Rafael Nadal had to work hard to pass the opening two obstacles at Wimbledon. A 22-time Major winner defeated Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in three hours and four minutes to enter the last 32 for the 11th time at the All England Club.
The Spaniard played far from his best. He struggled to impose his strokes and defend his second serve more efficiently. However, Rafa did enough to seal the deal in four sets and remain on the title course. Nadal lost serve twice and delivered four breaks from 16 opportunities.
He raised his level in the second part of the match and finished with 34 winners and 39 unforced errors, playing more aggressively than in the early stages. Rafa could not find his strokes in the opener. Still, he did enough to keep the initial shot safe after fending off a lone break point.
Berankis survived a break point in game eight with a forehand winner to lock the result at 4-4. Nadal held at 15 in game nine and grabbed a break a few minutes later after Berankis’ loose backhand for 6-4.
Rafael Nadal took down Ricardas Berankis in four sets at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard got broken at 15 in the second set’s third game and fell 3-1 behind when the Lithuanian saved break points in the next one.
Rafa broke back in game six after Ricardas’ wayward backhand and missed more chances to move in front at 4-3. Berankis served to stay in the set at 4-5 and experienced more troubles. He fended off three set points before Nadal seized the fourth with a forced error to open a 6-4, 6-4 lead despite playing miles below his best.
Berankis grabbed an early break in the third set with a backhand crosscourt bullet and served well to keep the advantage. He held at love in game ten with a service winner to wrap up the set and force the fourth. Nadal claimed 12 of the opening 13 points to forge a 3-0 advantage before the rain sent them away from the court.
They continued under a roof, and both players served well to remain within one break deficit. Nadal served for the victory at 5-3 and fired three service winners for match points. He seized the first with an ace to wrap up the triumph and find himself in the third round.