Brian Baker comeback continues as American advances at Wimbledon


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The Independent Online

American Brian Baker's dream comeback continued as he dropped just six games in reaching the third round of a grand slam for the first time today.

The 27-year-old from Nashville took the opening eight games against Jarkko Nieminen on Court Nine and built on that start to win through 6-0 6-2 6-4.

Nieminen, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon six years ago, had little answer to the player who has come through severe injury trauma to revive his career.

The 31-year-old Finn showed little reaction to putting his first game on the board, having been so wholly outplayed until that stage, and could not muster a meaningful fightback.

Baker has had three rounds of hip surgery, plus hip reconstruction and a hernia operation, and from November 2008 to July last year he did not hold a world ranking, rebuilding his life by beginning a degree in business and finance and taking up a coaching role at Belmont University.

His first grand slam in almost seven years was this year's French Open, where he reached round two before pushing Gilles Simon to five sets.

Now he has gone a step further on his Wimbledon debut, which began for Baker with winning three rounds in qualifying. Another victory could see him take on Rafael Nadal in the last 16.