Sumit Nagal on Monday became the first Indian man to win a match in a Masters 1000 tournament on clay. The top-ranked Indian singles player defeated Matteo Arnaldi of Italy in a terrific come-from-behind effort. Nagal won the first round match at the Monte Carlo Masters 6-7, 6-2, 6-4.

The unseeded 95th-ranked Nagal was only the third Indian to feature in the main draw in Monte Carlo after Vijay Amritraj in 1977 and Ramesh Krishanan in 1982. He became the first-ever ATP Masters 1000 match on clay since 1990. The 26-year-old stunned the World No. 38 as he will next face Denmark’s Hoger Rune in the next round on April 9, Tuesday.

Nagal has ensured himself a career-high rank of 80 with the Monday's victory in the clay court event. This was Nagal’s third victory over a top-50 player and second time in the current season. The 26-year-old had toppled the then world number 27 Alexander Bublik in straight sets at the Australian Open in

Melbourne in January 2024. He had also defeated then world No. 22 Chilean Cristian Garin in Argentina Open in March 2021.

The first set was on an even keel with both players breaking each other once. Serving to stay in the set, Nagal lost his serve in the 12th game with Arnaldi attacking the Indian’s first serve. However, Nagal remained unperturbed and broke his rival twice in the second set for a comfortable 4-1 lead. His serve came under pressure in game six, but he held and closed the set, forcing a decider.

After trading a break with Arnaldi, Nagal broke his rival’s serve for the second time in the seventh game of the third set to take a 4-3 lead and that proved to be decisive in the final outcome of the match. He consolidated the lead by pocketing the eighth game and served out the match in game 10.

Nagal had beaten world number 63 Flavio Cobolli of Italy 6-2 6-3 in the first round of qualifying event.
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