Buenos Aires: Seventh seed Sumit Nagal, down 0-3 after winning the first set, performed a brilliant comeback, to defeat 13th seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in three-setter singles quarter-final 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 of the Buenos Aires ATP Challenger in Argentina.
Nagal, who recently hit the headlines, after qualifying for US Open, his first Grand Slam and winning the first set against Roger Federer before losing, won 95 points against 94 by Cerundolo in two hours and seven minutes point-for-point fight.
Nagal, who hails from Jhajjar (Haryana), saved seven out of 12 breakpoints and won six out of 16 breakpoints and kept his first service 70 per cent in. Cerundolo saved 10 break points out of 16 and won five out of 12 breakpoints. He kept his first service 67 per cent in. The Argentinian player served two aces and committed four double faults. Nagal’s scorecard today was without any ace but committed five double faults.
Sumit Nagal suffered his first setback when he was broken in the fifth game and Francisco Cerundolo gained a 3-2 lead with his serve to follow. Sumit hit back in the sixth game and levelled the score to 40-40 and also gained an advantage.
Cerundolo was not yielding and after making deuce gained an advantage. Another deuce was called. Now Sumit had an advantage and managed to capitalise on the chance to make it 3-3 with a break.
By holding his serve in the seventh game, Sumit Nagal led 4-3. Maintaining pressure Sumit Nagal broke Cerundolo in the 8th game to lead 5-3. On his service, he led 40-30 before winning the set at 6-3 in 36 minutes. In the first set, Nagal kept his first serve 83 per cent in comparison to 69 by his opponent.
Cerundolo struggled in the first game of the second serve. In a ding-dong game Sumit had two chances to break his rival who, however, just managed to hold his serve to lead 1-0. Trailing 30- 40 Sumit Nagal was threatened to be broken.
He, however, made it 40-40. Cerundolo gained the advantage but surrendered it as Sumit Nagal again levelled the score to 40-40 (second deuce). Cerundolo broke his rival in the second game to lead 2-0. Winning his service game in the third game Cerundolo raced to 3-0 lead before Nagal won his first game of the second set by holding his serve in the fourth game.
The Indian player threatened to break Cerundolo who trailed 30-40. Cerundolo saved the breakpoint by making it deuce. But a determined Nagal broke his opponent and made it 2-3 with his service to follow. He levelled the score 3-3.
However, Cerundolo broke Sumit Nagal in the 10th game to clinch the set at 6-4. Two sets consumed one hour and 20 minutes. Cerundolo improved his first service with 73 per cent in while Nagal’s first service in at the end of the second set came down to 72 per cent.
In the third and deciding set, Nagal broke his opponent to take 1-0 lead. The players exchanged the breaks and were tied 2-2 after fourth game. In the sixth game, Nagal trailed 15-40 facing two breakpoints. But Nagal rallied to make it deuce and took advantage. Another deuce called but Nagal won the game to make it 3-3. Cerundolo won the seventh game at love to lead 4-3.
In the ninth game, Nagal enjoyed three break points with Cerundolo trailing 0-40. Cerundolo saved these breaks to level the score at 40-40. Nagal got the vital break in this game to lead 5-4 and serve for the set and match at 6-4. Nagal will cross swords with fourth seed Thiago Monteiro of Brazil in the semi-final. Monteiro defeated Andrea Collarini of Argentina by 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.