A bit of Jamaica exploded in Bergamo, where Dustin Brown passed the first round defeating Bemelmans 76 36 63, just after having reached his first quarter in an ATP event in Johannesburg last week.
Blessed by just enough talent to become an honest journeyman of the circuit, Brown remains a child of a lesser god, but his matches is more and more transforming into some kind of show for smile-prone fans.
Savage-haired and lond-bearded Rastaman, role-model, fame arrived to him more for his image than for his frankly limited skills. He obtained only one sponsorship contract, with an apparel mark (casually, I'd dare wryly say).
Brown is a serve&volleyer, but his style on the net is far from being comparable to Edberg's or Henman's. His highly peculiar forehad volley reveals an unsuspected efficiency, and beside a deep serve constitute his most consistent weapon. From the baseline he's more confident from the advantage side, while his forehand, sometimes really fierce, tend more often to fluff unpredictably long or wide with no pace, and he has even played it with a clearly unusual slice-spin.
He hasn't good memories or relationship of any kind with the Jamaican tennis federation, who has never helped or supported him. And, in response, he decided not to play in Davis Cup anymore. In the island tennis is a strictly secondary discipline, leap-frogged in fame even by bob. He was born in Germany, by a Jamaican father. Started to play tennis at 5, and strangely his first tennis teacher, in Europe, was Jamaican. From the age of 12, he has lived in Jamaica, at Montego Bay.
The about $100,000 in career prize-money, more than a half won last season, testifies all the hurdles, the climbs on broken grounds he has had to face to pursue his dream. But he hasn't let to anyone to tell him he couldn't have reached it. At the end of the day he was right.