Australian Open 2021: Sumit Nagal, Andy Murray earn wild-card entries
Sumit Nagal hails from Haryana and plays in the ATP World Tour circuit. He is currently ranked 130 in singles and has featured in the 2019 and 2020 US Open's main draw. Australian Open would mark his third prominent draw appearance of a Grand Slam.
Rising Indian tennis sensation Sumit Nagal has earned a wild-card entry into the 2021 Australian Open draw. It would mark his second main draw entry into a Grand Slam.
Nagal had previously featured in the main draw of the 2019 and 2020 US Open. This year, he made it to the second round of the tournament, where he lost to eventual champion, Dominic Thiem of Austria.
Nagal, along with Wang Xiyu of China, would now compete in the AO's opening round, next year. Among the other wild-card entrants were Daria Gavrilova, Astra Sharma, Christopher O'Connell, Maddison Inglis, Lizette Cabrera, and Marc Polmans.
Following the wild-card entry, Nagal sent out a tweet, thanking the persons concerned with the entry, besides thanking Tennis Australia for conducting the event under challenging circumstances. "I am very thankful to all the people who put effort in helping me get a wild card for the 2021 Australian Open. Thanks to Tennis Australia for all their effort to make this slam possible in these circumstances," he wrote in his tweet.
Besides Nagal, former world number one, Andy Murray of Great Britain, too, was handed a wild-card entry. He is one of the eight marquee player recipients of the wild-card, as he joins Australians, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Alex Bolt, Aleksandar Vukic, Destanee Aiava and Arina Rodionova.
"We welcome Andy back to Melbourne with open arms. As a five-time finalist, he has been an integral part of so many amazing matches and storylines in the recent history of the Australian Open. His retirement was an emotional moment and seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and built himself back up to get onto the tour again, will be a highlight of AO 2021," said Craig Tiley, AO's tournament director.
The 2021 AO would be the 109th edition of the tournament. It would be played between February 8-21, outside its usual January dates, owing to delay in preparations due to Australia's COVID-19 regulations.