“My phone is blowing up right now.” Those were the words of Dustin Brown as he walked off court following his straight sets win over Evgeny Korolev to become one of four German men to advance to the Wimbledon main draw on Wednesday.
Of course, the 6ft 5ins player known fondly as ‘Dreddy’ to his friends, has been here before. This time last year to be precise. On that occasion he won three back to match matches to set up a meeting with Spaniard David Ferrer. This time round he’s remaining optimistic and hoping for a more favourable first-round opponent.
“It’s just a great feeling to be through now,” Brown told www.wimbledon.com. “I’ve never qualified at any other slam. I’m the lowest ranking  I’ve had in a long time. Three years ago I was 101, last year around 160. At least I defended the 35 points. From here on, I can hopefully have a nice draw and see what happens then.”
The right-hander, who yesterday knocked out No.5 seed Jiri Vesely, struggled with a bout of nerves during his opening service game against Korolev who likes to give the ball a fair old whack.
“I did a shaky service game, he took advantage and broke me right away,” Brown said. Then I was like it doesn’t make a difference, it’s five sets, I have all the time in the world so even if this one goes down the drain I can still get it back.”
That he surely did. Solid play helped him break back in the very next game and after he’d tucked the first set tie-break under his belt, it was plain sailing with aggressive netplay and a strong serve volley game among the components that contributed to his third straight-sets victory on the trot.
Countrymen Julian Reister, Jan-Lennard Struff and Bastian Knittel were also successful in their final round duels. Reister enjoyed a spectacular win, toppling No.3 seed Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 23 minutes, while it was business as usual for No.7 seed Struff who defeated Russia’s Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. In the late afternoon sunshine, Knittel eventually triumphed over No.24 seed Flavio Cipolla 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 on his fifth match point.
The US contingent also enjoyed success. Denis Kudla disposed of Belgian Ruben Bemelmans 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, while fourth-seeded Wayne Odesnik qualified after Oliver Rochus was forced to retire while leading 6-2, 6-2, 4-6, 0-3. Eighth-seeded Tim Smyczek fared less well, bowing out to Australia’s Matt Reid in a thrilling 6-3, 5-7, 6-7 (5), 5-7 contest, which spanned a whisker over two and half hours.
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