Brad Pearce knows when to kick his game up a gear, even against an opponent almost a foot taller.
The 24-year-old from Provo hadn't advanced past the third round of any tournament this year until he beat Milan Sjreber Saturday for a spot in the final 16 at Wimbledon.The best previous Grand Slam performance for Pearce was reaching the third round at the Australian Open in 1987. His only previous appearance here was a first-round loss in 1987.
"Up until this year I haven't had too much success at this tournament. It means a great deal to me," Pearce said. "I haven't got caught up in doing well at a major championship. It's all come on so suddenly. I would feel good if I could build on this and reach another level in tennis."
Saturday's match provided a true Mutt-and-Jeff picture. Sjreber is the tallest player on the men's tour at 6-foot-8 and one of the biggest servers. Pearce is among the shortest, at 5-foot-9.
"I was joking in the locker room and comparing myself to David and Goliath. The trouble is I didn't have a sling," Pearce said. "If you return well you can keep pressure on a big server. So my sling is my return of serve against a big server."