Tokyo Olympics 2021 Tennis: Daniil Medvedev vs Sumit Nagal: Preview and Prediction

World number 2 Daniil Medvedev sets up a tricky clash against India’s Sumit Nagal in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics 2021.  

Match Details: 

Men’s Singles Second Round
Date: 26th July
Time: TBD
Venue: Ariake Tennis Park

Daniil Medvedev vs Sumit Nagal: H2H

This is the first meeting between both the players. 

Sumit Nagal vs Daniil Medvedev
Sumit Nagal and Daniil Medvedev. Image Credits - Associated Press (AP)

Key Insights:

  • Both Medvedev and Nagal are playing their first-ever Olympics.
  • Nagal became the first Indian male singles player to win an Olympics match after 25 years. Leander Paes was the last Indian player to do that in the 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta.
  • Daniil Medvedev has an impressive 18-3 win-loss record on hard courts this season.
  • Both Nagal and Medvedev are right-handers with two-handed backhands.

Will the extreme heat affect Daniil Medvedev in the Tokyo Olympics?

Medvedev batted past Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik 6-4 7-6(8) in the first round. 

“This is the first tournament where I feel like I will die on the court to win, there will be cramps and heat illnesses in Tokyo but I am not criticizing anyone because ultimately tennis is always a struggle against yourself,” said the Russian looking forward to playing despite the soaring heat.

The second seed also requested the organizers to push the matches till the evening. This will help the players cope up with the humid and sweaty conditions.

“I don't think they are going to change the schedule in the middle of the tournament, but that is what can be done and the fact we have only one minute between changeovers is a joke, I think if you ask 200 tennis players here, I think 195 will say one minute is a joke and it should be 1:30 like it is in Asian tournaments,” reflected Medvedev urging the Tokyo organizers to consider the welfare of the contesting players. 

Medvedev smashed 11 aces against Bublik in the opening round. The Russian landed 97% of his second serves in (32/33) which could make a huge difference against Nagal. He will be a bit concerned having hit only 2 winners of his forehand and his unforced error count of 21. 

Will Sumit Nagal continue his dream run?

Nagal survived a 2-hour 34-minute encounter against the World number 197 Denis Istomin. The Indian was in full control after leading 6-4 4-1. However, some poor serving and unforced errors cost him the second set 6-7(6). 

A crucial break of serve in the third set helped Sumit Nagal. The World number 160 finally won his debut match at the Olympics 6-4 6-7(6) 6-4.

Nagal is no stranger to meeting big players. He has already faced some stars like Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, and Dominic Thiem on the ATP Tour. However, it will be a tough task to handle Medvedev’s unorthodox game. The Russian has a strong serve and can close out matches quickly. 

Image Credits - First Sportz

Sumit Nagal will be worried after committing 9 double faults against Istomin in the first round. The Indian was sharp at the net winning all 10 points.  However, he cannot afford to repeat his high unforced error count of 56 against the World number 2.

Wrapping Up

Expect Medvedev to lose a set due to his discomfort with the hot conditions. This match will be a physical battle as Nagal’s relentless running will take on the Russian’s athleticism. The Indian’s inside-out forehand is in better shape at the moment and he can do some damage. 

The second seed would also be acclimatized with the temperatures as he will also play doubles with his compatriot Aslan Karatsev. The Russian duo will face the Slovakian pair of Filip Polasek/ Lukas Klein in the first round.

Daniil Medvedev’s experience at the big stage and fighting spirit will help him overcome Sumit Nagal. The World number 2 has thrived on hard courts in 2021 and he will continue to march on. 

 Prediction: Daniil Medvedev to win in three sets against Sumit Nagal in the second round of Tokyo Olympics 2021. 

Featured Image Credits - Getty Images
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