Brian Baker (tennis)

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Brian Baker
Baker RG16 (3) (27304935362).jpg
Baker at the 2016 French Open.
Country (sports)  United States
Residence Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Born (1985-04-30) April 30, 1985 (age 31)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Turned pro 2003
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money $923,950
Singles
Career record 20–38
Career titles 0
2 Challengers, 4 Futures
Highest ranking No. 52 (October 29, 2012)
Current ranking No. 334 (August 1, 2016)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (2013)
French Open 2R (2012)
Wimbledon 4R (2012)
US Open 2R (2005, 2012)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games 1R (2016)
Doubles
Career record 10–18
Career titles 0
4 Challengers, 3 Futures
Highest ranking No. 113 (October 25, 2004)
Current ranking No. 156 (August 1, 2016)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2016)
French Open 3R (2016)
Wimbledon 1R (2016)
US Open 3R (2013, 2016)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games 2R (2016)
Last updated on: August 1, 2016.

Brian Richard Baker (born April 30, 1985) is a professional American tennis player from Nashville, Tennessee.

Junior career[edit]

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.[1] 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.[1]

Pro career[edit]

Early career[edit]

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.[2] The victory was Baker's first Grand Slam win.[2] Baker originally played on the tour for only a short time, from 2002 through 2005, as well as participating in three autumn Challenger events in 2007.[3] He won one Challenger event in singles (and three in doubles) during this time and reached a career-best singles ranking of World No. 172 on November 15, 2004. He was coached by Ricardo Acuña.[citation needed]

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.[4][5] 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.[6]

Return to professional tennis[edit]

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.[7][8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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,[11] before losing to Jesse Levine in the final.[9]

2012[edit]

Baker during his second round match at the 2012 French Open.

Baker won three Futures and Challenger tournaments early in 2012 before returning to the ATP Tour: USA F3 and F8, and Sarasota.[citation needed]

After winning the Savannah Challenger, beating Augustin Gensse in the final in April 2012, he was awarded a wild card for the 2012 French Open.[4] 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..."[12] The statement was in reference to the USA F17 tournament that Baker went on to win.[citation needed]

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.[9] Baker then faced Sergey Stakhovsky in the first round, losing the first set before recovering to win the match. A straight sets victory against Gaël Monfils meant that Baker progressed to the quarterfinals of the tournament.[13] Hard-fought wins over Mikhail Kukushkin and Nikolay Davydenko took Baker to his first ATP final on a 15-match winning streak going into the match.[14] 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.[15]

Just two days after the final in Nice, Baker headed to Paris for the French Open. He beat Xavier Malisse in straight sets 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."[15]

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 before dismissing Jarkko Nieminen, also in straight sets, to progress to the third round.[16][17] In his third-round match, he beat Frenchman Benoît Paire in four sets.[4] Baker bowed out of the competition in the fourth round, losing in straight sets to Philipp Kohlschreiber.[18] 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".[18]

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 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. He then qualified 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 by winning against Radek Štěpánek in Basel, after being a set and a double-break down. Baker lost in the second round to eventual champion Juan Martín del Potro.[citation needed]

He ended 2012 ranked world no. 61, after reaching a career-high ranking of world no. 52 in October.[citation needed]

2013[edit]

In the Heineken Open in Auckland, Baker upset fifth 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 eighth match point.[19]

In the second round of the Australian Open, Baker led 20th 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 put Baker off the tour for about four months.[20]

Baker made his return in Aptos. losing to Guido Pella. He then lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters. At the U.S Open. he was defeated by Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.

He ended 2013 ranked world no. 360.[citation needed]

2014[edit]

Baker withdrew from the 2014 Australian Open, citing a knee injury.[21]

2016[edit]

He played at 2016 Australian Open after nearly three-year injury layoff,[22] where he lost to Simone Bolelli.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Baker was as an assistant coach for the Belmont University men's tennis program for four years.[23] He studied toward business and finance degrees at the university.[24]

ATP career finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (0–1)[edit]

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0–0)
ATP World Tour 500 Series (0–0)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (0–1)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. May 26, 2012 Open de Nice Côte d'Azur, Nice, France Clay Spain Nicolás Almagro 3–6, 2–6

Singles Challenger and Futures finals (6–4)[edit]

Legend (Singles)
ATP Challenger Tour (2–2)
ITF Futures (4–2)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. April 7, 2003 USA F8 (Little Rock, Arkansas) Hard Argentina Ignacio Hirigoyen 6–3, 5–7, 3–6
Winner 2. January 12, 2004 USA F1 (Tampa, Florida) Hard United States Todd Widom 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 3. May 17, 2004 USA F12 (Tampa, Florida) Hard United States KJ Hippensteel 6–1, 6–7(5–7), 2–6
Winner 4. August 2, 2004 Denver Challenger (Denver, Colorado) Hard United States KJ Hippensteel 7–6(7–5), 6–4
Runner-up 5. February 5, 2005 Tunica Resorts Challenger (Tunica Resorts, Mississippi) Clay United States James Blake 2–6, 3–6
Winner 6. July 4, 2011 USA F17 (Pennsylvania) Clay United States Bjorn Fratangelo 7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 7. November 7, 2011 Knoxville Challenger (Knoxville, Tennessee) Hard United States Jesse Levine 2–6, 3–6
Winner 8. January 23, 2012 USA F3 (Florida) Clay Australia Jason Kubler 7–5, 6–3
Winner 9. March 19, 2012 USA F8 (United States) Hard United States Greg Ouellette 6–1, 6–2
Winner 10. April 23, 2012 Savannah Challenger (Savannah, Georgia) Clay France Augustin Gensse 6–4, 6–3

Doubles Challenger titles (4)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
1. 18 July 2004 Granby, Canada Hard Canada Frank Dancevic Canada Harel Levy
Italy Davide Sanguinetti
6–2, 7–6(7–5)
2. 8 August 2004 Denver, United States Hard United States Rajeev Ram United Kingdom Jamie Delgado
United Kingdom Jonathan Marray
6–2, 6–2
3. 21 November 2004 Champaign, United States Hard (i) United States Rajeev Ram United States Justin Gimelstob
United States Graydon Oliver
7–6(7–5), 7–6(9–7)
4. 24 April 2016 Savannah, United States Hard (i) United States Ryan Harrison India Purav Raja
India Divij Sharan
5–7, 7–6(7–4), [10–8]

Performance timelines[edit]

Current till 2016 Summer Olympics

Singles[edit]

Tournament 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 W–L
Grand Slam Tournament
Australian Open A A A A Q1 A A A A A A A 2R A A 1R 1–2
French Open A A A A Q1 A A A A A A 2R A A A 1R 1–2
Wimbledon A A A A Q1 A A A A A A 4R A A A 1R 3–2
US Open Q1 Q1 1R 1R 2R A A A A A A 2R 1R A A 1R 2–6
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–1 0–1 1–1 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 5–3 1–2 0–0 0–0 0–4 7–12
National representation
Summer Olympics Not Held A Not Held A Not Held A Not Held 1R 0–1
Career statistics
Titles / Finals 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1
Overall Win–Loss 0–0 0–1 0–3 2–5 2–3 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 11–13 3–5 0–0 0–0 2–10 20–40
Year-end Ranking N/A 612 422 178 205 N/A 842 N/A N/A N/A 456 61 360 N/A N/A

Doubles[edit]

Tournament 2004 2005 2012 2013 2016 W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A A A 1R 0–1
French Open A A A A 3R 2–1
Wimbledon A A A A 1R 0–1
US Open 2R 1R 2R 3R 4–4
Win–Loss 1–1 0–1 1–1 2–1 2–3 6–7
National representation
Summer Olympics A NH A NH 2R 1–1
Career statistics
Overall Win–Loss 1–2 0–1 3–4 2–3 5–8 11–191
Year-end Ranking 114 496 263 342

1 Including Overall Win-Loss 2002 (0–1).
No ATP World Tour match in 2003, 2006–2011 and 2014–2015.

Wins over top 10 players[edit]

# Player Rank Event Surface Rd Score Baker Rank
2005
1. Argentina Gastón Gaudio 9 US Open, New York, United States Hard 1R 7–6(11–9), 6–2, 6–4 195

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lee, Veronica (July 1, 2012). "Baker keeps fabulous story rolling". The Independent. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Brian Baker Stuns Gaudio in Debut At Grand Slam". New York Sun. August 30, 2005. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Pro Circuit – Brian Baker". ITF. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Wimbledon 2012: Lukas Rosol loses after Rafael Nadal heroics". BBC Sport. BBC. June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ Washington Post article
  6. ^ "Baker's hot run rising to the occasion as Wimbledon last 16 fairytale continues". Daily Mail. July 1, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Long Road For Brian Baker". ESPN. June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Wimbledon 2012: Brian Baker on unlikely comeback". BBC Sport. June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "Brian Baker – ATP Profile". ATP. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.lovemeansnothing.ca/media/tennis-canada-media-centre/professional/Polansky-into-NB-Futures-final
  11. ^ "Mr. Comeback Brian Baker to face unseeded Jesse Levine in Challenger finals". Knox News. November 12, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  12. ^ http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/05/01/tennis-birthdays-april-30-2012/
  13. ^ "Baker stuns Monfils in Nice". Press Association. May 23, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  14. ^ "U.S.'s Brian Baker into Nice final". ESPN. May 26, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "Battling Baker is back – after nine years and three hip operations". The Independent. May 31, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Wimbledon 2012: Brian Baker makes up for lost time against Nieminen". The Guardian. June 29, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Dream Run For Brian Baker". ESPN. June 28, 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Wimbledon 2012: Brian Baker goes out but with renewed hope for future". The Guardian. July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  19. ^ Long, David (2013). "The Fabulous Baker Boy", stuff.co.nz, January 7, 2013.
  20. ^ "Are you kidding me?": Luckless Brian Baker succumbs to injury on Australian Open debut, The Mirror, January 16, 2013.
  21. ^ http://www.stevegtennis.com/2013/12/brian-baker-withdraws-from-australian-open-with-knee-injury/
  22. ^ http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/baker-comeback-feature-2015
  23. ^ http://www.belmontbruins.com/sports/m-tennis/coaches/baker_brian
  24. ^ "Wimbledon: Brian Baker savouring second tilt at big time as comeback gathers pace". Scotsman. June 30, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 

External links[edit]