LONDON – Two-time champion Rafael Nadal is making another early exit from Wimbledon, after losing in the second round to a 102nd-ranked qualifier who played the match of his life.
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Dustin Brown, a German of Jamaican heritage with a clever touch and a throwback serve-and-volley game, beat Nadal 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court on Thursday in by far the biggest surprise of the tournament so far.
Brown kept Nadal off balance with a mixture of drop-volleys, reflex shots and quick-fire backhand serve returns.
It’s the first time Nadal has lost to a qualifier at a Grand Slam, and the fourth year in a row he has lost in the early rounds at Wimbledon to a player ranked 100th or lower.