Sumit Nagal, the 136th-ranked from India will be up against world number 128 Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia in the first round of the 2021 Sardegna Open on Tuesday, April 6. Get the live streaming options of this Sumit Nagal v Jozef Kovalik match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Sumit Nagal v Jozef Kovalik Head to Head
No previous matches have been played between Nagal and Kovalik before this.
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Nagal Showing an Uptick in Performances
After starting out the season on an underwhelming note, Nagal’s recent performances would have given his fans something to cheer about.
Following his first round exits at both, the Murray River Open and the Australian Open, Nagal failed to qualify for the Cordoba Open where he lost in the opening qualifying round.
From there on, however, the turnaround has been stark. Starting out as a qualifier in Buenos Aires as well, Nagal needed three wins to make it to the main draw there. And the Indian then overcame Joao Sousa and shocked Cristian Garin in the first two rounds to make it to the quarterfinal.
He followed that up with another quarterfinal appearance at the Zadar Challenger, losing to Nerman Fatic in a fighting three-setter. And now coming into this tournament, Nagal has already crushed both his qualifier opponents to make it to the main draw.
Can he go further than that here as well?
Clay Court Specialist Kovalik Hoping to Break Streak
Kovalik was a quarterfinalist at the Cordoba Open earlier this year but on either side of that solid result, he has struggled to win too many main draw matches.
There have appearances at the quarterfinal and semifinal of two Challenger competitions for Kovalik – both in Turkey – but a failure to qualify for the Buenos Aires, and first round losses at the Santiago Open and the Santiago Challenger have been puzzling.
The good news is Kovalik managed to come through the qualifiers in this competition, overcoming Malek Jaziri in the first and then edging out Matteo Viola in a third set tie-breaker.
With form not by his side, Kovalik will look to dig deep and look back at his showing on clay before this. All of Slovak’s five Challenger titles have come on this surface, including two in 2019 before he attempted to feature a lot more on the ATP circuit.
Nagal v Kovalik Prediction and Tip
Nagal looks to be more in rhythm between the two players and starts off a favourite at 4/7 to make it to the second round. Backing him to win this one.
Tip: Nagal to win: 4/7 (bet365)