Nagal Eyes Back-To-Back Challenger Titles In Perugia

Sumit Nagal (photo: Daniele Combi/MEF Tennis Events


Following his triumph at the Neckarcup in Heilbronn last week, Sumit Nagal of India has reached the final of the Internazionali di Tennis Città di Perugia | G.I.Ma. Tennis Cup. The No. 6 seed of the ATP Challenger Tour 125 event fought past Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-2 after two hours and 38 minutes on Saturday.

“We are friends, we’ve known each other for 8 years. He is a tough opponent, playing at a very high pace, and if you get distracted, he takes control of the points. At the end of the match today, I had a bit more, and I secured the win,” said Nagal.

Currently ranked 77th in the world, Nagal is already set to improve his best ranking by the end of the tournament, but his priority now is the trophy: “For us tennis players, it’s not just about points and rankings. I want to win this Challenger. Leaving on Sunday as a champion or as the runner-up makes a big difference in terms of motivation.”

The 26-year-old will face top seed Luciano Darderi in the singles final. The Italian defeated fourth favourite Daniel Altmaier of Germany 7-6(4), 6-3 in one hour and 46 minutes.

“The match against Altmaier was a battle, but it’s amazing to be in the final in Perugia. I reached the semifinals here the first time, last year didn’t go very well, and now I want the title. My goal is to become the first Italian to win in Perugia,” said Darderi.

Indeed, in nine editions of the ATP Challenger clay-court event, none of home favourites have been able to lift the trophy. Last year, Edoardo Lavagno lost in the final to Fabian Marozsan. The Umbrian crowd responded brilliantly on the day of the semifinals, even during the national football team’s match in the European Championship.

“I didn’t expect so many people during the football match, for me this is fantastic. Now it’s Nagal, a strong and confident opponent, but I don’t think I’m any less,” said Darderi.


Semi-Finals – Singles
Luciano Darderi (1/WC) b. Daniel Altmaier (4) 7-6(4) 6-3
Sumit Nagal (6) b. Bernabè Zapata Miralles 7-6(2) 1-6 6-2

Final – Doubles
Guido Andreozzi/Miguel Reyes-Varela (1) b. Sriram Balaji/Andre Begemann 6-4 7-5