At first glance, he doesn’t look like the typical tennis player with his long, hanging dreadlocks and various facial piercings. His vicious ball-striking and entertaining style of play makes him a unique phenomenon on the tour and it’s difficult not to take a liking to ”Dreddy” as he came to be called by his most loyal fans.
Tennisportalen had an exclusive chat with Dustin Brown after his opening round of the Swedish Open.
– It’s my third time here in Bastad and it is a really lovely tournament, he says with a smile.
– Personally, I like when everything is within walking distance and the fact that you do not need a shuttle to the training facility makes it amazing. Had there been a third set today against Munoz de la Nava I had been able to go to my room after the second set, taking it easy and then been ready again for the third set. I enjoy being here, says Brown.
Brown lists grass as his favorite surface and admits his stunning victory against Rafael Nadal on Centre Court at Wimbledon in 2015 was his greatest moment in his 14-year long professional career. Meanwhile, the transition from grass to clay is among the most difficult to deal with on tour, according to the Jamaican-German Brown.
– It’s tough, really tough. I came here straight from league matches in Bundesliga, on clay, and I really needed the matches under my belt in order to prepare myself as perfect as possible before the Swedish Open. I played on grass for a long time and the extra time on the red dirt was useful for me.
Did you ever think you would reach the ATP Tour when, for a number of years ago, you toured the camper through Europe and competed on the futures tour?
– It was a long time ago and nothing is new regarding that. Everything that you’ve read or heard about are available online. You’ll have to look it up up on the internet.
Do you think that tennis today in general need more characters like yourself and Kyrgios, Monfils?
– I understand that people find it entertaining with players like Kyrgios and Monfils on tour, but all players doesn’t play like that. I also do not believe that those players do it deliberately. I do not believe you can train to do these spectacular things on court because they have such good instincts and that is why we see these amazing points. They react to something that happens and I do not think you can train yourself to do it.
– I am often asked about my game and my style but I try to do my job and win tennis matches, and sometimes magical things happens but it’s not like we go out and play and just trying to entertain the crowd. I just try to play good tennis if I’ll be honest.
Tips for talented juniors who aspire to become professionals?
– It’s not an easy way to go but you have to believe in yourself! We saw it recently with Marcus Willis in Wimbledon who thought about quitting with tennis but entered the pre-qualies to Wimbledon and ended up on Centre Court against Roger Federer. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the best feelings to experience when you have fulfilled your dream. If you have a dream, you should believe in it and do your best to get there.