India tennis star Sumit Nagal has gained direct entry into this year’s US Open men’s singles draw after a string a top-ranked players pulled out of the competition citing coronavirus concerns.
Nagal sneaked through as top 128 ranked ATP players made the cut with the 22-year-old ranked at 127 in the world currently. He remains the only Indian to make the cut.
Nagal, last year, caught the imagination of tennis fans worldwide, following his courageous performance against 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
In the first round at Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2019, Nagal took a set off Federer before going down 6-4, 1-6, 2-6, 4-6 against the Swiss star.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic leads the men’s singles entry list for this year’s US Open which is devoid of star names like defending champions Rafael Nadal and 20-time Federer.
“After many thoughts, I have decided not to play this year’s US Open,” Nadal said on Twitter on Tuesday. “The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it.”
“We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen,” the 19-time Grand Slam champion added.
The US Open is currently scheduled to be held from August 31 with the Cincinnati Open being held at the Flushing Meadows before that from August 22.