In the match of his life, Germany's Dustin Brown beat Rafael Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon. The world number 102 dominated the two-time tournament winner to win in four sets.
Germany's Dustin Brown has dumped Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon in the second round. The 30-year old qualifier born in Celle, Germany, dominated Nadal with his serve-and-volley tactic, losing only one set on the way to a 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win.
Heading into the second round tie, the 102nd ranked player in the world was the overwhelming underdog. However, having won the only contest played between the two through their careers, Brown showed his usual confidence and swagger as he entered Centre Court at Wimbledon for the first time.
Brown immediately showed his aggressive serve-and-volley style, taking the first game of the match without a rally of more than three shots. However, Nadal's quality was still evident to see, as the Spaniard broke Brown take a 2-1 lead. Brown proved no pushover himself, and broke back to bring the set level at 3-3, before he broke Nadal for a second time to lead 5-4. After two games went to serve, Brown held on to take the first set 7-5.
The German-born Jamaican citizenship holder was once again forced to come back from behind in the second set, as he went down a break 2-1. This time however, he couldn't hold out against the 14-time Grand Slam winner, who cruised to tie the match at 1-1, with a 6-3 set win. At this point, Brown - who earned his way in tennis by travelling in a campervan bought by his parents for three years - sparkled into life.
A German masterclass
Nadal had never lost to a qualifier in a Grand Slam before, but was showing no answer against Brown's energetic and fluid style. Another break of serve came for Brown, as he took a 3-2 lead in the third set. Despite playing a 10-8 fifth set in a doubles match on Wednesday, Brown never looked tired and almost forced a second break in the seventh game, but Nadal held after three runs of deuce. Brown kept his lead despite the pressure, and clinched the third set 6-4.
Something must have been in the German's water as he continued his domination at the start of the decisive fourth set. Immediately breaking Nadal, Brown took a 1-0 lead and never looked back. Each player held service all the way until the score was 5-3. As Nadal served, Brown worked his way to two match points. Incredibly though, the Spaniard held with deuce and left Brown to serve for the match.
Brown showed his serve-and-volley special twice more as he served out the match, knocking out the two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal. His second career win over the Spaniard from both matches played.
"It's probably the best day of my life so far," Brown said after the incredible match.
"I'd never been on Centre Court before, but it felt very familiar. It's easy for me to play my game against someone like him. I knew what I needed to do and it either works or it doesn't. I just kept telling myself to play the next point and I can't believe I've won."