Dustin Brown, the Jamaican-German Rasta.

Dustin Brown
Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown was born in Celle, West Germany, on December 8 1984 to Inge and Leroy and moved to his father’s birth country, Jamaica, in 1996. His paternal grandmother was born in Britain, technically making him eligible for the GB Davis Cup team had he not made his debut for Jamaica in a match against Bolivia in 2003.

While growing up in Celle, Dustin Brown played handball and football as well as judo and tennis but decided at the age of eight to concentrate solely on tennis. When he moved to Montego Bay with his parents, he started again on public courts, moving up through the juniors until he joined the Futures circuit in 2010.

Dustin Brown has not cut his hair for 19 years and wears a tongue piercing.


His parents, worried about the lack of support from Tennis Jamaica, bought their son a VW Camper van in 2004 in which he could live and travel while playing in Europe. It took them six years to pay off and the week after they made the final HP payment in 2010, Brown cracked the top 100 for the first time. The personalised number plate he chose was CE DI 100 which was a message for himself, according to the New York Times. CE for his birthplace, Celle; D for Dustin, I for Inge and 100 for his goal of breaking the top 100.

Dustin Brown has faced prejudice both as a boy and a man at home in Germany still sometimes finding it difficult to get into bars and clubs. He told the Observer last year: “Sure, I stood out. And there were a lot of problems when I was younger, both at school and in the tennis world. Mostly, it’s fine, I’ve got used to it, but even nowadays it can be a problem. If you’re with one guy it doesn’t matter so much, you go somewhere else, but if there are six or seven of you, and none of them can get in because of one guy – and that guy always tends to be me – it kind of takes the fun out of the whole thing.”

Having changed his shirt twice during his scintillating second-round victory over two-time Wimbledon champion Rafa Nadal, Dustin Brown’s tattoo was on show to Centre Court, leading to some speculation over the idenitity of the inked face on his torso. Andrew Castle at first posted that it was Bob Marley, who it does not resemble in the slightest, but sounded quizzical and then came back with the information that It was the late Dennis Brown, the Jamaican lovers rock pioneer whose most-remembered song in the UK is his 1979 No14 hit Money in my Pocket. In fact, Brown says it’s his father, Leroy. Perhaps his patting of it seconds after winning was a clue as were the rather clunking assertions that his dad was on his side.

Although Dustin Brown had to qualify at Roehampton this year for the Championships, he is far from a SW19 novice, this being his fifth appearance in six years. In 2010 he lost in the first round to Jürgen Melzer, two years later to David Ferrer at the same stage and in 2014 was knocked out by Marcos Baghdatis. But in 2013 he defeated Guillermo García-López and then went on to beat Lleyton Hewitt 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2. “I cried like a little girl,” he said after that win. “It’s going to take this a while to sink in. I’m not normally the kind of guy to cry. I’m playing Lleyton Hewitt, a guy you grow up watching.” Despite his remarkable victory over Nadal at Halle last year, Dustin Brown’s highest ever ranking is 78 in June 2014,overall ATP record going into Thursday’s match was 32-56 and record in slams 3-10 (including a first-round victory in the 2010 US Open where he was beaten by Andy Murray in the second round).

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