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WIMBLEDON | NADAL - BROWN

Dustin Brown dumps Nadal out of Wimbledon

Dustin Brown dumps Nadal out of Wimbledon

JUSTIN TALLIS

AFP

The Jamaican-German, ranked 102 in the world, won in a little over two and a half hours, beating the Spaniard: 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Before the match Dustin ‘Dreddy’ Brown had said if he won one of the first two sets against Nadal, anything would be possible. He picked up the first 7-5 and, indeed, anything was possible, like knocking out Rafa, twice Wimbledon champion, in the second round (as Lukas Rosol did in 2012, today beaten by Pablo Andújar).

In the end, after two hours 34 minutes of thrilling tennis, Brown won 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Nadal loses 135 ranking points and there’s a chance he’ll be out of the Top Ten at the end of the tournament.

This latest drama for Nadal happened on a pleasant English afternoon, 26 degrees, and an apparent calm over London after some gentle mid-day rain. But Rafa’s drama was set in motion by the sliced returns and rushes to the net from Brown. Athletic and explosive, he hit 58 winners (Nadal managed 42), including 13 aces. Brown’s advances to the net, following in after a veritable arsenal of sliced and powered returns reduced the nerves and the second serve of Nadal to ashes. He won just 17 points on his second serve (17/37, 46%).

The worries about his second serve and the permanent danger from Brown’s returns forced Rafa into losing his serve at a crucial time, the fifth of the third set, double faulting, having had a break point to go 3-2 up. A break at the start of the fourth sent Brown flying to the biggest win of his career. The son of Jamaican father and German mother was playing for the first time in his life on Wimbledon’s centre court, and he didn’t let Nadal get a sniff at a break. He won it with his 13th ace of the afternoon.

 

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