LONDON—A semi-quiet Day 4 at Wimbledon ended with an explosion. Qualifier Dustin Brown, ranked 102 in the world, defeated tenth seed Rafael Nadal 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
How did he do it? The old fashion way! Serve and volley. Look at these stats.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 2, 2015
It blows everyone away. It is why all time great Roger Federer hired Stefan Edberg as coach. Serve and volley.
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) July 2, 2015
Nadal likes control. He is OCD with his routines and water bottles. Brown’s style of play liquidates that control, forcing Nadal to run and jump. It threw him off his game:
Well, in this court especially, you meet players that don’t want to play from the baseline sometimes. 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 flew through the match with ease, almost as if the grass court was a ballroom floor.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) July 2, 2015
The old Nadal peaked through every once in awhile. He fought off match point in the fourth set and then held Brown at love to force another game, but it was not enough. Wimbledon is not friendly to Nadal these past few years.
Rafael Nadal's recent #Wimbledon losses: 2012 – #100 Lukas Rosol 2013 – #135 Steve Darcis 2014 – #144 Nick Kyrgios 2015 – #102 Dustin Brown
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 2, 2015
But Rafa is one of the best and is determined to look forward:
I know I am going to every tournament with the right motivation, working well. I think I made all the things well to prepare here this tournament.
Losing in Roland Garros, going straight to Stuttgart and Queen’s, then came here very early to prepare the tournament. So I lost. Sad today for that, obviously.
But end of the day, that’s sport. Good moments, bad moments. Obviously today is a bad moment for me. Just I need to accept these kind of things that can happen. I did all my career.
Keep going. You know, it’s not the end. Is a sad moment for me, as I said before. But life continues. My career, too. I have to keep going and working more than ever to try to change that dynamic.
In other news, Roger Federer easily defeated American Sam Querrey in straight sets. After the match, Querrey said that “you want to go over and give him a high five sometimes, but you can’t do that” because of the moves Federer makes during his matches.
Andy Murray demolished Robin Hasse in straight sets. Not all seeds made it out alive like Rafa. Vasek Pospisil defeated 30th seed Fabio Fognini while Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 153 in the world, ousted 15th seed Feliciano Lopez.
Sabine Lisicki, 2013 Wimbledon finalist and 18th seed, suffered a scare on centre court today when she easily dropped the first set to American Christina McHale 2-6. She committed 14 unforced errors to McHale’s one. The announcers revealed Lisicki, who loves grass, is allergic to grass and the pollen count is very high in London. But she found her groove, managed to win the second set 7-5, and then demolished McHale in the third set 6-1.
Defending champion Petra Kvitova is Sonic the Hedgehog because no one is stopping her. She lost three games in her first two matches. THREE. Both were also under an hour. Even better for her are other seeds dropping like flies. Magdalena Rybarikova defeated eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets while Olga Govortsova defeated 25th seed Alize Cornet.
Agnieszka Radwanska’s dominating wins in the first two rounds are flying under the radar. The 13th seed looks clean and crisp to make huge rumbles in the tournament. Caroline Wozniacki, seeded fifth, crushed Denisa Allertova in the first set and then went up 5-1 in the second set, only to allow Allertova to push a tiebreak. Wozniacki managed to win it, though. Angelique Kerber, seeded tenth and my personal dark horse, won in straight sets. American up-and-coming superstar Madison Keys also advanced to the third round.
Day 5 includes incredible matches on the top courts:
Grigor Dimitrov vs. Richard Gasquet
Novak Djokovic vs. Bernard Tomic
Serena Williams vs. Heather Watson
Stan Wawrinka vs. Fernando Verdasco
Maria Sharapova vs. Irina-Camelia Begu
Marin Čilič vs. John Isner