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Dustin Brown knocks out Rafael Nadal in four sets.

Brown Ousts Nadal At Wimbledon

German improves to 2-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Rafael Nadal

Dustin Brown handed Rafael Nadal another early exit at the All England Club, knocking out the two-time Wimbledon champion 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in second-round action Thursday on Centre Court.

"I'm happy I got to play him on that court win or lose," said Brown. "All the kids that play tennis dream about being able to play on that Centre Court. Playing against him there is special. Also being able to put that performance together, it was definitely very difficult and I'm very happy that I held it together for the whole match."

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Nadal reached the final in five straight Wimbledon appearances between 2006-11, winning a pair of titles in 2008 and ’10. But the Spaniard has since failed to reach the quarter-finals, ousted by players ranked between No. 100-150 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He lost in the second round in 2012 (l. to No. 100 Rosol), the first round in 2013 (l. to No. 135 Darcis) and the fourth round last year (l. to No. 144 Kyrgios).

Brown, who used to travel around Europe in a camper van as he tried to carve out a living in professional tennis, became the second player after Alex Corretja to hold a 100 per cent win-loss record against Nadal after two matches.

"Obviously he's one of the best players of the sport, and for me, being able to play against him twice, obviously on my favourite surface, is probably my luck," he said. "I wouldn't want to play him on clay or hard court because obviously it would make playing my type of tennis even more difficult."

Read: Brown Keeps Recent Run In Perspective

The Spaniard made the stronger start as he broke in the third game, but Brown – who had never stepped on Centre Court prior to the match – maintained his composure. With confidence from having won their grass-court meeting last year in Halle, he drew level three games later and sealed the opening set with another break.

After Nadal hit back to win the second set, the 102nd-ranked Brown stepped up his game, playing quickly on his serve to keep his opponent off balance, committing to the serve and volley, and also attacking Nadal’s second serve.

"The point is whatever I do is to take him out of his comfort zone," said Brown. "If I would stay in the back and rally with him left, right, that would not be a very good match for me. I know that. Obviously I try to play my game. Even if I miss a few returns or whatever, it's also good if he doesn't get that many hits and obviously doesn't get into a rhythm."

His aggressive tactics paid off. Brown reassumed the lead at 3-2 in the third set and broke again to open the fourth. Nadal saved two match points in his last service game, before Brown sealed his third Top 10 victory with an ace after two hours and 33 minutes.

"On this court especially, you meet players that don't want to play from the baseline sometimes," said Nadal. "This opponent is one of these ones. You cannot have mistakes against a player like him with that big serve. You know, nothing to lose. Serving first and second almost the same speed. 

"Without having rhythm at all. I didn't hit three balls in a row the same way. Then when you need to hit that ball, extra ball, you don't have the confidence to do it. So that's what happened."

Brown, who averaged 118 miles per hour each serve, struck 13 aces and won 72 of his points on first serve. In charging the net on 85 occasions, he backed his natural game to nullify Nadal, who played three feet behind the baseline. Brown directed the majority of his serves to Nadal's backhand, while Nadal won just 17 points on second serve.

He will go on to face Serbian Viktor Troicki, the No. 22 seed, who advanced with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Great Britain’s Aljaz Bedene. Troicki reached the grass-court final earlier this month in Stuttgart, where he finished runner-up to Nadal.

Born in Germany to a Jamaican father and German mother, Brown moved to Jamaica at the age of 12 and represented the Caribbean nation. He returned to Europe in 2004 and changed his nationality from Jamaican to German in 2010. 

As a qualifier two years ago at Wimbledon, he knocked out another former World No. 1, Lleyton Hewitt, to reach the third round. 

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