olympics.

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Mirza and Raina will team up to represent India in the women’s doubles category at the quadrennial event. Nagal’s qualification means India will now be represented in two different categories in tennis at the Olympics.

However, India will not field a men’s doubles team for the first time since 1992 after Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan missed the cut. Although Nagal has two ATP Challenger titles to his name, he faces stiff competition from players ranked higher than him at Tokyo.

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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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