Melbourne, Jan 16 | India’s Sumit Nagal on Thursday saw his dreams of making it to the main round of the Australian Open crash as he lost his first qualifying round match against Egypt’s Mohamed Safwat.
Nagal, ranked 128. lost to World no. 172 Mohamed Safwat 6-7, 2-6 in the match that lasted for almost an hour and a half.
The match was earlier scheduled to be played on Wednesday but had to be rescheduled due to poor air quality caused by raging bushfires.
Nagal, who won the Buenos Aires ATP Challenger in September last year, had also lost in his previous appearance in an Australian Open qualifier in 2018 where Italy’s Alessandro Giannessi had defeated him 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 in the first round.
Earlier, Ramkumar Ramanathan had also crashed out of the tournament after going down to Federico Coria in the qualifiers. India’s lone woman contender Ankita Raina had also suffered a 2-6 6-7(2) defeat against Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova in the women’s qualifiers.
India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who had defeated local wild card Harry Bourchier 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday, will face Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann in the second round.