‘The Federer match taught me how to control my nerves’
Post the high of stretching Roger Federer in the US Open and a tweet from Virat Kohli, Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal is back to chasing his goal — to crack the top 100
Ad ay after hi s match against Roger Federer, 22-year- old Sumit Nagal spoke from his hotel room in New York. Living out of his suitcase has become a way of life for the young Indian, who practices in Germany at the Nensel Academy. As he spoke on the phone, his bags were packed and he was set to leave the city he loves for a Challenger tournament in Italy.
Sharing what was going on in his mind after his first set win, Nagal said, “Yeah, I thought for a bit that I could win the match. I thought it could be a five-set match and anything can happen. When I sit back and look, there were times here and there where I stepped away from
the tactical plan. I think we all learn from mistakes. I hope I do too.”
After the biggest match of his career, the Delhi lad chose to just go away to his corner. “I did not want to speak. My trainer, my coach, the team who were supporting me came. But other than that, I went for a shower, got a massage, did my usual things and got back home to my room,” Nagal said.
A t weet f rom I ndian cricket captain Virat Kohli, whose foundation supports Nagal, boosted his confidence.
“I have not spoken to him [Kohli] much,” Nagal said. “When I was selected for the scholarship by his foundation, he said, ‘Congrats’ and I said, ‘Thank you’. I do my thing and he does his thing. The tweet about him being on my side instead of Federer’s was motivating for me. Many people asked me about it and it was a great
Copycat tips: gesture for which I am very thankful,” Nagal said, knowing Kohli is a fan of Federer.
Preparations to play the winner of 20 Majors in the huge Arthur Ashe Stadium were the usual for the World No 190. “I knew that I was playing Federer and all. But you still do your routine. I did not do anything different, nothing. I did my warm ups, everything similar, the usual,” said Nagal, whose immediate goal is to crack the top 100.
Making t he first round of the US Open main draw pays players $ 58,000. Nagal says it will be spent quickly, given the costs involved in a tennis player’s life. “It is not like it is a million. It is $ 58,000, which all goes back,” he says. “A week here [New York)] costs you at least $ 3,000 to $ 5,000. I have been here for eight to 10 weeks. It goes away fast, personally.”
Nagal added, “The US Open has been a special Grand Slam for me. This was the f i rst junior Slam I qualified for. I have a lot of friends here. What I learnt from the Federer match? I’d say it is how to control your nerves, t hink and play each point rather t han t he whole set. I learnt how to put pressure, use some tactical play.”
“The Chinese don’t have a word for ‘calories’,” says Chinese food expert Lorraine Clissold.
They view food as nourishment, eat three meals a day and stop eating when they feel satisfied. Chinese medicine also prescribes foods as medical treatments. Copycat tips: Eat more soup — a soup-based dish is present at every Chinese meal, and miso soup, for instance, contains filling nutrients. “Think of vegetables as meals in their own right, rather than an uninspiring accompaniment,” says Clissold. Finally, swap your usual cup for green tea. Green tea eliminates toxins, aids digestion and allays hunger.
quitting drink and cigarettes, say psychologists in the journal PLOS Medicine. Have leisurely, seated mealtimes. Turn your phone off and enjoy the company of friends and family. Take a stroll, or a ‘passeggiata’, after dinner. “Ultimately, it’s all about cherishing the simple things in life that truly bring peace,” Anushka Sharma wrote in a tweet
“Congratulations to @nagalsumit for qualifying for the #USOpen,” Virat Kohli had tweeted
Sumit Nagal had a dream Grand Slam debut on August 27, as he played against Roger Federer