The highest ranked Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal overcame the difficult challenge from the Ukrainian Iliya Marchenko 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the qualification of the ATP 500 Barcelona Open to be one step away from the main scheme of the tournament.
The 136th Nagal, who is aiming to enter the top 100 in the ATP rankings, will now take the Italian Thomas Fabiano for a place in the main draw of the tournament, which is one of the most important events in Spanish tennis.
The Spaniard Rafael Nadal, the joint Grand Slam record holder with Roger Federer with 20 titles each, won 11 trophies at the Barcelona Open.
Although he is ranked higher than his ATP opponent, Nagal (136th) cannot easily accept Fabiano (171st), as the 31-year-old Italian had a single ranking of 70 in 2017 and two times reached the third round of Wimbledon, in 2018 and 19.
Nagal has been playing in Europe for more than a month, but has not been very successful. The Indian had to bite the dust in the initial qualifying round of the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters, recently descending to the Italian Stefano Travalla.
Nagal also lost in the opening round of the ATP 250 Sardegna Open in Cagliari, Italy to his Slovak counterpart Josef Kovalik earlier this month after winning two qualifying rounds.