If you haven’t seen Dustin Brown play on a good day before, you’re truly missing out. The German may only be ranked No. 85 in the ATP rankings, but he plays a dazzling brand of serve-and-volley tennis that you don’t see very often.
The opponent today: newly-crowned Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal, who has struggled on grass for the last few years, and usually shows up exhausted to any Wimbledon warm-up due to his Roland Garros success year after year.
While Nadal was about as listless as one would expect, Dustin Brown put on a clinic for his home crowd, beating the World No. 1, 6-4, 6-1.
The first eight games of the match were rather straightforward in the scoreline, but there were some early signs that the match would be entertaining:
Brown showed why he can be so dangerous, hitting so hard that Nadal struggled to get the ball back:
He showed off his skilled serve-and-volleying:
He has some great hands at the net:
No slouch himself, Nadal came up with one of those trademark forehands that just curls in at the last second.
However, Brown was keyed into what Nadal was doing on serve, and started hitting return winners like this:
Nadal put some pressure on Brown’s serve with this exchange, but Brown held for 5-4.
With Nadal serving to stay in the set, Brown crushed the ball with abandon, earning set points with these three ridiculous points:
Nadal saved all three, but Brown continued to eat Nadal’s serve for breakfast to earn another:
Nadal could not save the fourth, and Brown took the first set. The crowd was delighted.
Brown picked up where he left off in the first set, clearly enjoying how well he was playing:
Nadal’s struggles dealing with Brown’s return game continued:
Brown hit this ridiculous lob to earn another break point:
And then he hit another one to break:
If that wasn’t enough, after another easy hold, he did it again to get the double-break:
He hit another amazing return as he fought to bagel the World No. 1, but Nadal managed to hold serve.
With another big serve, Brown sealed the easy win, and kissed the grass:
Not bad for a guy ranked No. 85.