Sport

Wimbledon shocker as Rafael Nadal crashes out

SportBy Kevin Palmer
Dustin Brown brought rock and roll tennis to the Centre Court
Dustin Brown brought rock and roll tennis to the Centre Court

How on earth did that happen?

That was the mood echoing around Wimbledon's Centre Court as the tournament came alive on Day 4 with the shock exit of Rafael Nadal at the hands of a wonderfully exciting display from Jamaican/German star Dustin Brown.

In front of a sunbathed crowd of predominantly white tennis fans, the towering Brown took to the most famous stage in tennis with his long hair trailing down to the base of his spine and piercings in places many in attendance had never seen before.

Brown is not the typical Wimbledon kind of guy, but he got the biggest cheer of this year's Championships so far as he threw everything at two-time champion Nadal from start to finish and ended up with a career-defining 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-4 win.

"I had never even been to Centre Court before this day," said a clearly shell-shocked Brown.

"The club asked me if I wanted to go out and have a look around before we started, but I just thought I'd go out there and give it everything I had. Against Rafa, I had nothing to lose and that made it easier for me.

"Let's be honest here, I had not thought what I was going to do beyond 9pm tonight because I was playing Nadal at Wimbledon, but now I have another match to play. It's amazing."

Nadal simply had no answer to the variety of firepower Brown threw at him, with powerful ground strokes, impressive volleys and continual flashes of inspiration too much for the great Spaniard to handle.

It was stunning stuff and in the end, the club that prides itself on its gentile Englishness was toasting a hero from a very different world. What a story.

WHO IS DUSTIN BROWN?

* His father is Jamaican and his mother is German. He represents Germany on the tennis tour.

* His current world ranking is 102 (highest ever was 78).

* He travelled to his early tournaments in the back of a camper van.

* This is the second time he has beaten Rafael Nadal, after a win against the Spaniard on a grass court in Halle last year.