Wimbledon Lookahead: Dustin Brown tries for encore
LONDON (AP) — After his stunning win over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, Dustin Brown said it was easy to play well when expectations were so low.
The 102nd-ranked German won’t have that luxury on Saturday against Viktor Troicki. Everyone wants to see what Wimbledon’s latest sensation can do for an encore.
“Dustin was very entertaining yesterday,” said Nick Kyrgios, the Australian who beat Nadal in the fourth round here last year. “I thought he played some really courageous tennis as well. The crowd loved it. He’s very unorthodox what he does out there and I thought it was pretty cool.”
It wasn’t so much the result that had people buzzing — it was the fourth year in a row that Nadal lost to an opponent ranked 100th or lower at Wimbledon — but the manner in which Brown dismantled the two-time champion.
His aggressive serve-and-volley style is almost as unusual in tennis these days as Brown’s long dreadlocks.
But it’s especially well-suited to grass, and expectations ahead of his third-round match are now soaring.
“On this surface, when I go out there, obviously I’m confident that I can play my game,” Brown said. “Obviously I am not unbeatable on this surface, but it comes more natural playing on this, especially with my type of game.”
If recent history is any guide, though, following up a win over Nadal at Wimbledon can be quite difficult for lower-ranked players.
Lukas Rosol beat the Spaniard in the second round in 2012, only to lose his next match. Steve Darcis had to withdraw injured after stunning Nadal in the first round in 2013. Last year, Kyrgios lost to Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals.
And Brown isn’t exactly known for his consistency. Before Wimbledon, he had only won back-to-back matches once on the tour this year.
“It took a while for me to learn to know that I can win a match like this on a given day, but I can also play a shocking match,” he said.
A lot of tennis fans can’t wait to see which Brown shows up against Troicki.
Here’s what else is happening Saturday at the All England Club:
At this stage of the tournament, Andy Murray is usually the only British man left standing. This time, though, he’s joined in the third round by James Ward — making it the first time since 2002 that two British men advanced this far.
With British media usually focusing almost exclusively on Murray, Ward hopes he can take some of the pressure off the 2013 champion as he goes for his second title at the grass-court Grand Slam.
“It’s always good to help, if that’s what he needs,” said Ward, who faces Vasek Pospisil of Canada. “(Murray) deals with it great. It’s a new thing for me, so we’ll just deal with it as it comes. … It’s great for British tennis and it’s great for everyone involved that more people are winning matches and doing well.”
Murray will play 25th-seeded Andreas Seppi in the last match on Centre Court, while Ward faces Pospisil on Court 1.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both seem to flourish against Australian opponents. Djokovic, who beat Bernard Tomic in straight sets Friday, hasn’t lost to an Australian in a tour-level match since 2006 — and Federer can extend an even longer streak at Grand Slam tournaments when he plays Sam Groth on Centre Court.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion has won 18 straight matches against players from Down Under in majors. His only Grand Slam loss to an Australian came in his first major — against Pat Rafter at the 1999 French Open.
John Isner’s suspended five-set match against U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic will be resumed on Court 1 after Caroline Wozniacki plays Camila Giorgi.
Isner vs. Cilic was suspended because of darkness when tied 10-10 in the fifth set on Friday.
Wozniacki’s match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. local time (1200 GMT; 8 a.m. EDT).
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