Rafael Nadal had to work hard to clear the first two hurdles 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 level. He struggled to impose his shots and defend his second serve more efficiently. However, Rafa did enough to seal the deal in four sets and stay on track for the title. Nadal lost serve twice and delivered four breaks in 16 chances.
He upped his game in the second half of the game and finished with 34 winners and 39 unforced errors, playing more aggressively than in the early going. Rafa could not find his blows in the first goal. Still, he did enough to keep the opening shot safe after fending off a lone break point.
Berankis survived a break point in the eighth game with a forehand winner to close out 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 defeated Ricardas Berankis in four sets at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard was broken at 15 in the third game of the second set and fell 3-1 when the Lithuanian saved break points in the next.
Rafa fell back in game six after Ricardas’s wayward backhand and missed more opportunities to move in front at 4-3. Berankis served to stay in the set at 4-5 and experienced more trouble. He fended off three set points before Nadal converted the fourth with a forced error to open up a 6-4, 6-4 lead despite playing well below his best.
Berankis grabbed a break early in the third set on a backhand cross shot and served well to hold the lead. He stayed level in the tenth game with a service winner to close out the set and force the fourth. Nadal claimed 12 of the first 13 points to carve out a 3-0 lead before rain washed them off the court.
They continued indoors, with both players serving well to stay within a break deficit. Nadal served for the win at 5-3 and fired three service winners for match points. He capitalized on the first with an ace to seal the win and find himself in the third round.