Nadal cruises past Berankis to reach Wimbledon last 32

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Rafael Nadal | AP

London: Rafael Nadal overcame another mid-match lapse to defeat Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis in four sets and reach the Wimbledon third round for the 11th time on Thursday.

Two-time champion Nadal triumphed 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to see off his 106th-ranked opponent.

The Spaniard, who is bidding to add the Wimbledon title to his Australian and French Open victories, will tackle Italy's Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the last 16.

"Every day is a challenge," said Nadal, who is playing Wimbledon for the first time since making the semi-finals in 2019.

"Every day is a chance to improve and I need to improve.

"The fourth set was a better level. I was able to be more aggressive with my forehand. It's important to accept that things are not perfect. I need to keep working."

The 36-year-old was in control against Berankis until he dropped the third set, just as he did in his opener against Francisco Cerundolo.

However, he steadied the ship, racing into a 3-0 lead in the fourth set before play was held up for the Centre Court roof to close.

When the match resumed, he swept to victory, finishing with a flourish by hitting his 13th ace. AFP

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