World No. 106 Ricardas Berankis described Rafael Nadal's 2022 season as "incredible" and admitted it will be extremely hard playing the Spaniard at Wimbledon.
In the Wimbledon second round, Berankis is set to face record 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal.
Berankis, a former top-50 player who has never reached a Wimbledon third round, says playing a tennis great like Nadal at Wimbledon is something every player dreams of.
“It is always special to play at Wimbledon,” Berankis told the ATP website. “It is where tennis started. England, grass courts. It is a very special feeling. To be able to play in these tournaments against players [like] Rafa is a dream come true. I am really looking forward to the match. Rafa’s season has been unbelievable. The Grand Slams, in Australia and Paris. It is really impressive what he is doing.”
Berankis aims to shock Nadal
Berankis and Nadal will be going head-to-head for the second time when they meet in the Wimbledon second round.
Earlier this year, Nadal handed Berankis a 6-2 7-5 loss at the Melbourne Summer Set.
Berankis underlined that top players like Nadal give you nothing and noted he will have to go out there and try to earn victory.
Also, Berankis said he will have to be focused right from the start and added he simply cannot allow Nadal to impose his game and rhythm.
“It is going to be tough. When you step on court to play against the top guys, the speed is different,” Berankis added. “The speed and consistency from the top players is always the same. They don’t make mistakes. You need to win the point yourself to have any chance, they give nothing to you. I think to keep the concentration is the hardest part and more important. When we played in Australia, I stepped on court in my first match against him and I woke up and was already 1-4 down. You need to be on it right from the beginning as you won’t get gifts.”
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