Dustin Brown at the 2010 US Open. Photo: Robbie Mendelson/Wikimedia
By Chico C. Norwood
HALLE, Germany -- In less than one hour Germany's Dustin Brown upset the world's number one tennis player and nine-time French Open Champion Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Gary Weber Open in Halle, Germany, on Thursday.
Dubbed the “dreadlock destroyer”, Brown was a man on a mission, playing inspired tennis from beginning to end in his second round match. Hitting serves of 220 km/h (136 mph) and volleying masterfully, Brown took the world's number one tennis player out of rhythm on his way to a 6-4, 6-1 victory.
“That was my plan. I did not want to leave him any chance of playing his normal tennis. I took away the big things in [Nadal's] game that make him the unbelievable player that he is. I hit a lot of big serves. I had a plan and it worked out,” said Brown following the upset.
“I've had a lot of great wins before, but this was my first time playing against a World No. 1, at home in Germany and on grass -- my best surface. Everything came together. I tried to play my game as aggressively as possible,” he added.
Born in Germany, Brown began playing tennis when he was five. He lived in Germany until 1996 when he moved to his father's homeland of Jamaica to begin his professional tennis career. He returned to Germany in 2010 where he now plays under the German flag.
The win over Nadal was Brown's second over a Top 10 player. In April, he upset top seed and defending champion John Isner on his way to the quarter-finals of the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston.
Ranked number 85 in the world, this latest victory guarantees that Brown will move up at least 10 spots in the ATP World Rankings. His next opponent is countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarter-finals.