India tennis star Sumit Nagal defeated local favourite Daniel Masur in straight sets to win the PSD Bank Nord Open in Berlin (Germany). Nagal won 6-1, 6-3 in the summit clash to win the title last week. Also Read - US Joins India in Clinical Trials For Ayurveda Formulations Against COVID-19
Nagal is the current top-ranked Indian in men’s singles at 127. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic May Have Set Back Growth of Women's Cricket by Two Years: Mithali Raj
The event was his first competitive outing since March this year when majority of the sporting world came to a screeching halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Coronavirus: India Reports First Spike of Over 25,000; 26,506 New Cases in Last 24 Hours
“It felt good to be out there after almost four months,” Nagal told ESPN. “Just to be in a tournament at this point was both unreal and great. It was a small, nice event with under 60 players and not too far from where I train (Nensel academy) so I thought to myself, ‘hey, why not play some matches?'”
Strict social distancing norms and health measures were part of the tournament.
“Everyone had to stay at least two metres away from each other. It’s something you had to keep reminding yourself just like the frequent hand sanitising. Also, only two players were allowed to use the locker room at a time. Since it was a small tournament these aspects were a lot more easily manageable,” he revealed.
With no clarity on when tennis season will resume, singles players ranked outside top-100 are staring at an uncertain future as far as their financial condition goes.
Nagal is no different.
“I’ve been using up my savings. There wasn’t much anyway, to be honest. But this is how it is I guess,” he said.
He continued, “I agree with Somdev’s (Devvarman) suggestion that arranging loans for needy players may have been the smart thing to do than paying players $2000 or $4000 dollars which doesn’t change much in anyone’s life. There might be higher-ranked players who may need the money more than someone who’s a well-settled senior ranked low; obviously, no one’s going to turn down free money. Tennis is a selfish sport and I guess that’s how it’s going to be.”