‘Rafael Nadal is a phenomenon and an idol of mine,’ says rising Indian star Sumit Nagal

Indian ace Sumit Nagal has named ‘phenomenon’ Rafael Nadal as one of his tennis idols, alongside David Ferrer.

Nagal, the world number 150, scored the biggest win of his career to date this week when he beat Cristian Garin in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals of the Argentinian Open.

It was most notable for the fact it came on clay, which is arguably his weakest surface.

“I love watching Rafael Nadal play,” Sumit Nagal told the Argentinian Open website after impressively dismissing world number 22 Garin.

“He is one of the players that I see play the most, but I also loved to appreciate every movement of David Ferrer – how he moved, his shots, his mentality, how hungry he was, his competitive instinct. Everything. They are my top two idols.”

Although Nagal is well-known in India and commands an impressive following, he is often noticed first by international fans because of how similar his name is to that of Nadal’s.

He, though, has respectfully requested people don’t make any kind of comparison.

“They can’t compare me to Rafael Nadal,” Nagal said. “He is a phenomenon on and off the court.

“Those who compare me [to him] amuse me because it doesn’t make any sense.”

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