Misc Tennis

CHENNAI OPEN | Nagal eases past Fioni and into the quarterfinals

Storm Sanders was Australia’s hero after she won the first singles rubber before returning for the deciding doubles match alongside 38-year-old Samantha Stosur.

Luca Nardi in action against Bernard Tomic at the ATP Challenger Chennai Open tennis Tournament on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.
| Photo Credit: R. Ravindran.

Playing on Centre Court at 2 in the afternoon, second seed Sumit Nagal made light of the hot and humid conditions, attacked well from the baseline and volleyed when it mattered to script a facile 7-5, 6-2 win over Giovanni Fonio of Italy in the second round of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis here on Wednesday.

Luca Nardi of Italy, the top seed, huffed and puffed before overcoming Bernard Tomic of Australia 7-5, 6-3. Nardi will next take on Stefano Napolitano of Italy, the fifth seed, who put it across Dan Added of France 6-2, 6-1.

Fonio is an attacking player much like Nagal except that he has a one-handed backhand unlike his Indian opponent. There was little to separate the two in the first set, as both confidently held their serves. Fioni held his serve at love in the 10th game as the score was tied at 5-5. So did Nagal in the next game.

In the 12th game, the Italian, ranked 270 in the world, was broken at 15 when he put a routine backhand shot from the baseline straight into the net.

Sumit Nagal in action against Giovanni Fonio at the ATP Challenger Chennai Open tennis on Wednesday.

Sumit Nagal in action against Giovanni Fonio at the ATP Challenger Chennai Open tennis on Wednesday.
| Photo Credit:
R. Ravindran

Nagal, the highest ranked Indian in the world at 121, raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set with some attractive forehand crosscourt winners and strong first serves. Fioni’s game started to fall apart as he continued to commit far too many unforced errors from the baseline.

In the last singles match of the day, Dominik Palan of the Czech Republic beat back a tough challenge from Samuel Vincent Ruggeri of Italy before winning 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. Palan will challenge Nagal in the quarterfinals.Β Β 

Nardi struggled in the first set, but was able to break Tomic in the 12th game with a good finish at the net to pocket the set. Tomic looked uninterested in the second as the Italian raced to a 3-0 and 4-1 lead. From thereon, there wasn’t much of a fight from the Australian.

The results (second round): Lucas Nardi (Ita) bt Bernard Tomic (Aus) 7-5, 6-3; Sumit Nagal bt Giovanni Fonio (Ita) 7-5, 6-2; Stefano Napolitano (Ita) bt Dan Added (Fra) 6-2, 6-1; Dominik Palan (Cze) bt Samuel Vincent Ruggeri (Ita) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

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