The unknown who vanquished Rafael Nadal: who is Dustin Brown?

  • Aditya Iyer, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 03, 2015 17:38 IST

Tall, lithe and sporting a shaggy mane of dreads that would make Bob Marley jealous, Dustin Brown made headlines on Thursday when he delivered a shock upset by defeating two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal on Centre Court in a sensational four-set match. But among all the adulation and astonishment at the 30-year old's audacious victory came an oft-repeated question - who is he?

Born in Celle, Germany to a Jamaican father and a German mother, the world number 102 is now one of the few players who boasts a perfect winning record against the Spaniard, 2-0. But while the two men may be similar in terms of their age, their careers have been markedly different.

Brown, who represented Jamaica until 2010, before he switched to his mother's nationality, hasn't enjoyed anywhere near the same success as the former world no 1; a fact that is all the more perplexing when one considers his style of play.

Dustin Brown of Germany shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after winning their match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships (REUTERS Photo)

Authoritative groundstrokes, a powerful serve and a wonderful agility all helped Brown on Thursday, with his serve-and-volley style of play hearkening back to the days of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe.

The 30-year-old, who has never made it to a final of an ATP event, used to travel to tournaments in a Volkswagen camper, which was bought for him by his parents who were worried about the lack of support from his then-sponsor, Tennis Jamaica.

Oh, and the question that everybody wants to ask him? 19 years. That's how long it took for him to cultivate his fierce set of dreadlocks.

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