Day 4 Preview: Nadal Returns After Early Escape
Both Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas were pushed close to a fifth set in the Wimbledon opening round before recovering from a break down to advance in four. The two highest-seeded players in the draw's bottom half return to action Thursday as they look to build on those battling victories.
Taylor Fritz, Diego Schwartzman, Denis Shapovalov, Roberto Bautista Agut and Alex de Minaur — all among the top 20 seeds — are also on the Day 4 schedule, alongside unseeded danger men Nick Kyrgios and Maxime Cressy.
 Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Nadal won the final four games of his Tuesday matchup against Francisco Cerundolo to advance with a 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 decision. He expected a difficult outing in his first grass-court match of the season, but left with good feelings and an opportunity to improve in the second round.
"Positive thing, I finished the match well," he said in his post-match presser. "The last couple of games I raised up my level, without a doubt. That gave me the chance to end with a victory.
"Very positive match for me. Of course, there is important room to keep improving, but I'm sure this match is going to help."
Nadal will face Ricardas Berankis in the lone Centre Court men's match on Thursday as he looks to move through the gears in pursuit of his third Grand Slam title of the season. The Lithuanian is seeking his third Top 10 win and a first victory over Nadal in the pair's second meeting.
Berankis dropped a straight-sets match to the Spaniard in January at the Melbourne Summer Set, but left with a newfound respect for his opponent.
"The player to learn from is Rafa," the 32-year-old told ATPTour.com at Wimbledon. "He never gives you a point, not one."
 Alex de Minaur vs. Jack Draper (GBR)
Two-time Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up De Minaur will close Court 1 against one of the leading #NextGenATP stars of the 2022 season in Jack Draper. Both men carried strong grass-court form into Wimbledon following runs to the Eastbourne semi-finals last week and stayed hot with straight-sets wins in the first round.
The 20-year-old Draper took a set off Novak Djokovic in his Wimbledon debut one year ago and earned his first Grand Slam victory against Zizou Bergs on Tuesday. The lefty beat the likes of Taylor Fritz and Diego Schwartzman on home soil this month before returning to the SW19, where he reached the boys' singles final in 2018.
"I come here confident," he said following his opening win. "I'm ready to hopefully do some damage in this tournament. I believe in my ability. So let's see how far I can go."
De Minaur has the edge in Grand Slam experience, but the 23-year-old has never been beyond the fourth round in three previous Wimbledon main-draw appearances. He advanced to the second round with a victory against Hugo Dellien.
"Alex is someone who has been around for a long time," Draper said, looking ahead to their first ATP Head2Head meeting. "I think people forget he's still very young. He's a great competitor, incredibly quick, good on grass courts, as well. It's going to be a really tough match. I think I can use my weapons and hopefully play well."
 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Jordan Thompson (AUS)
In stark contrast to Nadal, Tsitsipas played three grass-court events ahead of Wimbledon. The Greek saved the best for last, winning his first grass title at the Mallorca Championships on Saturday by beating Roberto Bautista Agut in a third-set tie-break.
"It made me kind of fall in love more with the surface," Tsitsipas said of his triumph. "Having tournament wins on a surface elevates you, puts you in a better mood, as well."
His burgeoning confidence was tested by Alexander Ritschard in the opening round, but Tsitsipas held firm to advance beyond the opening round for the second time at Wimbledon. The Greek, who reached the fourth round in 2018, leads the ATP Tour with 41 victories on the 2022 season.
Thompson entered Wimbledon at No. 76 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, but Tsitsipas has lost to players ranked lower than that twice at the grass-court Grand Slam. He bowed out to World No. 79 Dusan Lajovic in 2017 and World No. 89 Thomas Fabbiano in 2019.
Like Tsitsipas, the Aussie has also claimed a grass-court trophy in June. Thompson won the ATP Challenger Tour even in Surbiton to start the month before reaching the final at the Nottingham Challenger.
Also In Action
Two of the ATP Tour's in-form players will battle it out on Court 2 when Kyrgios takes on 26th seed Filip Krajinovic. The Aussie is looking to build on semi-final finishes in Stuttgart and Halle this month, while Krajinovic reached the final at The Queen's Club in his lone grass-court event of the season. Both men went the distance in their opening-round wins, with Kyrgios edging Paul Jubb and Krajinovic coming from two-sets-to-one down to defeat Jiri Lehecka.
Cressy will bid to extend his dream Wimbledon debut against fellow American Jack Sock, who is on his own feel-good run at The Championships after winning 10 straight sets between qualifying and his opening win. Cressy made headlines as he upset sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime with a serve-and-volley masterclass, continuing his momentum from a run to the Eastbourne final.