Wimbledon 2017: Dustin Brown wins feisty affair over Joao Sousa

Entertaining the crowd with his unique brand of tennis, the German knocked off the Portugese in four tightly contested sets.

Wimbledon 2017: Dustin Brown wins feisty affair over Joao Sousa
Brown reacts during his first-round victory/Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images
Joao Sousa
Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown reached the second round of Wimbledon with a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Joao Sousa. 

Brown, famous for his upsets of Lleyton Hewitt in 2013 and Rafael Nadal in 2015, advances to face defending champion Andy Murray in the second round.

Sousa takes the first set

Both players were extremely solid on serve in the first set. The returner only got to deuce once, but that turned out to decide the set

In the fourth game, Sousa broke for a 3-1 lead when Brown steered a forehand wide. He would close out the set with two love holds in his last three service games and on set point, the Portugese peppered a forehand down the line to take the lead.

Brown responds to level the match

Things were only getting worse for Brown as the second set began. Facing a break point at 30-40, and exquisite lob gave Sousa the break. The Portugese number one was still rock solid on serve and it appeared he would take a two set lead.

With Sousa serving for the set at 5-4, the German saved a set point and when presented with his first break point of the match, the German ripped a forehand to which Sousa had no reply and the set was back on serve.

Both men would hold out for a tiebreak and it was Brown who took the initiative, gaining the first minibreak for a 4-2 lead. Sousa would have a response and got the breaker back on serve at 5-4.

The decisive moment came when the German took a 6-5 lead after a slice approach, forcing an error from Sousa and one point later, he drew a backhand error on set point to level the match at one set all, the Portugese likely feeling he should be up two sets to none.

Brown takes the lead

The third set resembled the first as the server was dominant, winning the first 12 points of the set. Again, it would be one moment that tipped the balance in the direction of one man and on break point in the seventh game, Brown used the slice backhand effectively to draw an error from Sousa for a 4-3 lead.

Now ahead for the first time in the match, the German would face a break point in his next service game, saved with a serve-and-volley point. Serving for the set, Brown left little doubt as he closed out a two sets to one lead with an ace.

Sousa implodes to hand Brown the victory

Sousa spent much of the fourth set directing his anger at the umpire after being given a warning for his language, but had already let loose on a line judge after a controversial call.

The break would come in the fifth game as one of Brown's trademark diving volleys gave him a 3-2 lead. He nearly went up a double break, but Sousa was able to escape further trouble.

In the end, it made little difference as Brown served out the match to love, an ace on match point sending him to a Center Court encounter with Murray.

By the numbers

Brown applied constant pressure and with 15 aces plus 69 ventures to the net (winning 48 of those points) and 54 winners, Sousa could never get a grip on the match despite 10 aces of his own and only 16 errors.


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