Rafael Nadal got off to a good start at Wimbledon 2015, advancing to the second round with ease. His next opponent isn’t considered to be much of a threat to make any noise in the tournament, but there’s no guarantee that the No.10 player in the world will win his upcoming match.
Dustin Brown will get a shot at Nadal in the second round, having beaten Yen-Hsun Lu 3-6 6-3 7-5 6-4 on Tuesday. Ranked at No.102, Brown is a heavy underdog against Nadal, but he’s been able to overcome the odds against one of tennis’ top stars before.
Just over a year ago, Brown got the better of Nadal on the grass courts of Halle, Germany. Ranked No.85 at the time, Brown defeated Nadal 6-4 6-1 soon after the “King of Clay” had won his ninth French Open. Nadal was ranked No.1 at the time.
“It is difficult to think about how the match going to be; he's not a usual player,” Nadal said of Brown, following Tuesday’s win. “Anything can happen. He beat me last year in Halle. It is little bit different, the surface and everything. He's a tough player. He won today against good opponent. Probably he will come with good confidence. I’m going to try to be ready for it.”
It can’t be ruled out that Nadal might suffer a shocking upset. He hasn’t looked nearly as good as the other members of tennis’ “Big Four,” and he was ousted in the first-round of a grass tournament prior to Wimbledon, losing to then-No.79 Alexandr Dolgoplov.
Nadal didn’t make it beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon 2014, losing to then-No.114 Nick Kyrgios. Two years ago, Nadal was ousted in the opening round at Wimbledon, falling to the world’s No.135 player. In 2012, Nadal lost in the tournament’s second round.
But Spaniard should be able to take care of business on Thursday. Even though grass might be his preferred surface, Brown has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon. Nadal didn’t have much trouble with Thomaz Bellucci on Tuesday, winning 6-4 6-2 6-4 against the world’s 42nd-ranked player.
“I think I played okay; played well, played solid,” Nadal said of his first-round victory. “I am a little bit more confident now than I was few months ago. [It’s] just day by day for me. Obviously victories help.”
Bovada.lv has made Nadal a -1110 favorite against his next opponent, giving Brown +700 betting odds. A win for Nadal, who turns 30 years old on Friday, would pit him against either Viktor Troicki or Aljaz Bedene in the next round.