Dustin Brown; A Wimbledon Journey that started from a van

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Dusty Payne

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  • Dustin Brown; A Wimbledon Journey that started from a van

Dustin Brown; A Wimbledon Journey that started from a van


One of the most skilled players in the history of Jamaican tennis, Dustin Brown was born on 8th December, 1984: in Germany. The right handed tennis ace was trained initially by an American before rising in tennis around the picturesque side of the capital city of St. James Parish. The man with a particular hair style of long matted strings speaks English as well as German language with a high degree of fluency.


Brown’s first singles appearance at Wimbledon along with his jump into the top 100 rankings can all be retraced to an improbable vehicle, an adventurer van of Volkswagen motors. According to Brown, the camper was actually his last opportunity, he admitted after his match of the first round versus Jürgen Melzer, the 16th seeded player.


The van was bought in the year 2004 by his parents with a view of Brown’s mother specifically to provide her son an affordable mode of travelling all around Europe. The camper had three beds with a bath as well as a kitchen and was thus actually gigantic than most of the apartments in Manhattan. Brown ornamented the walls of the camper with beautiful pictures after placing a computer along with a racket stringing machine inside it. The customised German number plate CE DI 100 gave the last touch, where CE stands for Brown’s native place Celle, I stand’s for Ing, his mother and D for Dustin. The number 100 in the license plate reflected his desire to exceed the top 100 rankings in the world of tennis.


Brown contested in a couple of tournaments in the same state in order to trim down his cost. For one whole year, he stayed chiefly in Germany where as in the next year he spent most of his time in Italy. His survival was conditional largely on his results on a day to day basis. He mostly used to cook on weekends for the entire week ahead. However, in case of good results, Brown at times also used to dine outside at the nearby restaurants.


During that phase of his life, the Jamaican professional tennis ace often spent the whole night thinking of whether his conditions will ever improve in life? Is this hard-work ever going to be paid?


The breakthrough for Brown came after a struggling period of about six years rather than just a single tour or match. During these six years, he at times strived extremely hard just for existence. However, the 26 years old Brown; never gave up and kept on going with his hard work and positive approach towards life that finally did the trick for him.


The most important turning point of Brown’s career came during the last two seasons when he jumped on the Challenger Circuit of ATP in 2009 and made his way into the final of four championships. It was this time when Brown started challenging the top rank players with his quality tennis.


As a result, Brown reached his highest ever world ranking of 99. His current ranking is 105 in the ATP. The Jamaican hailed at Wimbledon as the first ever West Indies singles player during the last four and a half decades.


Brown lived in the city of Germany for a period of about twelve years extending from 1984 -1996 along with his parents. Kim Michael Wittenberg used to train him during that period of Brown’s life.


When Brown shifted to the capital city of St. James Parish, the Montego Bay things were transformed for the family. Brown used to play on fracture public courts with a yellow bouncy ball while looking for challengers. The finer he played, the greater championships he won, and eventually the more he cleared his way into the resort courts. This started the extended thrash of the Brown’s family with the Tennis Federation of Jamaica. According to Brown, he only got a single email from the federation on annual basis asking about his readiness for the Davis Cup Championship.


A sad moment came last Friday for Brown when he got an email from the president of the tennis federation, greeting him for his entry into the Wimbledon through wild card. However, in actuality, Brown was listed 101 in the rankings and thus got straight entry after injury removal. He thus viewed the message as punch on his face.


However, Brown is hoping for some good change in the days to come. All the struggle and hard work will definitely be paid back for the the Jamaican player if he continues his growing momentum.




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