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Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Monday, 21 June 2010 20:59 UK

Jamaican Dustin Brown open to playing for Great Britain

Dustin Brown
The 6ft 5in Brown is the first Jamaican to play at Wimbledon for 40 years

Jamaica's Wimbledon debutant Dustin Brown has declared an interest in switching allegiance to Great Britain.

The world 105, who has a British grandmother, invited UK tennis chiefs to make contact after his first round loss to 16th seed Jurgen Melzer.

"If they help me improve my game then that's something I would have to look at," said the 25-year-old Brown.

"But something has to happen from the LTA. If they're interested, then they have to step towards me."

Brown became the first Jamaican to play at Wimbledon for 40 years on Monday, losing 6-3 4-6 6-2 6-3 to Austria's Melzer, but would be eligible to play for Great Britain if he changes nationality.

Former British number one Greg Rusedski, who represented Canada until the age of 22, made a similar move when he adopted British citizenship in 1995.

"It's not because I don't want to play for Jamaica anymore. I just have to try to further my career," said the 6ft 5in Brown.

"I've played for Jamaica all my life. But with Britain I'll be one of the only players, or even the number one player."

Brown said he has had no contact with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) so far and insisted the onus was on them to make the first move.

"They have to approach me and then have a sit down," said Brown.

Britain will be without star player Andy Murray in next month's Davis Cup tie against Turkey, where defeat would see them relegated to the bottom tier of world tennis for the first time.

Brown, who is based in Germany, has rocketed 460 places up the rankings since 2008 and is now ranked 55 places above British number two Alex Bogdanovic.

"I played for Jamaica in 2002, but I'm pretty sure the cooling off period is 36 months, and I haven't been playing Davis Cup lately at all," said Brown.

He added that Jamaican tennis authorities had failed to inform him he was playing at Wimbledon until days before the event.

"They've given me no funds, no coaching and no help," he claimed.

"Neither does it help getting an email two days ago telling me 'Congratulations on your wildcard for Wimbledon'."

Brown rise towards tennis' top 100 has been through a somewhat unorthodox route.

He spent half of the last decade trawling around the low-level European circuit in a camper van, which was a gift from his parents - a Jamaican father and German mother.

"Money was pretty tight most of the time. I was playing Futures, on the road all over Europe, and making $170 to lose in the first-round match is not exactly a good amount of money," Brown said in an interview with the Observer newspaper on Sunday.

"But with the camper, it was possible... that pretty much saved my career. It was a bit of an adventure."

With Britain's Davis Cup fortunes at a low ebb, the UK tennis governing body have not ruled out drafting in Brown.

"We have had no contact with him yet. But, if he satisfies the International Tennis Federation regulations, we will be happy to do so," said an LTA spokesman.



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