Rafael Nadal made it through to the third round of Wimbledon for the 11th time after getting past Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Thursday. (More Tennis News)
The second-seeded Nadal looked far from his best at times but won on Centre Court in a match that finished under the roof after a rain delay during the fourth set.
It was Nadal’s 307th Grand Slam match win, taking him past Martina Navratilova in fourth place on the all-time list, behind Roger Federer (369), Serena Williams (365) and Novak Djokovic (330).
Nadal is looking for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title, and third Wimbledon trophy. Next up for Nadal is the Italian Lorenzo Sonego who defeated Hugo Baston of France.
Meanwhile, Brandon Nakashima of the United States knocked 13th-seeded Denis Shapovalov out of Wimbledon, beating the Canadian 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6). Shapovalov reached the semifinals at the All England Club last year, his best result at a Grand Slam tournament.
Nakashima matched his best result at a major tournament by reaching the third round. He advanced to the same stage at this year’s French Open. Nakashima, who is ranked 56th in the world, will next face Daniel Elahi Galan.
The Colombian advanced to the third round when Roberto Bautista Agut withdrew from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19. In the women’s section, former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep reached the third round at this year’s tournament and ended Kirsten Flipkens singles career in the process.
Halep came from a break down in both sets to win 7-5, 6-4 against the 36-year-old Belgian, who has said this will be her last singles tournament. Halep trailed 5-2 in the first set and 4-1 in the second before reeling off five straight games both times.
Halep is playing at Wimbledon for the first time since winning the title in 2019. She missed last year’s tournament with an injury and the 2020 edition was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Flipkens is also playing in the Wimbledon singles draw for the first time since 2019 and has now exited in the second round in her last six appearances. She laid down to kiss the grass after the match and then received an embrace from Halep at the net.
On the other hand, top-ranked Iga Swiatek took her winning streak to 37 matches by beating Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the third round. Swiatek won on No. 1 Court to make her winning run the longest since Martina Hingis also won 37 matches in a row in 1997.
Swiatek won her second French Open title this month but has never been past the fourth round at Wimbledon.