Indian tennis star Sumit Nagal has been handed a direct entry into the men’s singles draw of this year’s US Open. The 22-year-old 127-ranked player made the cut after a string of top-ranked players pulled out of the event in Flushing Meadows due to COVID-19 concerns.
Nagal, who remains the only Indian singles player to cast his name in the men’s draw, had last year caught attention of the world in the US Open. He had surprised five-time champion Roger Federer in by winning the opening set in their first-round match.
Eventually, Nagal had lost 6-4, 1-6, 2-6, 4-6 but earned praises for his courageous performance at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Meanwhile, world number four Federer had pulled out of the US Open and all other remaining competitions of this year after suffering an injury on his right knee.
World number Rafael Nadal also decided to withdraw his name from this year’s Grand Slam at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, which is scheduled to be played from August 31 to September 13.
“After many thoughts, I have decided not to play this year’s US Open,” Nadal said on Twitter on Tuesday. “The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.”
“We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen,” the 19-time Grand Slam champion added.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic leads the men’s singles entry list for this year’s US Open. He will be joined by Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tstisipas, Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and David Goffin in the top seeds.