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Olympics Tennis : Sumit Nagal facing world no 2 Daniil Medvedev. Coming Up 10:30 am IST

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Daniil Medvedev vs Sumit Nagal preview

Daniil Medvedev will continue his quest for a medal when he takes on India’s Sumit Nagal in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics.

Medvedev opened his campaign on Saturday with a hard-fought 6-4 7-6 (8) win over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik. The World No. 2 produced a sub-par performance on serve, but he was solid from the baseline for the most part. Medvedev eventually managed to capitalize on Bublik’s unforced errors to clinch the second set in a close tiebreak.

The 25-year-old is playing in his first ever Olympic games, and is one of the biggest favorites for a podium finish next Sunday.

Sumit Nagal, meanwhile, ended India’s 25-year wait for an Olympics singles win on Saturday. The 23-year-old beat Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in three sets to register his maiden win at the Games.

Nagal seemed to be cruising to a straightforward win at one point, leading 6-4, 5-2 after a little over an hour. But he faltered while serving for the match, and subsequently lost the second set in a tiebreaker.

Nagal did well to recover from that setback, and struck at the right time in the deciding set to break Istomin’s serve. He made no mistake while serving it out this time, thus becoming the first Indian player to win an Olympics singles match since Leander Paes at the Atlanta 1996 Games.

Daniil Medvedev vs Sumit Nagal head-to-head

Sumit Nagal
Sumit Nagal

The Round of 32 match at the Tokyo Olympics will be the first ever career meeting between Daniil Medvedev and Sumit Nagal. Their head-to-head, therefore, currently stands at 0-0.

Daniil Medvedev vs Sumit Nagal prediction

Daniil Medvedev is widely regarded as one of the best hardcourt players on tour. The Russian feels naturally at home on the surface as it aids his game, which is built around a huge serve and flat groundstrokes.

Sumit Nagal, on his part, will be on a high after breaking his country’s 25-year curse at the Olympics. But the Indian cannot rest, as he faces a much bigger challenge in the next round.

Nagal is no stranger to playing top players at the biggest events. Despite never being ranked inside the top 100, the youngster has faced the likes of Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem at the US Open, even taking a set against the former in 2019.

Nagal’s biggest weapon is his forehand which, on its day, can give any top player a run for their money. But the Indian’s sub-par serve and lack of consistency have frequently been his undoing, and more of the same can be expected in his match against Medvedev.