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The man who beat Nadal: 7 things to know about Dustin Brown

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Brown celebrates his victory over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon

Dustin Brown electrified the Centre Court at SW19 with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 6-4 win over 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal on Thursday evening to set the tennis world on fire.

Brown is no newcomer to the tennis world – in fact, he is a veteran. He is one of 37 players aged 30 or above who started the main draw in the men's singles event at Wimbledon.

Here are seven things to know about the latest player to add to Nadal's 2015 woes:

1. Nationality: Ex-Jamaican, could have been British, but is German

The 30-year-old Dustin Brown has mixed heritage. His father, Leroy, is Jamaican and his mother, Inge, is German. He was born in Germany but moved to Jamaica in 1996 before switching nationalities back to Germany in 2010 due to lack of funding from the Jamaican Tennis Federation.

Brown could have also played for Great Britain as he told the Guardian in 2010, "Definitely I would be interested [in playing for Britain]. The British connection is on my father's side of the family; it's my grandmother". But thankfully for Germany, that never worked out.

2. The camper van that saved his career

After struggling to travel to play tournaments due to lack of funds, his parents hit upon a novel idea, which may have ended up saving his career. They bought him a camper van, which he drove around Europe between 2004-07 and helped him in hotel & food expenses.

Dustin calls his parents the most inspirational people he knows and in case you are wondering, the van is still parked at his parents place in Germany.

3. Only active player with a perfect record against Nadal

This is not the first time that Brown has beaten Nadal – he also upset the Spaniard at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle last year. Brown is the only player, other than the retired Alex Corretja, to have a perfect record against Nadal (2-0) among players who have played Nadal more than once. It’s no wonder he calls grass his favourite surface.

4. Second time in the Wimbledon third round

In 2013, Brown reached the third round at Wimbledon after upsetting Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the second round; he then lost to Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the Round of 32.

He has only won one other match at all the other three Grand Slams combined in his career. Brown next meets Serbia's Viktor Troicki for a place in the fourth round of a major for the first time in his career.

5. Busy man at Wimbledon this week

Brown came through the qualifying event at Roehampton, where he won three matches to enter the main draw. He also competed in the men's doubles draw where he played a marathon five-setter match in the first round.

Brown and Andreas Haider-Maurer lost to Nicholas Monroe/Artem Sitak 6-7, 6-4, 4-6 6-3, 8-10 in 3 hours and 22 minutes.

6. Back in the top 100 after this win

Brown is currently ranked No. 102 in the world, but has been as high as No. 43 – back in 2012. With his performance his week, he is guaranteed to move into the 80s at the minimum in the rankings.

Brown is also the fourth player in a row ranked in three digits to beat Nadal at Wimbledon – following Lukas Rosol, ranked No. 100, Steve Darcis ranked No. 135 and Nick Kyrgios ranked No. 144.

7. There's more to him than his dreadlocks

They may call him ‘Dreddy’ for his dreadlocks, but that’s not the only thing striking about his appearance. Brown also has a pierced tongue and a tattoo on his torso.

In an interview with the Tennisnow website, Brown  commented, "I’ve already taken a little bit off the end because on a kick serve when it’s a little wet or it’s been raining or something, it’s a little heavier and it flies over the front and goes in my face. I’ve already taken a little bit off the back, but August ‘96 is the last time I cut them. It’s been a while."

For someone who comes off as so macho, Brown describes himself as emotional, saying he cried like a little girl after his win over Hewitt at Wimbledon.

Edited by Staff Editor
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