World number 106 Ricardas Berankis described Rafael Nadal's 2022 season as "incredible" and admitted that it will be extremely difficult to play against the Spaniard at Wimbledon. In the second round at Wimbledon, Berankis will face Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion.
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's always special to play at Wimbledon," Berankis told the ATP website.
"It's the place where tennis started. England, the grass courts. It's a very special feeling. Being able to play in these tournaments against players [like] Rafa is a dream come true. I am looking forward to the match. Rafa's season has been incredible.
The Grand Slams, in Australia and Paris. It's really impressive what he's doing." Berankis and Nadal will meet for the second time in the second round at Wimbledon. Earlier this year, Nadal defeated Berankis 6-2 7-5 in the Melbourne Summer Set.
Berankis stressed that high-level players like Nadal don't give you anything for free and pointed out that he will have to go out on the court and try to win. Furthermore, Berankis said that he will have to be focused from the start and added that he cannot allow Nadal to impose his game and pace on him.
"It's going to be tough. When you get on the court to play against the best, the speed is different," added Berankis.
Roig speaks about Rafa Nadal
Commenting on Rafael Nadal's grasscourt game, Francisco Roig said that his compatriot is more vulnerable on hardcourt than on grass.
"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”. Before his first-round clash against Cerundolo on Tuesday, Rafael Nadal's last match at Wimbledon was against his good friend and arch-rival Roger Federer in the 2019 semifinals.
"You have no choice but to be aggressive at certain times, and that helps him," Roig said. "Against Federer he was too conservative last year, in 2019. I told him: 'if Federer hits you four flat backhands in a row we won't win, but if you make him cut the ball ... you have a lot of chances of victory.' "