Nadal loss sends shockwaves round Wimbledon

Thu Jul 2, 2015 4:11pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

LONDON (Reuters) - The untroubled advance of the heavy hitters at Wimbledon was spectacular halted on Thursday when twice champion Rafa Nadal was bundled out by German qualifier Dustin Brown who played the match of his life.

Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Petra Kvitova all cruised into the third round with straight-sets victories as the tournament meandered serenely through its fourth balmy day.

But the calm was shattered by the final match on Centre Court when Brown, a man until now best known for his unconventional approach and dread-locks, brought back memories of the golden summer Wimbledon evenings of wooden rackets as he combined relentless power with brave and ambitious creativity.

Brown came out swinging and even when Nadal dug deep to level the match at one set all he did not hold back, going for his shots and harrying his illustrious opponent at every opportunity.

Along with the power there was finesse which had the Centre Court crowd roaring their approval and Brown rattled through the final set to secure a fully deserved victory.

"You have to play your A game against him," said Brown, who also beat Nadal in their only previous meeting in Halle last year.

"I'm fortunate I played him twice on grass, which is my favorite surface -- I wouldn't want to play him anywhere else. My game makes him not play his game. He doesn't get in a rhythm."

Defeat continued Nadal's wretched run at Wimbledon since he lost the 2011 final to Novak Djokovic.   Continued...

Rafael Nadal of Spain prepares to walk off court after losing his match against Dustin Brown of Germany at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 2, 2015.           REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth