Dustin Brown stuns No. 1 Rafael Nadal in Halle

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Halle, Germany (4E Sports) – Days after winning a record ninth French Open crown, No. 1 Rafael Nadal fell to Dustin Brown, 6-4, 6-1, in the second round of the Gerry Weber Open.

Nadal, playing his first grass-court match since a first-round upset last year at Wimbledon, dropped the opening set with an unforced error, after having saved triple set point.

Brown raced out to a 5-0 lead in the second before Nadal finally held to force the German to close out the match on serve. Brown limited Nadal to 10 points in the second set, including just two on return.

“I lost today because my rival was playing better than me,” said Nadal, who was bidding for his 700th match win. “And at the same time, as I said yesterday, the transition from clay to grass is difficult, especially when you arrive a little bit tired and not at 100 per cent. But I tried my best.”

Brown, ranked No. 85 in the world, recorded his second win over a Top 10 player. In April, he upset top seed John Isner en route to the quarterfinals the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston. He will next face countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Roger Federer opened his bid for an unprecedented seventh Gerry Weber Open title with a 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2 win over Joao Sousa for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Federer’s paid off in the second set as he converted his ninth break point for a 4-3 lead and tied the match. A break at the start of the third set put Federer on the path to victory in one hour and 50 minutes.

For a spot in the semifinal, Federer will play Yen-Hsun Lu, who defeated Ivo Karlovic, 7-6(2), 7-6(3) in 89 minutes.

American Steve Johnson was granted a quarterfinal spot when Teymuraz Gabashvili was forced to withdraw due to a right knee injury.

Meanwhile, world No. 42 Radek Stepanek stunned three-time former champion and home favorite Andy Murray, 7-6(10), 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals of the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club.

Stepanek recorded his first Top 10 win in nearly two years and the 24th of his career (24-71 record). The Czech advances to a quarter-final clash with Kevin Anderson, who helf off Sergiy Stakhovsky, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4).

Top seed Stan Wawrinka avoided Murray’s fate as he cruising past Sam Querrey, 6-2, 6-2, in just 50 minutes. He will play either Marinko Matosevic, who defeated fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-2, 6-4.

Other winners were Grigor Dimitrov, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Tomas Berdych and Feliciano Lopez.

On the women’s side of the event, top seed Ana Ivanovic and third seed Sloane Stephens advanced to the quarterfinals while Samantha Stosur was eliminated.

Ivanovic defeated Lauren Davis, 6-1, 6-1, while Stephens held off Alison Riske, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-1 at Edgbaston Priory Club. Stosur, meanwhile, succumbed to Casey Dellacqua, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Other winners were Kirsten Flipkens, Klara Koukalova, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Zhang Shuai and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

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