India needs to create a structure to produce top players in tennis, Sumit Nagal, the country's second-highest ranked men's singles player who has been awarded a wild card for next week's Australian Open, said on Tuesday."We have a long way to go. We need a structure, first. I think you must have heard a lot of people say that we don't have have a structure in India right now where we can create players who can perform at a high level," said Nagal when asked about when India would produce players who could break into the world's top 10 in singles, in a virtual interaction with the media.
"I was talking about this with my coach last [Monday] night and I have a feeling that I will play a top-10 player. It's my gut feeling. Let's see what happens," he said.
Nagal, who is ranked second behind Prajnesh Gunneswaran in India, said he is looking to copy Thiem as much as possible. "To try to match what [Roger] Federer does is very, very difficult. What I have learnt from him is how he understands himself and how he reads games. He will never make the same mistake twice, he is that good," he said.
Nagal faced Austrian world No.3 Dominic Thiem and Swiss great Federer in his last two outings at the US Open.
"I felt I could learn a lot from Thiem. I would like to play the way he plays. He has got a very good back hand, serves well and has a good forehand. His intensity in his movements are really high. That's something I would love to have in my game and to be honest I am trying to copy him a lot," he said.