Youngster Sumit Nagal entered the history books as only sixth Indian to win a Grand Slam junior title after winning the boys doubles trophy at the Wimbledon championships with partner Nam Hoang Ly on Sunday. Seventeen-year-old Nagal and his eighth seed Vietnamese partner overcame the fourth seeds Reilly Opelka and Akira Santillan 7 -6(4) 6-4 in the title clash that lasted 63 minutes.
Yuki Bhambri was the last Indian to taste success at the top level in junior tennis when he won the Australian Open boys singles title in 2009. Ramanathan Krishnan (Wimbledon, 1954), Ramesh Krishnan (French Open and Wimbledon, 1979) and Leander Paes (Wimbledon 1990, U.S. Open 1991) are the other junior Grand Slam singles champions from India.
Sania Mirza had won the Wimbledon girls doubles title in 2003 with Russian partner Alisa Kleybanova. There was little to separate the two pairs as the winners won 65 points, only three more than their rivals. Nagal and his partner broke their opponents in the 10th game of the second set and that proved decisive in the outcome of the match.
"Bhupathi deserves all credit"
An ecstatic Suresh Nagal was finding it difficult to express his delight in words after learning his son Sumit's triumph in the final of the Wimbledon's junior boys' doubles and dedicated the success to Mahesh Bhupathi, who has been a mentor for the 17-year-old.
"Sumit started playing tennis from the age of seven years. The local coach told me that my son is very talented and should get formal coaching as he has the ability to go far. Then at the age of 10 years, he was spotted by Mahesh Bhupathi and he went to his academy after that. Whatever Sumit has achieved is because of Mahesh. Mahesh is like God to us," Nagal senior told NDTV today.
"We are very ordinary people and had Mahesh not been there, we would have found it extremely difficult to afford the expenses of taking up a game like tennis. Mahesh took care of his coaching, his expenses, planning part as to what are the tournaments he should be playing and how he should be training and everything," said the proud father.
Asked as to who has been Sumit's idol, Nagal senior said that his son looks up to Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic. "His idol has been Novak Djokovic and he draws inspiration from his performances," he said.