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Bengaluru Open | An easy day in the office for Sumit Nagal


Sumit Nagal in action against Geoffrey Blancaneaux in the Bengaluru Open 2024 on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Sumit Nagal made a confident start to his dafaNews Bengaluru Open campaign, beating France’s Geoffrey Blancaneaux 6-2, 6-2 at the KSLTA courts inside Cubbon Park here on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old, who broke into the ATP top 100 after last week’s triumph in Chennai, is a former champion in the Garden City, having won the Challenger in 2017. And the World No. 98 played like he knew the conditions like the back of his hand.

Bengaluru’s altitude doesn’t really aid flat and aggressive stroke-making, and Nagal, thus, hit with high net-clearance and at the same time imparted enough spin to drag the ball back in and keep it in play.

There were no short balls for Blancaneaux to attack, and the depth was such that he was mostly pinned a good two feet behind the baseline. Nagal broke in the first and seventh games of the first set and took it 6-2 when Blancaneaux sent a backhand long.

In the second stanza, Blancaneaux tried to hit through the court, charged in on occasion and even took up aggressive court positions at times to rattle Nagal. But the Indian, cheered on by a sizeable crowd revelling in the cool evening conditions, was up to the task, forcing the Frenchman to cut an exasperated figure.

Sumit Nagal in action against Geoffrey Blancaneaux in the Bengaluru Open 2024 on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

Sumit Nagal in action against Geoffrey Blancaneaux in the Bengaluru Open 2024 on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.
| Photo Credit:
Sudhakara Jain

A break each in the first and fifth games of the second set proved enough, and Nagal finished the job with a powerful wide serve on the ad court that Blancaneaux returned wide.

Elsewhere, former World No. 17 Bernard Tomic wilted under the afternoon sun, crashing out 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to American Tristan Boyer. But the tournament’s other top draw, former World No. 25 Vasek Pospisil, lived to fight another day, coming through 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4 against Ukraine’s Eric Vanshelboim.

Other results (first round): Singles: Enrico Dalla Valle (Ita) bt Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) 6-2, 7-5; Luca Nardi (Ita) bt Dan Added (Fra) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(0); Coleman Wong (Hkg) bt Raphael Collignon (Bel) 6-4, 7-6(4); Seong Chan Hong (Kor) bt Tristan Schoolkate (Aus) 6-4, 6-3; Benjamin Bonzi (Fra) bt Philip Sekulic (Aus) 6-3, 6-2; Oriol Roca Batalla (Esp) bt Chun Hsin-Tseng (Tpe) 7-5, 6-3; Alexey Zakharov (Rus) bt Samuel Vincent Ruggeri (Ita) 6-2, 7-5; Maks Kasnikowski (Pol) bt Tung-Lin Wu (Tpe) 7-5, 6-2.

Doubles: Jakob Schnaitte & Mark Wallner (Ger) bt Sriram Balaji & Begemann (Ger) 3-6, 6-4, [12-10]; Bittoun Kouzmine & Maxime Janvier (Fra) bt Sai Karteek Reddy Ganta & Manish Sureshkumar 6-2, 7-6(8).



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