22-year-old Nagal, who is currently placed at 190th in the world rankings, was making his Grand Slam debut against Federer at the Arthur Ashe stadium in New York.
The player, hailing from Haryana state, had the eyes of Indians glued to TV sets after beating his “idol” Federer 6-4 in the opening set of the match. However, the Swiss legend bounced back quickly, winning the next three sets 6-1, 6-2, and 6-4 to progress to the second round of the US Open for the 19th time in a row.
As Nagal became the first ever Indian to win a set off Federer in a Grand Slam, the twitterati were ecstatic at the feat. Heaps of praise poured in over Nagal, who is only the fifth Indian male player to feature in a Grand Slam singles main draw this decade.
The 22 yo Indian,first time qualifier to US Open, facing Roger Federer in first match itself, wins first set 6-4 !!— Sreenivas Bidari🇮🇳 (@BidariSreenivas) 27 August 2019
Bravo Sumit Nagal 💐🌟
He won first set 6-4 pic.twitter.com/pD3vUMZ5hs
What a news to start the day with. This is already a big achievement , irrespective of the final result.— Roshan Rai (@RoshanKrRai) 27 August 2019
Any win against Federer is a confidence booster— Indira Deepak (@Indira19240204) 27 August 2019
This is huge. In fact more than that.— प्रशांत पाटील (@prashant_pash46) 27 August 2019
For most Indians Roger is King and person to watch for in major #GrandSlam but fellow Indian is giving tough fight which is mesmerising as an Indian.@usopen #NagalvsFederar @nagalsumit go well champ🇮🇳@KirenRijiju
1st set Won👍
It's an achievement by itself to win a set against great Federer. We have talent but need to harness it. Wish Nagal success in future. Keep the Indian flag flying high.— Sanjay Singh (@sanjay33194) 27 August 2019
In his earlier interviews, Nagal has often stated that he looks up to the 38-year-old Federer as his role model and idol. The Haryana player had an unsuccessful 2018, when he was marred with injuries and was placed outside 300 in Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Rankings. However, in 2019 Nagal managed to pull up his socks and break into the top 200 of the ATP rankings.