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Ferrer made to wait against dashing Brown

Dustin Brown serves during his final round qualifying match.
by Barry Newcombe
Tuesday 26 June 2012

Dustin Brown, a qualifier from Germany playing at Wimbledon for the second time, caused a sensation with his powerful serve-volley style as he tried to establish his first-round challenge against Spain's David Ferrer on Court 18.

When rain stopped play, the seventh-seeded Ferrer was leading 7-6(5), 6-4, 1-1, with Brown to serve when play resumes on Wednesday.

Originally the match had been scheduled for No.3 Court but was switched later in the day. This meant that a feast of heavy serving delighted the crowd who packed into the court, enjoying the sight and sound of two players going flat out.

The 27-year-old Brown had qualified for this year's Championships again, three years after he was beaten by Jurgen Melzer on his Grand Slam debut. Today, given another chance, he put all of his considerable energy into making an impact.

The sleeveless Brown decided that If his serve worked, he was going in behind and his volleys were hit hard and often acurately.

If Brown was impressive because of his pace and power, Ferrer had to be given credit for holding on, digging in, believing in himself. He did not intend to be outgunned and as the match progressed the scoreboard proved him right.

He is playing Wimbledon for the tenth time and reached the semi-finals of the French Open earlier this month after beating Andy Murray in the last eight. He is on a 27-match winning streak against qualifiers and has never lost to one in a Grand Slam.

Whether all this was going through Ferrer's head as he took on the pace, power and clear optimism of Brown, the fact remains that he fought cleverly to win the opening  tie-break and to keep control of the contest.

Brown, born in Germany of a Jamaican father and a German mother, wore tennis shoes with green laces in one shoe, orange in the other. He based his game unashamedly on power and it almost paid off. But Ferrer was ready for the attacks and played a fine defensive match, using his claycourt skills before showing that he could attack as well,

Having won the tie-break, he broke Brown's serve in the first game of the second set and held that advantage all the way through to establish a two-set lead. Serving for 5-3, Ferrer had to fight off two break points which he did brilliantly to stay in front.

In the last game of the second set Ferrer was twice at the net to punch away winning volleys and remind Brown that he was not the only show in town.

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