Tokyo: India’s Sumit Nagal created history as he defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 in the men’s singles first round at the Tokyo Olympics at the Ariake Tennis Court on Saturday. He also became the first Indian men’s singles tennis player at the Olympics to move into the second round since Leander Paes in 1996.
The 34-year-old Istomin, who is ranked 197th in the world was no match to Nagal, ranked 37 places above him. The Indian won the first set easily but his Uzbek opponent clawed back in the second. However, the 23-year-old old made a comeback in the third set and eventually won the match.
Istomin fired 17 aces against eight by Nagal. The Indian also committed more double faults with nine against three. However, it was in break-points and forced errors that Nagal was better than his Uzbek opponent. Istomin committed 32 forced errors to Nagal’s 17. The Indian also won 10 out of 10 net points while his opponent won just five out of nine.