Wimbledon: Two-time winner Rafael Nadal suffered a fourth successive Wimbledon humiliation as he was shocked by 102th-ranked qualifier Dustin Brown in the second round here.
Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion, on Thursday crashed out to a 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6 defeat to the big-hitting German-Jamaican, who was making his Center Court debut at the age of 30, reports Xinhua.
It was the 29-year-old’s first ever loss to a qualifier at a Grand Slam. But it was the fourth time that he has suffered an early defeat at the All England Club to little known players.
Lukas Rosol was ranked 100 when he beat the 14-time Major winning Spaniard in the second round in 2012; Steve Darcis was No.135 in the opening round a year later; Nick Kyrgios was No.144 last year in the fourth round.
Brown, who dismissed Nadal in Halle last year, described the victory as the performance of his life.
Nobody knows whether Nadal, who has slipped to 10th in the world rankings, realised once and for all that competitive life is finite, and that no matter what he tries from here, his old powers may never come back to him. But he still vows to fight on.
“I was ready to compete,” said Nadal. “I lost. Obviously this is a bad moment for me. I have to keep going and working more than ever to try to change that dynamic. I am a good loser. I always accept. I am not happy, but I accept that I am not good enough.
“I don’t know if I will be back to the level of 2008 or other years. If I don’t make that happen — well, I played five finals here, and took the trophy home two times, so it’s not bad.”
Brown said: “It was easy for me to play my game against him because I had nothing to lose. I am lucky to have played him twice on my favourite surface. I wouldn’t want to play him on hard court or clay.
“Here it was great to play serve-and-volley so well and to do it for that long. I knew what the plan was. I wanted to take him out of his comfort zone and I held it together for the whole match.”
By contrast, the other two players from the Big Four, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, both swept into the third round.
Seven-time champion Federer eased past Sam Querrey of the United States 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, while the 2013 winner Murray crushed world No.78 Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-1, 6-4.
Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, the 2010 beaten finalist, defeated French wildcard Nicolas Mahut 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
In the women’s matches, defending champion Petra Kvitova breezed past Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-2, 6-0, fifth seed Caroline Wozniachi beat world No.83 Denisa Allertova 6-1, 7-6 (6).
World No.1 Novak Djokovic, also the defending champion, meets 27th seed Bernard Tomic of Australia on Friday, while Serena Williams takes on Heather Watson of Britain.