2022 Wimbledon R2 Rafael Nadal bt. Ricardas Berankis 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-3
Next - Lorenzo Sonego
LONDON (Reuters) - Some days at the office are bit of a grind, even if in Rafa Nadal's case his place of work on Thursday was Wimbledon's sunny but chilly Centre Court for a match against Ricardas Berankis.
The second seed won 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-3 to reach the third round but his 307th Grand Slam match win, putting him one ahead of Martina Navratilova and fourth on the all-time list, will not linger long in his memory.
The statistics told the tale with Nadal unusually making more unforced errors than winners -- 39-35.
It was the second time in two matches that Nadal had lost the third set having won the opening two, but he responded by winning 12 of the first 13 points of the fourth for a 3-0 lead only to be stopped in his tracks when a cloudburst forced a delay as the roof was rolled across the court.
When play resumed nearly an hour later, 106th ranked Berankis held serve three times and played a full part in some eye-catching baseline exchanges but Nadal was a man in a hurry and polished off the match with his 13th ace.
The bottom half of the draw looks inviting for Nadal, with so many top seeds already removed, but Italian 27th seed Lorenzo Sonego will provide a test of his form and fitness on Saturday.
Rafael Nadal: “Every day is a challenge. All opponents are difficult, more so in these conditions.
But every day is an opportunity to improve and today I am through which gives me the opportunity to keep going so I’m very happy for that.
The fourth set was a good level of tennis, the serve worked much better and I was able to play more aggressive with the forehand.
I need to improve. But that’s the process and it’s important for me to be humble and accept the challenge.”
LONDON (Reuters) - Rafael Nadal is not taking any chances with COVID-19 and staying indoors when he is not on court, the Spaniard said on Thursday with three big names in the men's singles draw having pulled out of Wimbledon after contracting the virus.
Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut joined Croatian Marin Cilic, the former U.S. Open champion and 2017 Wimbledon runner-up, and Italian eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 final, in withdrawing from the Grand Slam. read more
Nadal, who tested positive for coronavirus at the end of last year, said he was taking extra precautions.
"No, no, no paranoia at all. Reality," he told reporters after reaching the third round with a 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over Ricardas Berankis on Thursday.
"That's the thing. A good friend of mine today had to pull out, Roberto Bautista, with another case. When this kind of stuff happens it's because probably a lot of cases are around."
The pandemic forced organisers to cancel the 2020 Wimbledon tournament but no COVID-19 restrictions are in place this year and vaccination is not mandatory for players to participate.
The All England Club has also welcomed back full capacity crowds.
"I am not doing many things. Just staying here and staying in the house, not going out at all anymore," said Nadal, who is bidding for a calendar Grand Slam after winning the Australian and French Open titles this year.
"That's part of this challenging world that we are facing the last couple of years. I am not saying that we are not doing the things the proper way because at some point we need to open everything again, we need to be free, have a normal life.
"It looks like now the COVID is less dangerous in terms of creating very dangerous health problems. At the same time, when you open, these kind of things can happen."
Photos: Getty Images; REUTERS; REX
• Last game & On-court interview
• Press conference