Dustin Brown rocketed into the limelight when he knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon but the dreadlocked German is now facing the harder task of readjusting to regular life slogging round the tennis circuit.
Brown, who spent years driving round Europe in a campervan from tournament to tournament, said his Wimbledon heroics were a moment to treasure – but said there was no time for celebrating as a return to the daily grind beckons.
The 30-year-old world number 102 knocked out two-time champion Nadal, but the qualifier’s fairytale came to a crashing halt on Saturday with defeat to Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.
“I’m happy with my tournament. When I came to the qualifiers, if someone would have said sign here for beating Rafa, making second round and qualifying, I would have signed that paper,” said Brown.
“I can beat a lot of good guys on a given day if I put the game together.
“Having the pleasure and being able to play on Centre Court and then to play a match like that, doesn’t make a difference if I lost (to Troicki) or not, no-one will ever be able to take that away from me.”
But the flamboyant serve-and-volleyer said the time for revelling in his exploits would come at the end of the year when he heads to Jamaica.
Born in Germany to a Jamaican father and German mother, he moved to Jamaica aged 12 but returned to Europe in 2004.
“After I won the Rafa match, I went to the room. OK, I was awake because I was so full of adrenaline. But then I can’t just sit there and say, Oh, great. I beat Rafa. Life is great. Then two days later, what?” said Brown.
“When I’m in Jamaica at the end of the year, then I can have a Red Stripe (beer) and say, great. Great year, Dustin. You played great. There’s no time for that right now.”
While the top players can amass giant fortunes in tennis, it is not the same story for the circuit journeymen.
Brown will receive STG77,000 ($A157,400) for having reached the Wimbledon third round.
“It’s great to make money in a tournament like this,” said Brown.
“But then sometimes people that look at that don’t look at the bunch of weeks where we play a challenger where, first round of a challenger in Italy, for example, you get 300 euros minus 30 per cent tax. You can check what a flight is from Frankfurt to Italy.
“It’s one great week. Obviously a lot of money. But there’s also so many weeks where we throw money out the window basically, just for flights and food.”