Brian Baker (tennis)
Baker at the 2016 French Open.
|Country (sports)||United States|
|Residence||Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Born||April 30, 1985|
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Highest ranking||No. 52 (October 29, 2012)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2013)|
|French Open||2R (2012)|
|US Open||2R (2005, 2012)|
|Olympic Games||1R (2016)|
|Highest ranking||No. 29 (May 22, 2017)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||3R (2017)|
|French Open||3R (2016)|
|US Open||3R (2013, 2016)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||2R (2016)|
|Last updated on: August 30, 2018.|
As a junior player, Baker won the 2002 Orange Bowl. In 2003, he reached the boys' singles final of the French Open after beating Marcos Baghdatis in the quarterfinals and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals. In the final, he lost to Stan Wawrinka. Baker reached No. 2 in singles and No. 5 in doubles in the junior world rankings.
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 2005, as well as participating in three autumn Challenger events in 2007. 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.
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 a 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 against Gaël Monfils meant that Baker progressed to the quarterfinals of the tournament. 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. 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 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."
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. In his third-round match, he beat Frenchman Benoît Paire in four sets. 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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. 359.
In February 2017, he won his maiden ATP Tour title at the Memphis Open in doubles partnering Nikola Mektić. They faced off against compatriots Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson in the final. He won his second doubles title in Budapest in April, again partnering with Mektić.
Baker underwent his 14th major surgery on 21 December 2018 (back), delaying his comeback.
ATP career finals
Singles: 1 (1 runner-up)
|Loss||0–1||May 2012||Open de Nice Côte d'Azur, France||250 Series||Clay||Nicolás Almagro||3–6, 2–6|
Doubles: 2 (2 titles)
|Win||1–0||Feb 2017||Memphis Open, United States||250 Series||Hard (i)||Nikola Mektić|| Ryan Harrison
|Win||2–0||Apr 2017||Hungarian Open, Hungary||250 Series||Clay||Nikola Mektić|| Juan Sebastián Cabal
ATP Challenger Tour and ITF Futures finals
Singles: 10 (6 titles, 4 runner-ups)
|ATP Challenger (2–2)|
|ITF Futures (4–2)|
|Loss||0–1||Apr 2003||Little Rock, United States||Futures||Hard||Ignacio Hirigoyen||6–3, 5–7, 3–6|
|Win||1–1||Jan 2004||Tampa, United States||Futures||Hard||Todd Widom||6–3, 6–4|
|Loss||1–2||May 2004||Tampa, United States||Futures||Hard||K. J. Hippensteel||6–1, 6–7(5–7), 2–6|
|Win||1–0||Aug 2004||Denver, United States||Challenger||Hard||K. J. Hippensteel||7–6(7–5), 6–4|
|Loss||1–1||May 2005||Tunica Resorts, United States||Challenger||Clay||James Blake||2–6, 3–6|
|Win||2–2||Jul 2011||Pittsburgh, United States||Futures||Clay||Bjorn Fratangelo||7–5, 6–3|
|Loss||1–2||Nov 2011||Knoxville, United States||Challenger||Hard||Jesse Levine||2–6, 3–6|
|Win||3–2||Jan 2012||Weston, United States||Futures||Clay||Jason Kubler||7–5, 6–3|
|Win||4–2||Mar 2012||Costa Mesa, United States||Futures||Hard||Greg Ouellette||6–1, 6–2|
|Win||2–2||Apr 2012||Savannah, United States||Challenger||Clay||Augustin Gensse||6–4, 6–3|
Doubles: 15 (11 titles, 4 runner-ups)
|ATP Challenger (8–2)|
|ITF Futures (3–2)|
|Loss||0–1||Apr 2002||Elkin, United States||Futures||Hard||Rajeev Ram|| Huntley Montgomery
|6–2, 4–6, 4–6|
|Loss||0–2||Nov 2002||Hattiesburg, United States||Futures||Hard||Rajeev Ram|| Huntley Montgomery
|Win||1–2||May 2003||Orange Park, United States||Futures||Clay||Phillip Simmonds|| Brendan Evans
|4–6, 7–5, 6–4|
|Win||2–2||Oct 2003||Arlington, United States||Futures||Hard||Bobby Reynolds|| Hamid Mirzadeh
|Loss||0–1||Nov 2003||Champaign, United States||Challenger||Hard (i)||Rajeev Ram|| Travis Parrott
|6–4, 4–6, 1–6|
|Win||3–2||Jan 2004||Tampa, United States||Futures||Hard||Rajeev Ram|| Huntley Montgomery
|6–3, 3–6, 6–2|
|Loss||0–2||Feb 2004||Joplin, United States||Challenger||Hard (i)||Rajeev Ram|| Yen-Hsun Lu
|6–3, 1–6, 1–6|
|Win||1–2||Jul 2004||Granby, Canada||Challenger||Hard||Frank Dancevic|| Harel Levy
|Win||2–2||Aug 2004||Denver, United States||Challenger||Hard||Rajeev Ram|| Jamie Delgado
|Win||3–2||Nov 2004||Champaign, United States||Challenger||Hard (i)||Rajeev Ram|| Justin Gimelstob
|Win||4–2||Apr 2016||Savannah, United States||Challenger||Hard (i)||Ryan Harrison|| Purav Raja
|5–7, 7–6(7–4), [10–8]|
|Win||5–2||Oct 2016||Stockton, United States||Challenger||Hard||Sam Groth|| Matt Reid
|6–2, 4–6, [10–2]|
|Win||6–2||Oct 2016||Fairfield, United States||Challenger||Hard||Mackenzie McDonald|| Sekou Bangoura
|Win||7–2||Oct 2016||Las Vegas, United States||Challenger||Hard||Matt Reid|| Bjorn Fratangelo
|Win||8–2||Nov 2016||Charlottesville, United States||Challenger||Hard (i)||Sam Groth|| Brydan Klein
Junior Grand Slam finals
Singles: 1 (1 runner-up)
|Loss||2003||French Open||Clay||Stan Wawrinka||5–7, 6–4, 3–6|
Doubles: 2 (2 runner-ups)
|Loss||2002||Wimbledon||Hard||Rajeev Ram|| Florin Mergea
|4–6, 6–4, 4–6|
|Loss||2002||US Open||Hard||Chris Guccione|| Michel Koning
Bas van der Valk
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||A||A||A||Q1||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||A||A||1R||Q1||0 / 2||1–2|
|French Open||A||A||A||A||Q1||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||A||A||A||1R||A||0 / 2||1–2|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||A||Q1||A||A||A||A||A||A||4R||A||A||A||1R||A||0 / 2||3–2|
|US Open||Q1||Q1||1R||1R||2R||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||1R||A||A||1R||A||0 / 6||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||0–0||0 / 12||7–12|
|ATP World Tour Masters 1000|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||A||Q1||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||0 / 0||0–0|
|Miami Open||A||Q1||Q1||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R||A||0 / 2||0–2|
|Cincinnati Masters||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||2R||A||A||Q2||A||0 / 2||2–2|
|Shanghai Masters||Not Held||A||A||A||1R||A||A||A||A||A||0 / 1||0–1|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–1||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||1–2||1–1||0–0||0–0||0–1||0–0||0 / 5||2–5|
|Summer Olympics||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||1R||NH||0 / 1||0–1|
|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 / 0||0 / 1|
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R||3R||A||0 / 2||2–2|
|French Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||3R||1R||A||0 / 2||2–2|
|Wimbledon||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R||A||A||0 / 1||0–1|
|US Open||A||A||2R||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||3R||A||A||3R||1R||A||0 / 6||6–6|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–0||1–1||0–1||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||1–1||2–1||0–0||0–0||4–4||2–3||0–0||0 / 11||10–11|
|ATP World Tour Masters 1000|
|Miami Open||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||SF||A||0 / 2||2–2|
|Madrid Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||A||0 / 1||1–1|
|Italian Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||A||0 / 1||1–1|
|Cincinnati Masters||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||1R||A||A||2R||A||A||0 / 3||2–3|
|Win–Loss||0–1||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–0||1–1||0–1||0–0||0–0||1–1||4–3||0–0||0 / 7||6–7|
|Summer Olympics||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||2R||Not Held||0 / 1||1–1|
|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 / 0||0 / 0||0 / 0||0 / 0||2 / 2||0 / 0||2 / 2|
Wins over top-10 players
|1.||Gastón Gaudio||9||US Open, New York, United States||Hard||1R||7–6(11–9), 6–2, 6–4||195|
- 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. Archived from the original on July 2, 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.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Mr. Comeback Brian Baker to face unseeded Jesse Levine in Challenger finals". Knox News. November 12, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/05/01/tennis-birthdays-april-30-2012/[permanent dead link]
- "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. Archived from the original on June 29, 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.
- Resiliency: My Battle with Injuries, tennistakes.com, accessed 7th January 2019.
- "Wimbledon: Brian Baker savouring second tilt at big time as comeback gathers pace". Scotsman. June 30, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012.