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Berankis On Nadal: 'He Never Gives You A Point, Not One'

  • Posted: Jun 29, 2022

Berankis On Nadal: ‘He Never Gives You A Point, Not One’

World No. 106 will face Nadal in the second round on Thursday

When Ricardas Berankis walks onto Centre Court at Wimbledon Thursday, he will take everything in.

The Lithuanian is making his ninth appearance at The Championships, but he has yet to grace the lawns on a show court at the grass-court major. However, that will change when he faces two-time champion Rafael Nadal in a “dream” second-round clash.

“It is always special to play at Wimbledon,” Berankis told “It is where tennis started. England, grass courts. It is a very special feeling. To be able to play in these tournaments against players [like] Rafa is a dream come true. I am really looking forward to the match.

“Rafa’s season has been unbelievable. The Grand Slams, in Australia and Paris. It is really impressive what he is doing.”

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The 32-year-old Berankis overcame American Sam Querrey in his opening match to set his second ATP Head2Head meeting against Nadal, who won their first clash in straight sets at the Melbourne Summer Set in January.

Berankis is relishing the opportunity to have another crack at the 22-time major champion as he looks to use his Melbourne experience and his four meetings with Novak Djokovic to his benefit.

“It is going to be tough. When you step on court to play against the top guys, the speed is different,” said Berankis, who seeks his third Top 10 win. “The speed and consistency from the top players is always the same. They don’t make mistakes. You need to win the point yourself to have any chance, they give nothing to you.

“I think to keep the concentration is the hardest part and more important. When we played in Australia, I stepped on court in my first match against him and I woke up and was already 1-4 down. You need to be on it right from the beginning as you won’t get gifts.”

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Berankis first played a member of the “Big Four” in 2013, when he took on Andy Murray at the Australian Open. While the 32-year-old is still excited to take on the very best, there has been a crucial change in his mentality.

“Over time my thinking has changed. It was more difficult for me around 10 years ago when I didn’t believe that I could maybe beat them. Now I am 32 and I never think that I won’t be able to beat someone,” Berankis said. “You step on court, play, enjoy and push yourself to the limit and get the best out of [yourself]. I would say my mentality at the moment is very good. I am not nervous, I just need to be focussed, as it can get away from you quickly against the top guys.

“I feel great this year. I did a big workout before coming here. I didn’t play any other grass-court tournaments, but I am feeling good on the grass.”

Berankis holds a 15-7 record across all levels this season, with his best tour-level result coming in Dubai, where he reached the quarter-finals. A key factor behind the World No. 106’s success on court is the happiness his family provides him when he is not competing.

“Overall, I am relaxed. I am hanging out and spending time with the family, my baby,” Berankis said. “I like to walk the dog, play pool with my dad and read a lot when I have a chance. It all helps me switch off.”

With his family in support, Berankis’ attention on Thursday will be purely on facing Nadal. The 13-time ATP Challenger Tour titlist is raring to show the world his fighting spirit and believes if he puts his body on the line, he will leave the court with his head held high.

“I want fans to see that I never give up. That I am always there for every point,” Berankis added. “The player to learn from is Rafa. He never gives you a point, not one.”

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Humbert Upsets Third Seed Ruud At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jun 29, 2022

Humbert Upsets Third Seed Ruud At Wimbledon

Frenchman into the third round at SW19 for the second time

It has not been the easiest season for Ugo Humbert, but he made it a lot better on Wednesday at Wimbledon.

The Frenchman, who arrived at SW19 with a 5-15 tour-level record in 2022, upset third seed Casper Ruud 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 to reach the third round at The Championships for the second time. Ruud is the highest seed to fall thus far at the grass-court major.

Humbert needed three hours and 28 minutes across five sets in the first round against Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry. The lefty was rewarded for surviving that effort, as he broke Ruud’s serve six times and hit 53 winners in his two-hour, 36-minute triumph.

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In the battle of Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals alumni, Humbert made a slow start, firing 15 unforced errors while his opponent remained solid. But once the Frenchman reined in his game, he was able to rely on his big serve and aggressive approach to power past Ruud.

Humbert has played well on grass before, advancing to the fourth round at the All England Club in 2019 and lifting his first ATP 500 trophy last year in Halle. Ruud is now 3-5 on the surface.

One year ago, Humbert was at a career-high World No. 25. The 24-year-old is currently No. 125 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. He will play Belgian David Goffin in the third round.

The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up defeated 31st seed Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day and has not lost a set through two matches.


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Doubles Spotlight: Arevalo Says 'If You Work Hard, Dreams Can Come True'

  • Posted: Jun 29, 2022

Doubles Spotlight: Arevalo Says ‘If You Work Hard, Dreams Can Come True’

Top 10 doubles star discusses plan to promote tennis in Central America

At Roland Garros in early June, Marcelo Arevalo made history. In lifting the trophy on the Parisian clay alongside Jean-Julien Rojer, the Salvadoran became the first Grand Slam men’s doubles champion from Central America, an unprecedented moment in the story of tennis in the region. Arevalo has a plan in place to ensure it is not the last.

“I started this project with my brother [former ATP pro Rafael Arevalo] in 2009,” Arevalo recently told “It’s called the Hermanos Arevalo Tennis Academy, and we give opportunities to kids in need. The problem in El Salvador is, if you want to play tennis, you need to be a member of a country club, or you need to go to the national federation, where back then [in 2009] you still needed to pay… So kids didn’t play tennis because they didn’t have the money to pay.

“What we did was give the opportunity to those kids to come to our academy, and they had the chance to practise for free at certain hours. Our goal was to make them believe that they could play professionally, or if they wanted to take the other way, to send them to college with a free scholarship that will change their life.

“We did that with probably four or five guys. We gave them a scholarship in our academy and also helped them to travel. No big deal, just to Guatemala, a couple of tournaments in Central America, just for them to have some matches when they were juniors and to be more attractive for the colleges. So they went to college, they’ve already graduated, and now they live in the United States. Those kids came from nothing. It changed their lives.”

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Arevalo’s Roland Garros triumph propelled him into the spotlight in El Salvador, where his achievement received a surge of public support. “When I arrived at the airport, there were like a hundred people waiting for me at 9 p.m. on a Sunday,” he said. “People had to work the next day, but [they] were there just waiting for me, with big flyers saying, ‘Welcome Champion’ and ‘You Did It!’. It was a nice welcome, to see that the people appreciate what it means to win a Grand Slam title.”

Arevalo was even invited to meet President Nayib Bukele and was named a Worthy Son of El Salvador by the country’s Legislative Assembly. With a sudden wave of public attention focussed on his achievement and tennis in general, Arevalo is keen to make the moment count.

“I don’t want to say I have the ‘power’, but a lot of people are interested in making a partnership with me [since Roland Garros],” Arevalo said. “I already found two companies that want to help us with the project, so now I want to do that, but bigger. Instead of four kids in six years, we want to do a lot of kids, and we want to make them able to become professional tennis players. Because if I did it, they also can do it.”

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Arevalo understands what it is like to build something from the ground up. Until he was 14 there were no tennis courts in his hometown of Sonsonate, a small city 80 kilometres from the capital San Salvador — a problem his father solved by building two courts himself. Arevalo is keen to become similarly hands on at the academy whenever he can, and developments have been made easier by the fact that his brother Rafael is now also the president of the Salvadoran Tennis Federation.

“The academy is in the capital city, it is going to be in the courts of the federation,” Arevalo said. “The government is going to put in a lot of money. They are going to renovate the whole thing, build a stadium, dormitories, new locker rooms, new courts, resurface everything. There will be 17 courts, and five of those are going to be for our project.

“Step-by-step we want to extend that to the kids in Central America as well. The last step will be that my team — my coach, my fitness coach — will come to the academy and spend time with the kids, help them, teach them, and I will be more of a presence too. If I have one or two weeks off, I want to go back to the academy, bring my team and practise there, so the kids can see and get motivated.

“I went to college (Arevalo played at the University of Tulsa from 2010-11), so I’m going to get in touch with my ex-college coach, and hopefully he can help me with different coaches and sending video from our players to see which colleges are interested in the kids that we have in the academy.

“Basically, that is the plan. I hope I can motivate those kids to believe that big things can happen. If you choose the process, if you work hard, dreams can come true.”

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