Rafael Nadal booked his place in the third round of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships on Thursday

"Far from his best but again he got the job done. One match at a time!" - Tennis fans react to Rafael Nadal's gritty 2R win at Wimbledon

Shyam Kamal
ANALYST

Rafael Nadal marched into the third round of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships on Thursday with a hard-fought win over Ricardas Berankis, continuing his unbeaten run in Slams this season.

Although he looked far from his usual best, the Spaniard kept his cool during the important moments of the game to eke out a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win. The Mallorcan had his serve broken multiple times during the course of the encounter, but managed to scrape through, thanks mainly to his brilliant return game.

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A good sign for the 22-time Grand Slam champion's loyalists is that he finished the match stronger than how he started it, sealing the clash with four unreturnable serves. The 36-year-old came back much more aggressively after a rain break in the fourth set, an approach that was sorely missing in the early stages.

Rafa Nadal d. Ricardas Berankis, aka Cardi B, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

A 16th consecutive Grand Slam match win for Nadal & his 307th overall - knocking Martina Navratilova down into 5th place on the all-time list.

Only Djokovic (330), Serena (365) and Federer (369) have won more.

To his credit, Berankis also kept up the pressure on the World No. 4, barely allowing him to relax even with a considerable lead under his belt. Thankfully, the former World No. 1 was able to draw from his vast experience to prevail over the Lithuanian and sail through to the next round.

Tennis fans on social media were mostly happy with the result, remarking that it was good to see Nadal play a competitive match early on that would give him a lot of confidence. Although users on Twitter admitted that it was not the best of showings from the 22-time Grand Slam champion, they were cautiously optimistic about his chances at SW19 this year.

Here are some of the reactions:

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"That’s how you serve out a match. Four straight unreturned serves - Nadal far from his best but again he got the job done. One match at a time!" one fan tweeted.
That’s how you serve out a match. Four straight unreturned serves - Nadal far from his best but again he got the job done. One match at a time! #Wimbledon twitter.com/wimbledon/stat…
Closing it out in style

@RafaelNadal books his place in the third round with a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Ricardas Berankis

#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100
Hope this goes all the way this year! twitter.com/wimbledon/stat…
Closing it out in style

@RafaelNadal books his place in the third round with a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Ricardas Berankis

#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100
Nadal at fourth set was totally in beast mode!
Welcome to Round
#VamosRafa twitter.com/Wimbledon/stat…
Closing it out in style

@RafaelNadal books his place in the third round with a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Ricardas Berankis

#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100
"With training time missed after the foot ablation, no grass court tennis for the last three years and history of early round struggles at Wimbledon. Survival is success for Nadal in week 1. Unsurprising and unconcerning that it hasn’t been smooth sailing," another account wrote.
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With training time missed after the foot ablation, no grass court tennis for the last three years and history of early round struggles at Wimbledon…

Survival is success for Nadal in week 1. Unsurprising and unconcerning that it hasn’t been smooth sailing.
It's so nice to see Rafa Nadal after what feels like years. He's in great form. Wouldn't you agree?
Rafael Nadal drops another set but wins in four against Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and reach the 3rd round at Wimbledon vs. Lorenzo Sonego.
"He spent months rehabilitating an injury questioning his future. On his return, he managed to win the Australian Open. He then went on to win the French Open with no feeling in his foot. He was unsure he'd make Wimbledon, and now he's into the third round," one user wrote.
He spent months rehabilitating an injury questioning his future.

On his return, he managed to win the Australian Open.

He then went on to win the French Open with no feeling in his foot.

He was unsure he'd make #Wimbledon and now he's into the third round.

Rafael Nadal
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King #Nadal grinds his way through a tough 4-setter vs #Berankis, who maintained a high level throughout the match. #Rafa still finding his form on the grass; the consistency has to return. His 4th set play was the best

64 64 46 63

R3 next vs #Sonego

#VamosRafa #Wimbledon
@RafaelNadal Yesssss Rafa!! Huge congratulations on another fighting win🏼Valuable win to have another chance to play again- every win another opportunity🥳🥳🥳Onto R3 we go!! Always a pleasure to see you play your tennis!!Take care and see you SaturdayVamos and big hug
""Not his finest performance but he does enough" about sums it up. He'll improve. We have faith," another fan tweeted.
@Wimbledon @RafaelNadal "not his finest performance but he does enough" about sums it up. He'll improve. We have faith #VamosRafa #Wimbledon2022
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@Wimbledon @RafaelNadal He is getting there , closer
Actually, he can press anyone
When he want to, anytime
He will fight till the end
He is such a beast. There’s no one like him twitter.com/wimbledon/stat…
Closing it out in style

@RafaelNadal books his place in the third round with a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Ricardas Berankis

#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100

Rafael Nadal takes on Lorenzo Sonego in the third round at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal and Lorenzo Sonego to clash in the third round at Wimbledon

Following his victory over Ricardas Berankis, Rafael Nadal will lock horns with 27th seed Lorenzo Sonego in the third round of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships. The Italian needed only three sets to dispose off Hugo Gaston in the second round, and will take on the 22-time Grand Slam champion for the first time in his career.

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No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal into the 3d round of #Wimbledon with a 6-4, 6-4,4-6, 6-3 victory over Ricardas Berankis

It won't get easier. Next match is against Lorenzo Sonego, who looks dangerous on the grass

A victory against Sonego on Saturday would pit the Mallorcan against either Richard Gasquet or 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp in the fourth round, while a potential quarterfinal clash against 11th seed Taylor Fritz awaits the World No. 4 after that.


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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
 
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