Tennis player Sumit Nagal on Tuesday said that living in a bio-bubble is not easy for any player, and the situation can get taxing if the situation continues for longer.He also said that he can understand some players pulling out of Grand Slams going ahead as they would like to spend some more time with their families rather than being locked in a bio-bubble.
“It is different for each player. There are players who are a little older and who have families, probably got kids coming into the tennis tournament, when they come to play a tournament, probably they would want to visit the city and go out. I can understand those type of players pulling out of Grand Slams, I do not think it is easy, you can do it for a time frame but to do it for eight-nine months, it is not easy. I believe it is not easy for anyone, irrespective of his rank,” said Nagal while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
For some time, tennis has been dominated by the ‘Big Three’ — Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal, but finally a star outside the Big Three managed to win a Grand Slam as Dominic Theim lifted the US Open title in 2020.
On being asked by ANI whether we could expect players outside the Big Three to win more Grand Slams going ahead, Nagal said: “Tennis is a sport where anything can happen, to me if someone wins from the Top 3, it would not be a surprise as well.”
On his preparation for the Australian Open, Nagal said: “It is the same situation for everyone, for me, I would have liked to play some more tournaments, but unfortunately I had to end my last season a month earlier. There is nothing I can change, I am trying to practice as much as possible. I have a gut feeling that I am going to play someone who is ranked in the top-ten. I think I was lucky enough that our flight had no Covid cases, I would call myself lucky that I got to practice or be out of my room for five hours a day.”
Some tennis players were asked to be in hard quarantine before the Australian Open in Melbourne as their flights resulted in some positive COVID-19 cases. However, Nagal opined that players who were in strict quarantine would not be at any disadvantage as there is still one week before the Australian Open starts.
“I do not think that players who were in strict quarantine will be at disadvantage, everyone is going to have a week before the Australian Open starts. They are going to have eight-nine days, they are going to catch up. They also have first priority to everything, which is fair enough, nobody is questioning about that,” said Nagal.
Nagal has played against the likes of Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem in the past. The Indian tennis star believes that he has learnt a lot by playing against the top players in the world and he would like to play in the same manner Thiem does.
“To try to match what Federer does is very difficult. What I learnt from him is how he understands himself and how he reads the game. He will never make the same mistake twice, I felt that I learnt more when I played against Dominic Thiem. I would like to play the way Thiem plays, he is serving very smart, he has got a good forehand, I would love to have that in my game,” said Nagal.
On Monday, Nagal did not get off to an ideal start in 2021 as he faced an opening round defeat in the Murray River Open. He lost in straight sets 2-6, 2-6 to Ricardas Berankis.
Now, the Indian star would be seen in the Australian Open. Australian Open 2021 will be aired live on SONY SIX, SONY TEN 2, and SONY TEN 3 (in Hindi) channels from February 8, 2021