Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal was ousted from the tournament early for the fourth straight year, as he was outplayed by German qualifier Dustin Brown.
Dustin Brown, ranked 102 in the world, won 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for just the third time in his career. He will face the Serbian 22nd seed, Viktor Troicki, in the third round of Wimbledon.
Amazingly, it is only the second time this year that Brown has won consecutive matches on the ATP Tour. He primarily plays on the challenger circuit.
Nadal, 29, has now lost in the second, first, fourth, and second rounds on his past four visits to the All England Club. On each of these occasions, the player that defeated Nadal was ranked outside the top 100.
Dustin Brown, who changed his nationality in 2010 from Jamaican to German, now has a 2-0 record against the Spaniard, having defeated Nadal at Halle last year, on grass as well.
It took three rounds of qualifying for Brown to even make it into the main draw of this tournament. He needed four sets to win his first round match over Yen-Hsun Lu on Tuesday, and played five sets of doubles on Wednesday, which lasted for four hours. Nevertheless, Dustin Brown showed no signs of fatigue. In fact, it looked as if he was gaining energy throughout the match.
Thursday’s victory for Brown over Nadal guarantees him $120,000 in prize money already, and may continue to grow if he can defeat Troicki.
John McEnroe, who has won Wimbledon three times, spoke of Brown’s success with BBC Sport: “Five hundred professional tennis players are inspired to hang in for a couple of years longer because of what they have just seen there. Nothing is impossible. Brown’s level of play on this court was spectacularly high.”
Dustin Brown with the Telegraph spoke of his mindset during the match: “Coming playing the first time on Centre Court. It was awkward. I thought I would freak out a bit. I don’t know if it was the match in Halle but being on the court with him made me feel comfortable. I have nothing to lose playing him. That makes it easier for me, playing my shots. But if I lose no one’s going to say anything bad. My game doesn’t let him play his game.”
While Rafael Nadal did not play his best tennis on Thursday, credit must be given to Dustin Brown, who had such great poise, athleticism, and amazing shot-making ability.
[Image Source: Getty Images]