Sumit Nagal has just 900 Euros as bank balance – here’s everything you need to know about why he is hitting out at the Indian government.
India’s top-ranked singles player, Sumit Nagal, expressed his struggles in securing adequate support to excel at the highest level of tennis. He mentioned that he is using his earnings to cover travel expenses with a coach, and he doesn’t even have a physiotherapist.
Despite allocating a substantial budget of Rs one crore to sustain himself during the ATP Tour, Sumit Nagal finds himself with less than Rs 1 lakh in his bank account, leading to a sense of disappointment regarding his quality of life. While he has been training at the Nansel Tennis Academy in Germany for several years, financial constraints prevented him from training at his preferred location during the first three months of the 2023 season.
The financial struggle is a common narrative among many Indian tennis players, and the situation highlights not only the challenging system but also the tough and isolating nature of the professional tennis tour. Sumit Nagal, despite being the country’s top-ranked singles player, finds it difficult to save money for himself and his family.
To continue competing on the financially demanding ATP Tour, Nagal has invested all his earnings, including prize money, his salary from IOCL, and support from the Maha Tennis Foundation. These funds primarily cover his expenses for accommodation at the training center in Peine and travel to tournaments, often accompanied by either his coach or a physiotherapist.
Sumit Nagal has only 900 Euros remaining as bank balance
Sumit Nagal, who hails from Punjabi Bagh and is the son of a primary school teacher, faced significant off-court challenges last year. He had to undergo hip surgery and also contracted COVID multiple times, leading to doubts about whether he would ever return to competitive tennis.
For an athlete, waiting and being inactive can be extremely difficult. However, in the current year, Nagal participated in 24 tournaments and managed to earn approximately 65 lakh. His most substantial earnings came from the US Open, where he reached the first round of the Qualifiers and still received USD 22,000 (approximately Rs 18 lakh) in prize money.
Sumit Nagal expresses his frustration not only about the lack of financial support but also the absence of proper guidance for Indian singles players. He points out that India faces a deficiency in both funding and a structured system to nurture tennis talent. Nagal draws a comparison with China, which has both financial resources and potential similar to India but achieves significantly better results in international competitions like the Olympics, where they won 38 gold medals in Tokyo.
A glance at the ATP singles rankings highlights the gap between Indian players. Sumit Nagal is the highest-ranked Indian at 159, followed by Sasikumar Mukund, who is much further behind at 407. Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who is currently out of action, is at number 540, followed by Digvijay Pratap Singh at 554, and Ramkumar Ramanathan at 569. This ranking disparity underscores the challenges faced by Indian singles players in achieving higher recognition in international tennis.
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