Sumit Nagal justifies decision to miss Davis Cup match

Indian Tennis Star Sumit Nagal Withdraws from Davis Cup Match in Pakistan, Defends Decision

In late November, news broke that India’s top men’s singles player, Sumit Nagal, had informed the All India Tennis Association (AITA) of his decision not to participate in the upcoming Davis Cup Group I play-off tie in Pakistan. Joining him in this decision was India’s next best player, Sasi Mukund. Nagal, who is currently ranked 138th in the ATP chart, reportedly cited the unsuitability of the grass courts on which the matches will be held as the reason for his withdrawal.

The announcement from Nagal and Mukund drew criticism from AITA secretary general Anil Dhupar, who expressed his disapproval, stating, “This is wrong. When it’s a question of serving the country why would you not do it? I have put the matter in the hands of the Executive Committee. There is no choice for players if they want to represent India.”

However, Nagal, in an interview with the Hindustan Times, defended his decision by highlighting that many renowned players in the sport, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, have made the choice to skip the Davis Cup on multiple occasions. He emphasized the personal preferences of players and pointed out that even some of the greatest players did not participate in the Davis Cup for years without it reflecting negatively on their abilities or character: “I think having the old Davis Cup format was much more fun for everyone. I do understand from both sides, sometimes a week can change your life on tour. Everyone has their personal preferences. Roger, Rafa and Djoko and many many more didn’t play Davis Cup for years and years but that doesn’t make them a bad player or a bad person. I am sure they have their reasons as well.”

In addition to the Davis Cup controversy, Nagal shared insights on his participation in the Tennis Premier League. Despite facing financial hardships earlier in the year, the 26-year-old player has once again showcased his talent and resilience, winning the Garden Open in Rome in April and the Tampere Challenger in Finland in July. He also expressed his excitement about being the most expensive player in the Tennis Premier League, with the Gujarat Panthers recruiting him for 18.5 lakhs. He praised the league for its efforts in supporting tennis in India, acknowledging the challenges of obtaining funding for the sport.

The Tennis Premier League is set to commence on December 12, and Nagal’s team, the Gujarat Panthers, will kick off their campaign against the Mumbai Leon Army on the same day. With his recent victories and strong commitment to the sport, Nagal’s participation in the league is highly anticipated.

As the controversy surrounding his decision to withdraw from the Davis Cup continues to garner attention and debate, Sumit Nagal remains focused on his upcoming matches and endeavors, eager to contribute to the growth of tennis in India through his participation in the Tennis Premier League.