Dustin Brown's press conference after his 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 defeat to Adrian Mannarino
Q. You signed a lot when you left the court. Do you think your story resonated with this place?
DUSTIN BROWN: Well, I mean, not happy that I lost. On the other hand there are people there that still came to see me. Not going to kill me to take a couple autographs. If I won, I would have probably stayed out there a little longer. Like that I still try to do it even though you're not in the best shape at that point. Still part of the job.
Q. Do you think your story connected with people here?
DUSTIN BROWN: Uhm, yeah. Well, I guess so. Lot of people came on. At the end, I mean, it wasn't the best weather to play tennis in or the people to be waiting all day outside in the rain. The court was still packed. A lot of people came to support me. It was still definitely nice to have everyone there.
Q. You seem to have fun on court. Do you play for yourself or crowd or both?
DUSTIN BROWN: Well, for myself. My type of tennis, it seems that people really like it. Then I guess it works out in both ways. It wouldn't help if I go out there to play for other people.
I go out there and try to play my tennis as best as possible. Yeah, today didn't work out as well as I would have liked it to. I played Adrian a month ago. It was a little similar match. A little faster. Both of us held serves. Especially on the outside it's really difficult to return a serve. Most of the time you're guessing, which also gives him no pressure on the deuce side, because even if he loses a point there, I find it very difficult to return the serve especially on the ad side.
So he's playing free. He came up with a lot of good returns right in front of my feet. Couldn't pick them up. The balls didn't bounce high. Most of the balls don't have any spin that he plays, so the ball doesn't actually bounce up at me or anything. It just dies, and then I have to create my own pace and that's very, very difficult.
Q. I know you played another guy from the challenger circuit today, but what have you noticed are the big differences between tennis at this level and the tennis that you play normally?
DUSTIN BROWN: I don't think there is a difference. The venue is the difference. I think we played the same way we would have played in Sarajevo. Like I said, both of us have a certain way we play.
Q. I mean the tennis against Hewitt and what you've seen here.
DUSTIN BROWN: Generally, like I said, the match today, for example, and the match against Mannarino in Sarajevo, the only thing that was different was the venue. Both of us played the same way. Both of us can play tennis. It's not because it's Wimbledon, that it's a different match or a different situation.
Q. Yeah, I meant the tennis you're playing against Lleyton Hewitt and the tennis you see around you, guys in the top 100, top 50. Do you see a big difference between their game or your game?
DUSTIN BROWN: Like I just answered, I don't think there is a difference. The only difference is that most of the people don't get to see people play at challengers. The last year when Rosol beat Rafa, everybody was like, Oh, my God, the guy was hitting the ball. We know that. The guy does that every week. He's on the big stage, he does the same thing he does week in, week out at the challengers. Suddenly everybody is like, Oh, my God, look at this guy.
But that's why I said, there's no difference. He plays the same way when he plays a challenger in Uzbekistan, and at this point last year, it was on Centre Court at Wimbledon and he played against Rafa. So now the whole world saw. Everybody was going crazy.
But like I said, it's the same way he plays all the time. It's the same way I play. It's the same way Adrian plays. I'm pretty sure that a lot of the guys, as you can see, there were so many qualifiers that got through. Struff got to the third round and he lost today also. These are guys that week in, week out we're playing against at challengers.
That's why it's so difficult to get to this stage and do well because you're playing these guys most of the time in first rounds, you're playing for five points, while here you're playing a first round for 45 points.
Q. You have the Twitter handle on your shirt. You gained about 15,000 followers this week alone. Have any of the players talked to you about that?
DUSTIN BROWN: Well, yeah, actually I was playing doubles with Christopher Kas. I went to the Davis Cup team to Argentina. We were practicing there. We played a lot of doubles together at the beginning of the year. We were messing around. We have a bad streak, so why don't we get a Twitter logo and put it on our shirts.
So we asked the ATP, the ITF, asked Twitter if it would be okay with the rights. They said, yes, it's no problem. We put it on there, see what happens. Again, like I said, playing challengers, where there's 15 people at the court, or playing here or on TV where everybody sees it, I guess that is where the difference is. When you play at challengers, you get three followers, and here I got 15,000. So I think that's the main difference.
Q. But you think other players are going to start doing that as well?
DUSTIN BROWN: I'm not sure. Christopher already has it on some of his shirts. I mean, why not? If no one else is putting the patch on you, why not market your own product? Not a bad idea.
Q. Does this experience make you focus more on singles or are you remaining more doubles? Have you thought about that strategically? Does it make a difference to you?
DUSTIN BROWN: I've always been a singles player. I just for a while, especially last year, I played a lot better in doubles. But doubles is not the number one priority. I'm still for my thing I think I'm young, 28, I can still play a couple years. As you saw this week, I mean, of course it's upsetting now that I lost, but I played five very good matches. Playing guys like this, it could have also been a tour event. Let's say it's a 250, I am in the main draw, I beat five guys like this, I win the tournament.
Of course, I'm sad that I lost. On the other side, it's been a great week also. I shouldn't forget that. When I came here, I was in the quallies, I thought, I lost two rounds in qualifying in Nottingham, what am I expecting to do here? If someone would have told me from the beginning, Sign here, you get the third‑round prize money and points and you are going to win five matches, I would have taken the deal.
Q. The surface on the ATP Tour is very slow. When you play in challengers, there are some tournaments that still have fast surfaces. Is it a better chance for you to show your game?
DUSTIN BROWN: Well, it goes more towards my game to play on surfaces like Sarajevo. But then on the other side, when it's that fast, all these guys can play tennis in the top 200, 300. Think about playing the first round against Daniel Brands, who is 50 now, who at the beginning of the year was 170, play against him, play against Lukas Rosol. These are all guys you're playing against at challengers.
If you're playing on faster surfaces, the ball is going to come faster towards you. It makes it easier to play on that surface, but it doesn't make it easier to win a tournament.
Same thing like Johannesburg. Of course, it suits my game. I like playing there because it's altitude. I lost against Przysiezny in quarterfinals I think. Przysiezny made finals there, got injured there against Pospisil. These are all guys we saw coming through quallies here.
I don't think it's a big difference at tournaments. A lot of tournaments have been canceled, so there's less amount of tournaments, challengers, to play. So everybody is running to the same tournaments.
If you look at the cuts in Rome, a 30,000 challenger, they're 170, 180, where guys I played qualifying, for example. Then I play first round main draw against Guido Pella who played semifinals two weeks later in Dusseldorf beating Janko Tipsarevic, guys like that.
I think the tennis is pretty close. All these guys can play, like I keep saying. But it's just when you put it together. I think it's not that many more challengers where you can say five guys go there, five guys go there, we split up the points. It doesn't work like that any more.
Q. Do you think adding more money to challengers should be a priority?
DUSTIN BROWN: Everybody likes to make more money. Why not? If they want to put more money and more bigger tournaments for players, it's great. We get more money, more points, it's easier to travel.
We don't want to go to a 30,000 plus, but there's some tournaments during Indian Wells and Miami where we only had one or two challengers in Europe. Of course, everyone in Europe that didn't get into those events go to the challengers. That's why the cuts are so high. You're playing good guys in every round basically for a minimum amount of money and points.
Q. I wanted to ask you about the ranking system. The players who choose to play challengers don't receive any money, any points, they just go through qualifying. Do you think it's fair?
DUSTIN BROWN: Everyone has their own opinion about it. We don't make the rules. At the end of the day, makes no sense me arguing about it or getting upset about it because it is the way it is.
I think if I have an opinion about something being bad or good, it's not going to change. I guess I just have to live with it and try to play as well as possible and hopefully have more tournaments and more good weeks like this here.
Q. Where do you play next?
DUSTIN BROWN: I just found out that I wanted to play the Braunschweig challenger, I was two out actually. I won't be able to make it because the qualifying starts tomorrow morning. Mostly the list closes on Saturday and the quallies start on Sunday. Braunschweig has a little different system. I'll be practicing for a week and then probably go to Stuttgart.