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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sumit Nagal is eligible to take part in the men’s singles event at Tokyo Olympics
  • Yuki Bhambri also made the cut but he declined the berth due to an injury
  • Only Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina are confirmed entries from India for the Games

India tennis player Sumit Nagal has qualified for the men’s singles tennis event at Tokyo Olympics after a series of withdrawals due to injury issues, travel restrictions and Covid-19 concerns.

World governing body ITF has communicated to the AITA that Sumit Nagal is now eligible for the competition at the Games, according to the Press Trust of India.

Sumit Nagal was ranked 144 on June 14, when ATP rankings were to be considered for direct entries. Prajnesh Gunneswaran was ranked 148 and it remains to be seen if he also makes the cut as the deadline for accepting tennis entries is closing later in the evening on July 16.

“We have received mail from the ITF that Sumit is now eligible. They have asked for his details. We have started the process of getting him in,” an AITA official told PTI.

Several withdrawals, including the ones from top tennis stars like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, have seen the cut-off mark for men’s singles event dipping constantly.

Nagal is currently in Germany, gearing up for his main draw appearance in the ATP 500 event in Hamburg. It remains to be seen how the AITA will enable the tennis player to reach Tokyo if he agrees to avail the berth.

Tokyo Olympics: India schedule

Only Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina are certainties to represent Indian tennis at the Games. Sania used her protected rank of nine to enter the women’s doubles draw with Ankita.

Meanwhile, Yuki Bhambri, who has a Protected Ranking of 127, also qualified but he made himself unavailable after undergoing knee surgery recently in the United States.

Can Nagal enter the doubles draws in Tokyo?

If Nagal can make it to Tokyo by completing all the required formalities, it remains to be seen if he makes the doubles draw with Rohan Bopanna, who could not enter with Divij Sharan till now.

Bopanna and Sharan’s combined rank is 113 and they were still the fifth alternate recently.

ITF is giving priority to the singles players to fill the doubles draw.

Nagal’s entry would also mean that India can now have a team in the mixed doubles draw as well.

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