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India tennis player Sumit Nagal resumes comeback after hip surgery | Tennis News

Green clay isn’t the most typical floor on the lads’s skilled tour. Yet it’s the place Sumit Nagal selected to mark his return to aggressive tennis after six months. He has good cause for it although.     

“It’s where I began winning a lot of matches in 2019 and my career really started,” Nagal stated. In the back-to-back US inexperienced clay-court Challenger occasions in Sarasota, Tallahassee and Savannah, Nagal made the Round of 32, quarter-finals and semi-finals (his first in a Challenger occasion outdoors India) respectively that season. A couple of months later, he performed Roger Federer on the US Open and went on to seize the Buenos Aires Challenger. 

It’s these little issues that assume higher significance for athletes coming back from prolonged harm layoffs. As Nagal put it, “When you get a surgery and come back, it’s a different story.” 

It’s reflecting in his comeback after a hip surgery final November. Nagal, ranked world No 280 now, lost to Australian Jason Kubler 6-4, 2-6, 3-6 in his first match again earlier in April at Sarasota, after which in straight units to USA’s Michael Mmoh in his opening spherical in Tallahassee final week. He’s competing within the Savannah Challenger this week, vying to tune up the disrupted rhythm and court docket motion with out getting fussed about outcomes. 

“The tennis is there. I feel like stroke wise – in terms of my forehand and backhand – I’m playing better now than probably before. But I’m not very sharp on the court just as yet,” stated Nagal, 24. “That will only come by playing matches. There’s no other way than playing a lot of practice sets, a lot of points, a lot of matches.” 

Nagal started his 2021 season as India’s highest-ranked singles player at 137. An MRI scan in Australia quickly revealed a tear in his hip. Playing by completely different ranges of ache for many of a below-par season, Nagal stopped after the Sibiu Challenger semi-final in early October. A month later, he went below the knife in Germany. 

After going a few months at residence with out hitting a tennis ball, on the flip of the year Nagal went again to the Nensel Tennis Academy in Peine, Germany to proceed his recovery. His goal was the US Challenger clay tournaments starting mid-April to get again on the tour.   

“The last two weeks of practice, we pushed very hard to see if I’ll be able to play matches. It wasn’t too bad. Of course, not every day is smooth. And I think I’m still under the process of coming back to where I was and how I was moving before,” Nagal stated. 

Somdev presence 

Helping Nagal in that course of is retired Indian professional Somdev Devvarman, now the high-performance professional at Nensel Academy. The former world No 62 has accompanied Nagal to the US, overseeing his pre-return coaching classes in addition to the matches. Nagal couldn’t be happier having round him Devvarman, who’s himself had his truthful share of comebacks from harm breaks. 

“I’d wanted to do the travel with him for the past two years, but Covid didn’t allow it. I’m really happy that he is a part of it right now. It’s been a lot of learning from him, especially as someone who has made several injury comebacks. I’ve been constantly talking to him about how my body feels and how it is progressing,” Nagal stated. 

He understands will probably be a gradual grind. Indeed, for each Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer defying human prospects and successful Grand Slams very quickly after appreciable time away, there’s a Dominic Thiem or Stan Wawrinka – each Slam champions lost first-round Challenger matches on return from accidents final month – highlighting simply how difficult the restart can get.   

“You can see how tough it is,” Nagal stated. “But it’s how it’s – there’s no operating away from it. The solely method to get again is to maintain pushing, maintain enjoying, staying affected person and dealing your a** off. 

“The biggest goal for the next few weeks is to feel good on court again – just trying to feel the ball, feel the points, sync with the tennis court and matches.” 

Nagal is optimistic he can climb again to his peak that had him attain a career-high world No 122 in 2020 and attain the second spherical of the US Open. He isn’t too involved that his world rankings could proceed the downward curve (he dropped to 280 from 259last week) as he tries to seek out his toes after a chronic hiatus. For, Nagal reckons he has it in him to kick on even additional as soon as he finds that stage once more. 

“It all depends on whether you’re capable of being top 100. If you are, it won’t take too long. And I do believe I’m capable of being there. Rankings are the least I’m worried about for now; if you do well in a tournament or two, you’re back in the 150s,” Nagal stated. “The main thing right now for me is to just feel good on the court again and get my confidence back.”

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