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In Profile: Dustin Brown

After his victory over Rafael Nadal on Thursday, Sports Mole takes a look at the career of Germany's Dustin Brown.

On Thursday night, the first major shock of the 2015 edition of Wimbledon took place on Centre Court as two-time champion Rafael Nadal was dumped out of the tournament by Dustin Brown.

Brown, who represents Germany but also possesses Jamaican heritage, required two hours and 33 minutes to record a four-set triumph over the legendary Spaniard, who suffered defeat to a player outside of the top 100 for the fourth successive year.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at the career of Brown, and what his victory over Nadal could mean going forward.

Germany's Dustin Brown returns against Spain's Rafael Nadal during their men's singles second round match on day four of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 2, 2015© Getty Images

Country: Germany

Age: 30

Current world ranking: 102

Highest world ranking: 78

Story of his career

Brown turned professional in 2002 but it would be years before he made any sort of an impact on the Challenger Tour, never mind the ATP Tour. The early years were spent playing futures events in Jamaica and Germany without any progress in singles competitions being made. In 2008, six years after his career began, Brown made less than $8,000 on tour and ended the year at 493 in the world rankings.

However, in 2009, Brown would finally start to make inroads, reaching the final of a Challenger event in Karlsruhe before winning in Samarkland. Three more final appearances were made before the end of the year, with Brown now holding a ranking of 146 having earned five times as much prize money as the previous year.

His debut on the ATP Tour came in February 2010 where he reached the quarter-finals of the SA Tennis Open in Johannesburg, collecting his biggest prize money of his career. Two months later, Brown would return to the city to prevail in a Challenger event, collecting almost $15,000 before he started to show his talent on grass, winning matches at Queen's and s-Hertogenbosch before making his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, losing out to Jurgen Melzer in four sets.

Later in the year, he featured at the US Open, winning his first match at a major tournament in seeing off Spain's Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo before running into Andy Murray, who defeated him in straight sets. Brown ended the year inside the world's top 100 having made $173,861, the first time in his career that he was making a substantial profit as he contended with the travelling expenses that come hand in hand with playing professional tennis.

The following four years would see Brown fluctuate between the ATP Tour and Challenger Tour as he failed to reproduce the performances of 2010. However, in 2013, he reached the third round of Wimbledon, coming through qualifying to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Lleyton Hewitt in the main draw, before running into Adrian Mannarino. Grand Slam appearances would continue to materialise, without any success, but he started 2015 just inside the top 100.

First half of 2015

Brown started this calendar year in relatively impressive fashion, reaching the quarter-finals of the ATP250 event in Doha before losing out to David Ferrer. A heavy defeat to Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open would follow, before he reached the last 16 in Memphis, beating Marinko Matosevic before losing out to Steve Johnson.

The 30-year-old would go on to lose his next four matches, partly due to facing tough opposition in Ivo Karlovic, Kevin Anderson and Marcos Baghdatis, and the lack of victories saw him fall into three figures in the world standings. Brown stopped the rot in Casablanca but he couldn't build on that success, losing in the last 16 to Martin Klizan in a final-set tie-break.

Germany's Dustin Brown celebrates beating Spain's Rafael Nadal during their men's singles second round match on day four of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 2, 2015© Getty Images

With clay not his favourite surface, Brown returned to the Challenger Tour in an attempt to build some confidence, but despite a last-eight appearance in Rome, he was soundly beaten in the first qualifying round for Roland Garros. However, it left him with more time to prepare for the grass-court campaign, and he came through qualifying to reach the main draw in Munich before losing out to Jerzy Janowicz.

A second-round appearance in Halle completed his preparations for Wimbledon, with an impressive win over Andreas Haider-Maurer being followed by a straight-sets loss to Kei Nishikori, which left him with just five wins on the ATP Tour prior to his trip to SW19.


Brown's world ranking resulted in him needing to go through qualifying in order to progress through to the main draw for the fifth time in his career, but after being seeded 12th, he got off to a positive start against Romanian Adrian Ungar before coming through a tight match with Aslan Karatsev. His final encounter saw him face experienced Italian Andrea Arnaboldi, but Brown required just 101 minutes to book his place in the first round.

A meeting with Lu Yen-hsun awaited the unorthodox hitter, but despite dropping the opening set, he was able to come through in four to set up the showdown with Nadal. The left-hander was undoubtedly the favourite to emerge victorious, but Brown had conceded just five games in thrashing Nadal in Halle in 2014 and wouldn't be overawed by the occasion of stepping onto Centre Court for the first time.

The first set was arguably the most entertaining witnessed at the tournament this year as Brown dazzled the crowd with his unpredictable shot-making and his relentless approaches to the net. It would pay off, though, and although he dropped the second, he was always a threat to the former world number one, creating 11 break-point chances in total and winning 38% of points on the Nadal serve.

A third-round match with 22nd seed Viktor Troicki awaits Brown, someone whom he defeated in their last meeting on carpet in 2014, but it remains to be seen whether he can follow up such an impressive win on what is likely to be one of the outside courts on Saturday afternoon.

Rest of 2015

Win or lose against Troicki, Brown will be close to a career-high ranking position at the end of Wimbledon. If he loses to the Serbian, the lowest he will reach is 82nd, but success would catapult Brown to the brink of breaking into the world's top 70.

After Wimbledon, a couple of wins should be enough to secure his place at the US Open, but if he can see off Troicki, that would boost his chances of sneaking into lesser tournaments on the American swing as a seed, while he could also find himself in with a better opportunity of qualifying for a Masters Series event.

Despite reaching the third round at Wimbledon, Brown is still outside of the top 100 in the Race to London rankings, highlighting the fact that he has few ranking points to defend at the start of next year. A strong end to 2015 could put himself into a position where he hasn't got to worry about qualifying for Grand Slam tournaments for the foreseeable future.

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