Lithuania’s best tennis player now poised to re-enter top-100 in men’s rankings
Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis was left eyeing an exciting period ahead after securing one of his biggest career wins on the men’s tour with an emphatic 6-3, 6-3 result over eighth seed Daniil Medvedev at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday.
Nine years back, Berankis made history when he became the first and only Lithuanian to enter the ATP top 100 rankings as a teenager. Now 28, Berankis was gradually heading up the rankings until he hit a career high No. 50 in May 2016.
However, a series of injuries saw him fall down the charts to his current No. 117. After a slow start that included a second round as qualifier at the Doha Open, the Lithuanian went on to win his 11th ATP Challenger Tour title.
His win on Tuesday — the biggest of his career so far — is most probably going to see him re-enter the top 100 again, something that the pragmatic Berankis wants to take in his stride.
“The good thing is that I was feeling good today. I am really happy with my game today and I was able to make the whole plan and then execute it out on court. The plan was to stay as close as possible to the line and not to get in his game, which is to get into those long rallies which he loves,” Berankis admitted after his win.
“Everything seemed to be going my way out there. Perhaps, the two qualifying matches also helped to an extent, and along with that the belief that I could do it out there.”
Asked if he was surprised by the scoreline, Berankis replied: “I cannot say I was surprised. Actually, I was not really thinking about it. I was trying to keep up my plan and it gave me the result. This win is big. You beat a top-20 player and that gives you a lot of confidence.”