Date: 20 January 2022
Tournament: Australian Open 2022
Round: Second round (Round of 64)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: $75,000,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Six, Sony Liv
Andrey Rublev vs Ricardas Berankis preview
Fifth seed Andrey Rublev will continue his bid for a maiden Grand Slam title against Ricardas Berankis in the second round of the 2022 Australian Open on Thursday.
Rublev played a flawless opening-round match against Gianluca Mager, dispatching the Italian 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. The Russian showed no signs of rust in his first match of the season and was dialed in from the start.
The 24-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 in December which hampered his preparations for the Australian swing. But given the level of tennis he displayed against Mager, it appears like he's back to his best.
Rublev reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open for the first time last year and will be hoping to go even further this time around.
Ricardas Berankis had to dig deep against Roberto Carballes Baena, but managed to come away with a 6-1, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in their first-round clash. After going down two sets to one, he stepped up his game and staged a successful comeback to reach the second round of the Australian Open for the third consecutive year.
Berankis' best showing at the tournament was a third-round finish in 2011 and 2013. The 31-year-old will be aiming to repeat the feat this time around.
Andrey Rublev vs Ricardas Berankis head-to-head
The two have played against each other once before, with Rublev leading 1-0 in the head-to-head. The Russian defeated the Lithuanian 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1 at the 2019 St. Peterburg Open.
Andrey Rublev vs Ricardas Berankis prediction
Rublev will be the overwhelming favorite to win this contest. He was simply magnificent in the opening round, hitting 31 winners and committing just 13 unforced errors. He also served 13 aces, and won 81% of his first-serve points.
Berankis will need to find a way to keep pace with the World No. 6. The Lithuanian is a solid baseliner but lacks any real weapons to trouble a player of Rublev's caliber. He has just two wins against top-10 opponents, the last one coming in 2016.
Given how easily Rublev dismantled Mager in the first round, it would take a brave man to bet against the Russian.
Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win in straight sets.
Also check out: Australian Open 2022 Schedule of Play