London: Dustin Brown revealed he had never set foot on Wimbledon`s Centre Court before launching his stunning upset of Rafael Nadal in the famous arena on Thursday.
Brown became the latest underdog to rock Nadal at the All England Club as the dread-locked German qualifier stormed to a memorable 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 second round victory over the two-time Wimbledon champion.
The 30-year-old, currently 102th in the world, is the fourth player ranked 100 or above to beat the 14-time Grand Slam winner at Wimbledon over the last four years.
And, given that he had never even seen Centre Court in person before, Brown was surprised how quickly he came to terms with taking on one of the game`s greats on such a revered stage.
"I was playing the first time on the Centre Court. I`ve actually never been on the court before. They asked me before the match if I wanted to go on the court. I didn`t know what was going to happen, so I just said I`ll just go on when I play," Brown said.
"I thought I would freak out a little bit. But being on grass, being with him on the court and having won the last match (against Nadal in Halle last year) it made me feel more comfortable."
Brown said his high-risk game plan of serve and volleying and going for winners at all times seemed to throw Nadal off his stride.
"It`s easy for me to play my game against someone like him because I have nothing to lose," he said.
"When I went for my shots and I started off really, really well in the beginning, that obviously helps."
Brown`s almost flawless performance contained one brief wobble as he closed in on the victory.
On his first match-point he left a Nadal shot thinking it would drop out, but instead the ball bounced in and the Spaniard went onto hold his serve.
But Brown didn`t lose his cool and finished off the best win of his life with his 13th ace of the match.
"I just kept saying `Dustin, just try to concentrate and even if you do lose this now, no-one`s going to say anything bad, so just try to get through it somehow`," he added.
"You have to play your A-game when you`re playing against him. Obviously I was very fortunate that I played him twice on my favourite surface. I wouldn`t want to play him anywhere else.
"I know what I need to do and either it works or it doesn`t work. And with my game it makes him not play his game at all."