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.
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.
But former champion Andy Murray breezed into the Wimbledon third round on Thursday as the women’s top 10 lost its fourth seeded player of the week, AFP reports.
Third seed Murray, the 2013 champion, brushed aside Robin Haase, the world number 78 from the Netherlands, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 in just 87 minutes.
“I started the match off very well. I started quickly and Robin was a little bit slower at the beginning and then he started to come back in it, he played better tennis,” said Murray after his fourth win in five matches against his fellow 28-year-old.
“That was the sort of match I was expecting at the end of the second and the third set where he was making it tough.
“We were playing some longer rallies. He has good variety in his game so there were some fun points.”
The women’s draw opened up even further when Russian eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova, a quarter-finalist in 2014, went down 6-2, 7-5 to unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.
Before 2015, the world number 65 Rybarikova had never won a match at Wimbledon in seven years of trying.
Makarova joined third seed Simona Halep, seventh seed Ana Ivanovic and Carla Suarez Navarro, seeded nine, in failing to get beyond the second round.
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki made it through to the third round with a 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) win over Denisa Allertova, the world number 83 from the Czech Republic.