Sumit Nagal will play in main draw of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells for the first time.

Rafael Nadal pulling out of Indian Wells
Masters, it opened the door for Sumit Nagal to enter the main draw as the
lucky loser
. The Indian tennis player will play former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic in the opening match.

Nadal wrote on social media that he was announcing the withdrawal “with great sadness.”

“It is not an easy decision, it’s a tough one as a matter of fact, but I can’t lie to myself and lie to the thousands of fans,” Nadal said in a statement released by the tournament.

Nadal, 37, missed nearly all of 2023 season because of a hip injury that required surgery. The Spaniard briefly returned to action for three matches at the Brisbane International in early January before tearing a muscle near the hip. That forced him to bypass the Australian Open — and he has not been on tour since.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion will be replaced by Nagal in the main draw. The Indian had
lost in the final round of qualifying
to South Korea’s Seong-chan Hong. The 26-year-old had lost 6-2, 2-6, 6-7 (4-7) on Tuesday.

Nagal has had a stupendous year.
At the Australian Open he made history
by becoming the first Indian men’s singles player in a decade to advance to the second round of the Australian Open. He did so by beating a seeded opponent in Alexander Bublik. The last Indian to beat a seeded opponent in singles at a Grand Slam was Ramesh Krishnan in 1989.

He also won the Chennai ATP Challenger title and
entered the top-100 rankings
following the triumph. However, he suffered
defeats in Pune and Dubai


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