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French Open 2024: Sumit Nagal enters Men's Doubles as alternate; to face Rohan Bopanna in first round

India's top-ranked men's singles star Sumit Nagal will partner Sebastian Ofner of Austria in the men's doubles at Roland Garros and the duo will face the world no.2 Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden in the first round on Thursday.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: May 29, 2024 19:51 IST
Rohan Bopanna and Sumit Nagal
Image Source : GETTY Rohan Bopanna and Sumit Nagal to face each other in the French Open 2024 Men's Doubles

India's top-ranked tennis ace Sumit Nagal received a surprise call-up in the Men's Doubles at the French Open 2024 on Wednesday, May 29. Nagal will partner with the top-ranked Austrian star Sebastian Ofner, ranked 45th in ATP singles, and will face the second seed Rohan Bopanna-Matthew Ebden in the first round on Thursday, May 30.

Bopanna-Ebden pair was scheduled to face Emil Ruusuvuori and Marton Fucsovics in the opening round of the Men's Doubles on Wednesday. Emil Ruusuvuori and Marton Fucsovics pulled out at the last moment and have been replaced by alternate Sumit Nagal and Sebastian Ofner.

Nagal, India's only challenge in the Men's Singles, was knocked out in the opening round by the world no.18 Karen Khachanov by 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 on Monday. Nagal remains India's best tennis player in the singles having recently achieved a career-best rankings of 80.

The 26-year-old Nagal will be competing in the doubles event at any Grand Slam tournament for the first time but faces a big challenge in the form of world no.2 Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden. Bopanna and Ebden won the Australian Open 2024, the first major for Bopanna, in January but struggled on Clay in recent ATP events.

Bopanna, 44, won the historic gold with Rutuja Bhosle in the Asian Games in Hangzhou last year and then scripted his maiden Grand Slam title (in Men's Doubles) at the Australian Open 2024. Bopanna's best outing at Roland Garros came in 2017 when he earned his first Grand Slam trophy in the Mixed Doubles with Gabriela Dabrowski. In Men's Doubles, Bopanna's best record came in 2022 when he reached the semifinals for the first time partnering Matwe Middelkoop.

Meanwhile, Nagal's new partner in Men's Doubles Sebastian Ofner is also participating in the singles. He defeated Terence Atmane in the first round in a thrilling five-set encounter and next faces no.20 seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina on Wednesday.

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