Pressure to play qualifiers, followed by a major draw the next day, hit India’s top-ranked tennis player, Sumit Nagal, as he bowed in the first round of the ATP 500 Barcelona Open on Monday.
Nagal lost to Frenchman Pierre-Hugh Herber, a top 100 player, 5-7, 0-6, after failing to score two chances in the first set when the match was tied at 5 points and Nagal led 15-40.
The Indian then lost eight consecutive games to Herbert, who finished his men’s Grand Slam career, after winning the US Open 2015, 2016 Wimbledon, 2018 French Open and Australian Open 2019 with Nicola Mahut.
Earlier, Nagal, ranked 135th in the world, defeated Italian Thomas Fabiano 7-6 (1), 6-3 to enter the main draw.
The Barcelona Open is one of the most important events in Spanish tennis, with Rafael Nadal winning the title 11 times.