Brian Baker (tennis)
Baker during his second round match at the 2012 French Open.
April 30, 1985 |
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
2 Challengers, 4 Futures
|Highest ranking||No. 52 (October 29, 2012)|
|Current ranking||No. 185 (August 12, 2013)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2013)|
|French Open||2R (2012)|
|US Open||2R (2005, 2012)|
|Highest ranking||No. 113 (October 25, 2004)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|US Open||2R (2004, 2012)|
|Last updated on: October 9, 2012.|
As a junior player, Baker won the 2002 Orange Bowl and reached the boys final of the 2003 French Open, where he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka. Baker reached No. 2 in singles in the junior world rankings (and No. 5 in doubles) and beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marcos Baghdatis to reach the French Open final.
|Junior Grand Slam Tournaments|
Baker's biggest win of his fledgling career occurred in August 2005, when he scored an upset victory over ninth-seeded Gastón Gaudio in the 2005 US Open. The victory was Baker's first Grand Slam win. Baker originally played on the tour for only a short time, from 2002 through to 2005, as well as participating in three autumn Challenger events in 2007. He won two Challenger events during this time and reached a career-best singles ranking of World No. 172 on November 15, 2004. He was coached by Ricardo Acuña.
In 2007, he was sidelined for nearly six years after five surgeries—three on his hip, one on his elbow, and one sports hernia—and did not play on the tour again until 2011. Baker stated that his love for the game never waned, and he continued to play tennis with his father and uncle in the Middle Tennessee Tennis League.
Return to professional tennis
While coaching tennis at Belmont University, Baker began to feel his body gradually improving and decided to try again to make it as a professional tennis player in the summer of 2011. He subsequently entered an ITF Futures tournament in Pittsburgh in July 2011 as an unranked qualifier, qualified, and won the tournament, all without dropping a set. In September, he entered the Canadian Futures 7 and reached the semifinals, again without dropping a set. He lost in a walkover to Jesse Levine. Two months later, in November 2011, Baker entered the 2011 Knoxville Challenger, and qualified for the tournament after straight-set victories over Jordan Cox, Tim Smyczek and Michael McClune. He went on to win his next four matches, before losing to Jesse Levine in the final.
Baker won three Futures and Challenger tournaments early in 2012 before returning to the ATP Tour: USA F3 and F8, and Sarasota.
After winning the Savannah Challenger, beating Augustin Gensse in the final, in April 2012, he was awarded the USTA's discretionary wild card for the 2012 French Open. In response to this, Baker's good friend Amer Delić noted an inconvenient truth about the situation by tweeting, "Brian Baker... Same guy that USTA refused to give a WC for qualies of the clay court future last summer..." The statement was in reference to the USA F17 tournament that Baker went on to win.
Shortly before the French Open, he qualified for the 2012 Open de Nice Côte d'Azur in May, beating Ilija Bozoljac, David Guez, and Alejandro González in the qualification rounds, all in straight sets. Baker then faced Sergey Stakhovsky in the first round, losing the first set before recovering to win the match. A straight sets victory, 6–3, 7–6, against Gaël Monfils meant that Baker progressed to the Quarter Final of the tournament. Hard-fought wins over Mikhail Kukushkin and Nikolay Davydenko took Baker to his first-ever ATP final on a 15-game winning streak going into the match. He ultimately lost to Nicolás Almagro, the repeat champion, in the final. After his surprising performance, he reached his highest singles ranking at No. 141.
Just two days after the final in Nice, Baker headed to Paris for the French Open. He beat Xavier Malisse in straight-set in the first round, lining up a match against Gilles Simon in the second round. He lost against Simon in five sets. Despite the defeat, Baker's appearance in the tournament was described as "one of the most remarkable comebacks of modern times."
Two weeks after the French Open, Baker qualified for the 2012 Wimbledon Championships after beating Radu Albot, Denis Gremelmayr, and Maxime Teixeira in the qualification rounds. He secured a straight-set victory over Rui Machado in his first-round match, 7–6, 6–4, 6–0, before dismissing Jarkko Nieminen, 6–0, 6–2, 6–4, to progress to the third round. In his third-round match, he beat Frenchman Benoît Paire in four sets, 6–4, 4–6, 6–1, 6–3. Baker bowed out of the competition in the fourth round, losing in straight sets to Philipp Kohlschreiber. On his performance at Wimbledon, Baker stated - "It's been an unbelievable run. I don't know if I put an expectation like I need to get to this round or not. But I don't know if starting first round qualifiers I would have thought I would have got to the fourth round of Wimbledon".
After starting the North American hard-court season with a string of four first-round losses to lower-ranked players, Baker pulled off another remarkable upset, gaining revenge by beating World No. 17 (and recent Wimbledon quarterfinalist) Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters. He subsequently lost 4–6, 3–6 to Australian Bernard Tomic in the second round. At the 2012 US Open, he matched his best US Open and Grand Slam performance from before his injuries, reaching the second round. He defeated Jan Hájek and fell to eighth seed Janko Tipsarević.
During the indoor hard-court season, Baker qualified (as the top qualifying seed) for the ATP 500 tournament Beijing, losing in the first round to Kevin Anderson 7–5, 3–6, 1–6. He then went on to qualify for the Shanghai Masters, losing to 11th seed Richard Gasquet in the opening round. After these consecutive first-round losses, Baker pulled off a remarkable comeback against Radek Štěpánek in Basel, turning the tables from a double break down in the second set to win 2–6, 7–6, 6–3. Stepanek was up *3–0 in the second, and was broken for a second time at *4–3 from 40–0 up (also having a 3–0 lead in the tiebreak). Baker lost in the second round to eventual champion Juan Martín del Potro 5–7, 1–6.
He ended 2012 ranked World No. 61, after reaching a career-high ranking of World No. 52 in October.
In the Heineken Open in Auckland, Baker upset No. 5 seed (and recent Paris Masters finalist) Jerzy Janowicz in the first round. He converted 2 out of 17 break points and finally won on his 8th match point.
In the second round of the Australian Open, Baker led No. 20 seed Sam Querrey 7–6(2), 1–1 before a knee injury forced him to retire. This was later diagnosed as a torn meniscus, which is set to put Baker off the tour for around 4 months.
ATP career finals
Singles: 1 (0–1)
|Runner-up||1.||May 26, 2012||Open de Nice Côte d'Azur, Nice, France||Clay||Nicolás Almagro||3–6, 2–6|
Challenger and Futures finals
Singles 10 (6–4)
|ATP Challenger Tour (2–2)|
|ITF Futures (4–2)|
|Runner-up||1.||April 7, 2003||USA F8 (Little Rock, Arkansas)||Hard||Ignacio Hirigoyen||6–3, 5–7, 3–6|
|Winner||2.||January 12, 2004||USA F1 (Tampa, Florida)||Hard||Todd Widom||6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||3.||May 17, 2004||USA F12 (Tampa, Florida)||Hard||KJ Hippensteel||6–1, 6–7(5–7), 2–6|
|Winner||4.||August 2, 2004||Denver Challenger (Denver, Colorado)||Hard||KJ Hippensteel||7–6(7–5), 6–4|
|Runner-up||5.||February 5, 2005||Tunica Resorts Challenger (Tunica Resorts, Mississippi)||Clay||James Blake||2–6, 3–6|
|Winner||6.||July 4, 2011||USA F17 (Pennsylvania)||Clay||Bjorn Fratangelo||7–5, 6–3|
|Runner-up||7.||November 7, 2011||Knoxville Challenger (Knoxville, Tennessee)||Hard||Jesse Levine||2–6, 3–6|
|Winner||8.||January 23, 2012||USA F3 (Florida)||Clay||Jason Kubler||7–5, 6–3|
|Winner||9.||March 19, 2012||USA F8 (United States)||Hard||Greg Ouellette||6–1, 6–2|
|Winner||10.||April 23, 2012||Savannah Challenger (Savannah, Georgia)||Clay||Augustin Gensse||6–4, 6–3|
Singles performance timeline
|Grand Slam Tournament|
|Year End Ranking||N/A||612||422||178||205||N/A||842||N/A||N/A||N/A||456||55|
Doubles performance timeline
Won tournament; or reached Final; Semifinal; Quarter-final; Round 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a Round Robin stage; lost in Qualification Round; absent from tournament event; played in a Davis Cup Zonal Group (with its number indication) or Play-off; won a bronze, silver (F or S) or gold medal at the Olympics; a downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament (Not a Masters Series); or a tournament that was Not Held in a given year.
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.
Current till US Open 2013.
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Australian Open||0 / 0||0–0||0%|
|French Open||0 / 0||0–0||0%|
|Wimbledon||0 / 0||0–0||0%|
|US Open||2R||1R||2R||3R||0 / 4||4–4||100%|
|Win–Loss||1–1||0–1||1–1||2–1||0 / 4||4–4||100%|
- Lee, Veronica (July 1, 2012). "Baker keeps fabulous story rolling". The Independent. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Brian Baker Stuns Gaudio in Debut At Grand Slam". New York Sun. August 30, 2005. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Pro Circuit – Brian Baker". ITF. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Wimbledon 2012: Lukas Rosol loses after Rafael Nadal heroics". BBC Sport (BBC). June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- Washington Post article
- "Baker's hot run rising to the occasion as Wimbledon last 16 fairytale continues". Daily Mail. July 1, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Long Road For Brian Baker". ESPN. June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Wimbledon 2012: Brian Baker on unlikely comeback". BBC Sport. June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- "Brian Baker – ATP Profile". ATP. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "Mr. Comeback Brian Baker to face unseeded Jesse Levine in Challenger finals". Knox News. November 12, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "Baker stuns Monfils in Nice". Press Association. May 23, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "U.S.'s Brian Baker into Nice final". ESPN. May 26, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "Battling Baker is back – after nine years and three hip operations". The Independent. May 31, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- "Wimbledon 2012: Brian Baker makes up for lost time against Nieminen". The Guardian. June 29, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- "Dream Run For Brian Baker". ESPN. June 28, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- "Wimbledon 2012: Brian Baker goes out but with renewed hope for future". The Guardian. July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Long, David (2013). "The Fabulous Baker Boy", stuff.co.nz, January 7, 2013.
- "Are you kidding me?": Luckless Brian Baker succumbs to injury on Australian Open debut, The Mirror, January 16, 2013.
- "Wimbledon: Brian Baker savouring second tilt at big time as comeback gathers pace". Scotsman. June 30, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
- Brian Baker on Twitter
- Brian Baker's ATP profile page
- Brian Baker's Athletic DNA Profile
- Belmont Men's Tennis Profile
- NY Times Article detailing Brian Baker's career