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Challenger

Nagal's Historic 5th Challenger Title

Walton, Mpetshi Perricard also triumph
February 12, 2024
Sumit Nagal wins the Chennai Open.
Siddharth Sundar
Sumit Nagal wins the Chennai Open. By ATP Staff

Sumit Nagal was among a trio of players who triumphed Sunday on the ATP Challenger Tour and propelled to a career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking following their title. The 26-year-old Nagal became the first Indian to crack the Top 100 since 2019 while Adam Walton and Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard also hit new milestones.

Nagal did not drop a set all week en route to winning on home soil at the Chennai Open, where he downed Italian Luca Nardi 6-1, 6-4 in a final, which doubled as a Top 100 guarantee for either winner.

Nagal rose 23 spots in Monday's Pepperstone ATP Rankings to become World No. 98, becoming just the 10th Indian to reach the Top 100.

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"To be able to do this in front of the Indian crowd, I don't think I could've asked for a better place," Nagal said. "In front of my fitness trainer Milos Galecic, Somdev [Devvarman], who has been a second coach on my team and an inspiration to me. [Top 100] is a goal I've been chasing because of his ranking." 

A five-time Challenger champion, Nagal last month qualified for the Australian Open and made a second-round appearance after upsetting 31st Alexander Bublik in the opening round. Nagal made history in Melbourne, becoming the first Indian to beat a seeded player at a major since 1989.

The Australian Walton also won an ATP Challenger Tour title on home soil Sunday, overcoming countryman Dane Sweeny 6-2, 7-6(4) in the HCi Burnie International 2 final.

<a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/adam-walton/w09e/overview'>Adam Walton</a> wins the ATP Challenger 75 event in Burnie, Australia.
Adam Walton wins the ATP Challenger 75 event in Burnie, Australia. Credit: Tennis Australia

Walton, 24, turned pro in 2022 after a standout career at the University of Tennessee, where he was a two-time ITA All-American. The Home Hill native, who last month was a wild card at the Australian Open, earned his second Challenger crown in Burnie after winning in Cary, North Carolina last August. Walton is at a career-high No. 153 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Frenchman Mpetshi Perricard claimed his second Challenger trophy at the Lexus Nottingham Challenger, where he ousted home hope Matteo Martineau 7-6(2), 6-4 in the final. The 6’8” Mpetshi Perricard hammered 67 aces across five matches and rose to a career-high No. 164 following his title run.

“It’s good to win a second one. It was not a perfect January for me, so I came here with not a lot of confidence,” Mpetshi Perricard said. “I’m very proud of myself to win this week.”

<a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/giovanni-mpetshi-perricard/m0gz/overview'>Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard</a> wins the ATP Challenger 75 event in Nottingham, Great Britain.
Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard wins the ATP Challenger 75 event in Nottingham, Great Britain. Credit: Jan Koscielski

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