Big-hitting Brown hopes to hit it big in Jamaica

Dustin Brown of Jamaica follows through on a serve to Andy Murray of Britain during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 3, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dustin Brown likes to hit it big on the tennis court, and the rangy Jamaican hopes his U.S. Open showing enables him to hit it big back home.

The 6-foot, 5-inch (1.96 meter) Brown notched his first grand slam match win in the opening round and gave Andy Murray a tough time in the first set of their match on Friday before falling to the fourth-seeded Scot 7-5 6-3 6-0.

Brown, whose power and speed on court are dazzling even if his groundstrokes can be scattershot, said he has been winning attention back home.

“My Facebook has been exploding,” Brown told reporters. “I mean, everybody from home, everybody I know, they actually knew that I was playing here, that I won the first round and that I was playing against Murray. I didn’t have to post anything anymore.”

Jamaica has produced high profile performers in athletics, cricket, soccer and even bobsleigh but has yet to make much of a dent in professional tennis.

The offspring of a Jamaican father and German mother, Brown wears his dreadlocks with pride and said it has taken a little time but he is on Jamaica’s sporting radar, which was not the case during his appearance in Wimbledon this year.

“I had to post that I’m actually playing Wimbledon. No one at home knew. I had to call my dad to tell my dad in Jamaica that I’m playing Wimbledon,” said Brown.

Brown, who hopes to be in the main draw at the Australian Open in January, said he wants to speak to the Jamaican tennis federation about representing his country now that tennis may about to catch on the island.

“A bunch of people, they were saying online ... we’re having a party tonight. Everybody come over to my house. We’re watching Dustin play on the 40-inch screen,” the 123rd-ranked Brown said. “I hope guys at home enjoyed it.”

Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Frank Pingue