Dustin Brown stuns Nadal at Wimbledon
Two-time champion Rafael Nadal is making another early exit from Wimbledon, after losing in the second round to a 102nd-ranked qualifier who played the match of his life.
Dustin Brown, a German of Jamaican heritage with a clever touch, go-for-broke attitude and throwback serve-and-volley game, beat Nadal 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court on Thursday in by far the biggest surprise of the tournament so far.
Brown, a 30-year-old journeyman who had never beaten a seeded player at a Grand Slam, kept Nadal off balance all match with a mix of drop-volleys, big serves, reflex shots and quick-fire backhand serve returns.
It's the first time Nadal has lost to a qualifier at a Grand Slam, and the fourth year in a row he has lost in the early rounds at Wimbledon to a player ranked 100th or lower.
Nadal won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010 but has barely been a factor since losing in the 2011 final. He fell in the second round to No. 100 Lukas Rosol in 2012, first round to 135th-ranked Steve Darcis in 2013 and fourth round to No. 144 Nick Kyrgios last year.
Brown, who was born in Germany to a Jamaican father and German mother, moved to Jamaica at the age of 12. He returned to Europe in 2004 and travelled around the continent in a camper to play tournaments. Brown switched nationality from Jamaican to German in 2010.
"It's not the end," Nadal said. "(It's) a sad moment for me ... but life continues. My career, too."
"I had nothing to lose. If I lose 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, everyone says 'Bravo, Rafa,'" Brown said.