The pressure of playing back-to-back qualifiers followed by a main draw match the next day took a toll on India’s top-ranked tennis player Sumit Nagal as he bowed out in the opening round of the ATP 500 Barcelona Open on Monday.
Nagal lost to Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a top-100 player, 5-7, 0-6 after failing to convert two break chances in the first set when the match was evenly poised at 5-all and Nagal was leading 15-40.
The Indian then lost eight consecutive games to Herbert, who has completed a Career Grand Slam in men’s double, following victories at the 2015 US Open, 2016 Wimbledon, 2018 French Open and 2019 Australian Open with Nicola Mahut.
Earlier, Nagal, ranked 135th in the world, had defeated Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano 7-6(1), 6-3 to enter the main draw.
The Barcelona Open is one of the most important events in Spanish tennis with Rafael Nadal having won the title 11 times.