Brian Baker's Wimbledon run comes to an end against Philipp Kohlschreiber
Tuesday 03 July 2012
German Philipp Kohlschreiber today halted Brian Baker's remarkable
12-month journey which has taken the American from tennis oblivion to
the second week of Wimbledon.
Kohlschreiber has taken advantage of Rafael Nadal's absence from the bottom of the draw, making largely untroubled progress since a five-set victory over compatriot and Halle champion Tommy Haas in round one.
Malek Jaziri, Nadal's second-round conqueror Lukas Rosol and now Baker have fallen in straight sets to the number 27 seed, who in his eighth Wimbledon has now reached his first quarter-final.
A 6-1 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 success over Baker was an impressive performance by the Switzerland-based 28-year-old, who until this year had not gone beyond the third round at Wimbledon.
Baker, 27, was a promising youngster but feared he was a spent force on the professional circuit when a string of injuries halted his promising career.
He had five operations and took a job as an assistant tennis coach at Belmont University in his native Nashville.
But after almost six years off the tour Baker has returned and found the form of his life, winning through qualifying before taking down Rui Machado, Jarkko Nieminen and Benoit Paire on his march to the fourth round on his Wimbledon debut.
Baker saw his serve broken early by Kohlschreiber before rain caused a delay to the Court 12 tussle.
Once they returned, Kohlschreiber sped through the rest of the opening set.
The next was far tighter, neither man able to make a breakthrough against serve until the tie-break when Kohlschreiber scuppered Baker's hopes of drawing level. Baker had failed to take break chances during the set, and going two sets behind left him with little chance.
Briefly it seemed the theme of the second set would continue, but then Kohlschreiber broke through and the end was in sight for Baker.
Twelve months ago he did not have a world ranking but he is assured of breaking through to the top 100 tomorrow, but his Wimbledon is over.
Kohlschreiber, meanwhile, becomes the fourth German to reach the quarter-finals. Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber, who were preparing to face each other on Centre Court today, claimed fine wins in the fourth round, with Florian Mayer and Kohlschreiber today following them through.
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