Sumit Nagal makes history for India at Australian Open


Indian tennis star Sumit Nagal made history this week by winning the first Australian Open match for his home country in 11 years.

What he did: Nagal beat fellow 26-year-old Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan, who is ranked No. 27, in sweeping fashion with a score of 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(7-5) at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Tuesday. The win pushed his world ranking by two spots up to No. 137.

The victory also made Nagal the first Indian man to beat a seeded player in 35 years. The last time a player from India defeated a seeded male player in a singles match during a main draw of a Grand Slam was when Ramesh Krishnan took on then-world no. 1 Mats Wilander of Sweden in 1989.

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What he’s saying: Speaking to reporters, Nagal said he followed his coach's advice to live in the moment. "In tennis, you never know what’s going to happen next, you can go to a tournament and not even be able to hit two balls and the tournament is over," he said.

Nagal also hopes to help boost the sport's profile in his country. “When I stop tennis, whenever I stop tennis, I hope I can have an impact on the country where we can change the system and have people playing in the singles draw as well," he told reporters.

Exit: After making history for India, Nagal lost to China’s Shang Juncheng on Thursday. Like Nagal, Shang, 18, also made history this week when he became the first Chinese man to win a match at the Australian Open.

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