Record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal said Ricardas Berankis wasn't an easy opponent and admitted he needs to improve if he wants to make a deep Wimbledon run. On Thursday, Nadal beat 106th-ranked Berankis 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-3.
Down by two sets, Berankis started the third set with a break and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a fourth set. After losing the third set, Nadal bounced back at the start of the fourth set as he broke Berankis in the second game before serving out for the match in the ninth game.
"Every day is a challenge, that's the truth. All the opponents are difficult. We are playing against the best players of the world and especially even in these conditions, it will be more [difficult]. I didn't play much on grass for the past three years," Nadal said in his on-court interview, per the ATP website.
"Every day is an opportunity to improve and today I'm through, so that gives me the chance to keep going. [I am] very happy for that."
Nadal: I need to improve
Nadal also struggled in his Wimbledon opener as he needed four sets to beat Francisco Cerundolo.
"I need to improve. But I think the fourth set was much better. I think it was a good level of tennis in that fourth set. The serve worked much better," Nadal said. "In the end I was able to play a little bit more aggressive with the forehand.
At the beginning, it was too many mistakes, but that's a process. It's important for me to accept that things are not perfect and [that I need to] just keep working, being humble and accept the challenge." In the Wimbledon third round, Nadal faces Lorenzo Sonego.
With two matches under his belt, Nadal will certainly be looking to raise his level and clinch a more convincing win over Sonego.