He’s not your father’s tennis star, but, with signature dreadlocks he hasn’t cut in 19 years, underdog Dustin Brown just stunned the crowds at Wimbledon by knocking out the 10th ranked player in the world.
Brown was only ranked the 102nd best player in the world this week when he defeated Rafael Nadal in the second round of tennis’ premier event. The win has thrust the six-and-a-half foot, German-Jamaican into the spotlight, but he, along with his parents, had been working toward a big win for a long time.
Born in Germany and raised in Montego Bay, Brown made his tennis debut playing for the Jamaican national team in 2003 — after trying his hand at soccer, handball and judo.
That tattoo on his torso, pictured left, is of his father, Leroy — it symbolically says, “my father is on my side.”
When Brown left the Jamaican team, his parents bought him a camper van to follow the European tennis circuit. It took them six years to pay it off, and Brown spent three years living in that van as he worked his way up the rankings toward the top 100 in the world.
In the end, his underdog, four-set victory over Nadal was really a family effort played out over many long years.
“It’s easy for me to play my game against someone like him because I have nothing to lose,” Brown told the BBC after his win. “I just kept saying, ‘Dustin, just try to concentrate. Even if you lose this, no one is going to say anything bad.’”
(WATCH the Tennis Channel video and READ more at the Telegraph) – Photos by Ethreon, CC; Steven Pisano, CC
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