‘WE’VE MADE HISTORY’
In an online interview with Tehelka, Sumit Nagal talks about his triumph and its aftereffects.
How did you feel after the Wimbledon win?
I am super happy that we won the title. Coming from such a big country and seeing few people doing well, it just feels great. And to be honest, I feel even happier because my doubles partner (Nam Haong Ly) is first the Vietnamese ever to win such a title. In that sense, we made history and my name will be there, so nothing can beat that feeling.
How bad is the infrastructure in India that you have been forced to train in Germany?
It’s been like this for many years. I don’t think it is very easy to change, so we have to accept and go with it.
From a sponsorship standpoint, how has the win helped you?
This win was important for me. But I still have not got money from anyone. Tennis is an expensive sport and hope someday I will get some fundings.
Which players do you look up to?
I look up to Rafael Nadal, he is just amazing. His hunger, attitude and humility is crazy.
India has not produced quality single players since the days of Vijay Amritraj. What’s your take on that?
We lack a lot of things in tennis — sponsors, facilities, good courts, coaches etc. It is very difficult to flourish in these circumstances..
Where do you see yourself as a Doubles?
I am focusing on singles. My first priority is going to be singles as it has always been.
How difficult has it been to manage studies and tennis during this time?
It was pretty tough but I managed somehow. I finished my 12th and I am happy with it.
What are your next goals?
My immediate goal is to play the French open qualifier by next year.
How did you find a Vietnamese player as your partner?
He just asked me on Facebook if I wanted to play doubles with him and I said: “ I will ask my coach and let you know.”
Who will be your partner in the US Open?
If I play the US Open, then definitely he will be my partner. We play pretty well together.
How do you find your support from your family?
My family is always there with me no matter what happens. They will always support me. I always want to make them proud one day. Before anything else, my family comes first.