'There are fewer rivals who can beat Rafael Nadal on...', says top coach

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'There are fewer rivals who can beat Rafael Nadal on...', says top coach

Rafael Nadal wants to continue leaving his mark at every step at Wimbledon and, after returning after three years, the Spaniard will seek to accentuate the flashes of quality when he faces Ricardas Berankis this Thursday.

To do this, the Spaniard, who had only played two exhibition games in Hurlingham, knows that each game counts and his manual is still the only one he knows, "go day by day". "I have to accept the challenge and that the situation will not be perfect, but with what I have I need to find a way to move forward and every day that I manage to survive, the greater the possibility of playing better", he sentenced in the previous one.

The Balearic stressed that after the first round he has "room to improve", even though the sensations remain cautious and in line with all the Wimbledons he has played. It will be the second match between Berankis and Nadal, after meeting in Melbourne, prior to the Australian Open, and won the Spanish in two sets.

The Lithuanian, for his part, has never passed the third round of a Grand Slam and at Wimbledon his top is the second leg, which he has reached four times. Thus, Nadal will return to the central court and the Mallorcan will meet again with a bath of affection that is no coincidence.

The Spaniard has won Wimbledon twice (2008 and 2010), has reached five consecutive finals (2006-2011) and, after a thunderous 2022 that few expected, raises sighs where he steps in London — logical that Nadal already has the public to your side, cheering you on no matter where you play in the world.

Rafa Nadal is in excellent shape

Former Spanish player Francisco Roig reckons Rafael Nadal's game is better suited to beat Novak Djokovic on grass than on hardcourt. "After spending three years without playing on grass, he got ahead on the scoreboard without playing great tennis.

In the second set he played better, he did more damage with his ball. With the break up, the game got out of control, he lost the third, and in the fourth, it was complicated. But after three years without playing on grass, and in a first round, he's fine.

He had a few years in which he didn't play well on grass, but if he's doing well, there are fewer rivals who can beat him on grass than on hard courts", said Roig. “In that same way, I think he is closer to Djokovic on this surface than on fast.

(He's) difficult (to beat) on both (surfaces), but (despite) considering that he is the favourite (at Wimbledon), there are more chances to beat him here”.