HALLE, Germany (AP) — Rafael Nadal was knocked out in the second round of the grass-court Gerry Weber Open on Thursday, losing 6-4, 6-1 to German wild card Dustin Brown.
"I didn't play," Nadal said. "That can happen when you play an opponent like this. But I don't want to talk about the opponent."
Brown, the world No. 85, broke Nadal's serve at the fifth attempt to win the first set, and he pulled off two audacious lobs in succession to break the Spaniard again early in the second.
Nothing Nadal tried seemed to work in his first match since winning his ninth French Open title. He had a first-round bye at Halle, where he was the top seed.
"The only way I could have tried to do more was resisting with my serve, something I hadn't practiced a lot these days," said Nadal, who was unnerved by Brown's unpredictability.
"For the first four games he didn't put any returns on the court and then suddenly he was playing winners from the return, so it's difficult to analyze these kinds of matches. The only thing I can do is keep working the way that I did the last three days, because I came here, I tried hard, I tried my best."
Brown became the lowest ranked player to beat a world No. 1 since 2008, when No. 98 Mardy Fish beat Roger Federer at Indian Wells.
"I never played against a world No. 1 before, never played him before, so this is just crazy for me," the player with the distinctive dreadlocks said.