August 5, 2015

Brian Baker and Ryan Harrison Among Men’s Wild Cards at US Open

 

FLUSHING, N.Y., August 13, 2013 – The USTA announced today that Brian Baker, playing in his first Grand Slam since the 2013 Australian Open, 2012 Olympian and former world No. 43 Ryan Harrison, 2010 NCAA singles champion Bradley Klahn and 2011 NCAA singles finalist Rhyne Williams have been awarded men’s singles main draw wild card entries into the 2013 US Open. Other American men receiving US Open main draw wild cards are Rajeev Ram and 2013 USTA Boys’ 18s champion Collin Altamirano. Australia’s James Duckworth and France’s Guillaume Rufin will also receive wild cards.

 

The 2013 US Open will be played August 26-September 9 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Both the men’s and women’s singles champions this year will earn $2.6 million, the largest payout in tennis history, with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money – for a total $3.6 million potential payout – based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

 

Baker, 28, of Nashville, Tenn., is attempting to make yet another remarkable comeback from injury. After being sidelined since the 2013 Australian Open in January, when he suffered a significant knee injury during his second-round match against Sam Querrey, Baker returned to competitive play last week at the USTA Pro Circuit $100,000 Challenger in Aptos, Calif., and has advanced to the second round of this week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Baker, now ranked No. 185, ascended to No. 52 in the world in 2012 after injuries kept him sidelined for nearly six years.

 

Harrison, 21, of Shreveport, La., rose to No. 43 in the world in 2012, the year in which he also represented the U.S. in the London Olympics and in Davis Cup. On the Emirates Airline US Open Series this summer, Harrison, now ranked No. 102, reached the semifinals at the BB&T Atlanta Open and defeated former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the first round of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

 

Klahn, 22, of Poway, Calif., earned a US Open wild card as the top American points earner at select USTA Pro Circuit events this summer. The 2010 NCAA singles champion while a sophomore at Stanford, Klahn won the USTA Pro Circuit $100,000 Challenger in Aptos, Calif., last week, catapulting to a career high rank of No. 123. Last year, Klahn received a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, qualified and reached the second round, becoming the first men’s qualifying wild card to win a US Open main draw match.

 

Williams, 22, of Knoxville, Tenn., reached his first ATP semifinal in Houston this year and played in the main draws of the French Open and the Australian Open, winning a USTA playoff to gain entry into the latter. Now at a career-high rank of No. 114, He was a 2011 NCAA singles finalist while at Tennessee, and his grandfather, Michael DePalmer, Sr., was the Volunteers’ longtime coach who helped found the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.

 

Ram, 29, of Carmel, Ind., is the highest ranked American who did not receive direct entry into the US Open at the entry deadline.  Ram owns one singles title (Newport, 2009) and seven doubles titles on the ATP World Tour and has been ranked as high as No. 78 in singles. Ram qualified and reached the second round of the 2013 Australian Open.

 

Altamirano, 17, of Yuba City, Calif., earned his wild card by winning the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championship singles title, doing so in historic fashion. Altamirano became the first unseeded player to win the tournament in the 71 years it has called Kalamazoo, Mich., home.

 

Duckworth, 21, of Sydney, Australia, received a wild card through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, which will grant an American a wild card into the 2014 Australian Open, to be determined by a USTA playoff (Rhyne Williams was the 2013 winner). Currently at a career-high rank of No. 150, Duckworth reached the second round of the 2013 Australian Open and qualified for both the French Open and Wimbledon this year.

 

Rufin, 23, of Charnay, France, received his wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation, which awarded a wild card into the 2013 French Open to an American player designated by the USTA (Alex Kuznetsov won the USTA Pro-Circuit event-based system this year). Rufin, currently ranked No. 92, has played in all three Grand Slam main draws this year, reaching the second round of the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

 

In addition to the eight US Open men’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced eight men who have been awarded wild card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held August 20-23 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  One additional US Open qualifying wild card will be awarded to the winner of the 2013 US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship, taking place August 16-19 in New Haven, Conn.

 

Players receiving 2013 US Open qualifying wild cards are: 2013 USTA Boys’ 18s National Championship runner-up Jared Donaldson (16, Cumberland, R.I.); 2011 French Open boys’ champion Bjorn Fratangelo (20, Pittsburgh, Pa.), who has won three Futures titles in 2013; Christian Harrison (19, Shreveport, La.), who reached the 2012 US Open doubles quarterfinals with his older brother, Ryan Harrison; Jarmere Jenkins (22, College Park, Ga.), who came one win short of winning the NCAA triple crown this summer, leading Virginia to its first NCAA team title, winning the NCAA doubles title and reaching the NCAA singles final; former Wimbledon and French Open boys’ semifinalist Mitchell Krueger (19, Fort Worth, Texas), who won his first pro singles title in June; UCLA sophomore Dennis Novikov (19, San Jose, Calif.), the 2012 USTA Boys’ 18s national champion who defeated 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz in the first round of last year’s US Open; local teenager Noah Rubin (17, Rockville Centre, N.Y.), who has been as high as No. 6 in the world junior rankings; and Tennys Sandgren (22, Gallatin, Tenn.), a former standout at Tennessee who has won five USTA Pro Circuit Futures singles titles in the last two years.

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James Blake Leads List of Wild Cards for Cincinnati

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CINCINNATI (August 8, 2013) — Seven of the eight men’s wild cards for the 2013 Western & Southern Open have been awarded to American players, with four US players being added to the main draw and three entered into qualifying.

 

James Blake, Brian BakerRyan Harrison and Jack Sock have been granted wild cards in to the main draw.

 

In qualifying, Australian Bernard Tomic joins a trio of Americans who each reached a career high ranking last month – Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla and Rhyne Williams – in the field.

 

“We’re happy to welcome a familiar face like James back to a tournament where he has had a tremendous amount of success in his career,” said Tournament Director Vince Cicero. “At the same time, it’s exciting to offer these younger players a chance to participate in a tournament of this caliber. We look forward to having all eight of these players in Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Open.”

 

Blake, the 2007 Western & Southern Open finalist, will be making his 12th apperance at the tournament, third among active players behind Tommy Haas (14) and Roger Federer (13). He also ranks sixth among active players for wins in Cincinnati with a 15-10 record.

 

Baker, from Nashville, returned to tennis in 2012 after a series of injuries kept him sidelined for nearly six seasons. He climbed to almost No. 50 in the rankings before suffering a knee injury at the Australian Open in January that has kept him out of action until this week’s Aptos Challenger.

 

Harrison, a 21-year-old who now calls Austin, Texas, home, reached the semifinals last month at the ATP event in Atlanta. He also claimed the title at the Savannah Challenger this season. It will be his third Western & Southern Open main draw appearance.

 

Sock, a 20-year-old from Lincoln, Neb., won the title at the Challenger event in Winnetka, Ill., last month. He reached his second career ATP quarterfinal in February at Memphis. In 2010, Sock won the US Open Juniors title.

 

The four wild card entrants to the qualifying field will compete in a two-round tournament over this coming weekend for one of seven spots in the main draw.

 

Tomic, 20, is the top-ranked player from Australia. He recently reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and early this season claimed his first career title with a win in Sydney.

 

Kudla, a 20-year-old who grew up in Virginia, reached the quarterfinals at Queen’s Club in London in June.

 

Johnson, 23, won back-to-back NCAA singles champions in 2011-12 while playing for the University of Southern California. He won the Nottingham Challenger in June.

 

Williams, 22, turned pro after his sophomore year at the University of Tennessee, and was the NCAA singles finalist in 2011. He reached his first career ATP semifinal at Houston in April.

 

In addition, the following players have been added to the main draw – Radek Stepanek , Thomaz Bellucci and Denis Istomin. These three were entered following the withdrawals of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (knee), Viktor Troicki (suspension) and Marin Cilic (personal).

 

The draws for both the main draw and qualifying will be made on Friday. Qualifying begins Saturday, which is also AdvancePierre Foods Kids Day, and tickets start as low as $5. WTA main draw play begins Monday. All matches will take place at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.

 

The Western & Southern Open hosted 176,000 fans in 2012, recording a record 10 sellouts over the 16 total sessions spanning nine days. The event drew fans from all 50 states and 19 countries. Cincinnati is one of the last stops on the Emirates Airline US Open Series leading up to the US Open, and often critical points and bonus money are on the line adding drama to the week.

 

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Del Potro Leads Wednesday’s List of French Open Pullouts

Juan Martin Del Potro

(May 22, 2013) Argentine media and Reuters have reported that world No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro has withdrawn from next week’s French Open, still suffering from a virus.

“I am sad to miss such an important tournament, one that you always dream of winning,” Del Potro was quoted on the Ultima Hora website (www.ultimahora.com).

Joining the Argentine on the sidelines will be Americans Mardy Fish and Brian Baker. No. 2. Andy Murray withdrew from the Paris event on Tuesday and will be replaced by a lucky loser.

Fish is still dealing with heart issues, while Baker is still recovering from knee surgery. Fish and Baker will be replaced by Joao Sousa of Portugal and Guido Pella of Argentina.

Withdrawals on the women’s side include – Chan Yung-jan, Alexandra Dulgheru and Lara Arruabarrena. Shahar Peer, Tatjana Maria and Nina Bratchikova will replace them.

The French Open begins this Sunday, May 26.

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Baker Retires with Injury Versus Querrey at Australian Open

 

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(January 16, 2013) Brian Baker was leading his fellow American No. 20 seed Sam Querrey 7-6, 1-1 when he was forced to retire due to knee injury. Baker stretched to get a wide forehand when his right knee collapsed.

ESPN2 reports that Baker has a torn lateral meniscus  in the right knee which will need surgery that will put him out of action and estimated four months.

“I didn’t see what happened,” Querrey explained.  “I hit a ball, and then he hit a ball long.  I was looking at the ballkids to grab balls for my serve, and then I looked back and he was on the ground.

“And then just asking him, he said he kind of just felt his knee almost buckle and kind of heard like a pop or a snap.  He didn’t know if it was bones or a tear, but he couldn’t straighten it, couldn’t walk.

“I feel awful for him.”

Baker’s comeback from multiple surgeries including Tommy John surgery on his elbow, began in 2012 after seven years off the tour.

“Pretty good quality first set, I thought, ” Querry said.  “We exchanged a couple breaks early, maybe a little sloppy those two games.  Then I had a break at 4‑All; he played an unbelievable point and hit a great pass.

“He was playing great.  I mean, those courts are fast.  You can kind of catch up to the return and hit through the court.  He was playing well, and, you know, I was hoping to come back and, you know, just such a bummer for him.”

The 27-year-old from Tennessee ranked 57 in the world who won his first match at the Australian Open on Monday, made the Round of 16 at Wimbledon last year.

Querrey moves into the third round where he will meet Stanislas Wawrinka.

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Baker Sails through

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The last time Brian Baker won a match at the US Open it was 2005. Since then Baker has been on the road back to tennis, battling injuries, surgeries until his comeback a few months ago.

The man from Nashville, won his second career match at the US Open seven years since the first moving past Czech Jan Hajek 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday.

“I think just being older and, you know, knowing how easy the game was taken away from me, said Baker. It’s very easy to appreciate it a lot.  I don’t take anything for granted.

 

“I remember several years watching it on TV wishing I was here, so just to be here is an awesome feeling.  And then at the same time, the competitive side kicks over and I want to do really well.

“I had some nerves,” said Baker.  “I don’t think it was probably the prettiest match ever.  A win is a win.  I felt like when I needed to I played well.  I’m not sure exactly the break point stats, but I know I didn’t get broken and was probably pretty high percentage on my conversion rate.”

Baker began the year with a ranking of 458th in the world and now he’s at 70.

“It’s always exciting to play the Open, said Baker, “but that was another sense of just pride knowing I had done it on my own.  I hope to be able to play several more US Opens, but I don’t take any of them for granted.

“My mind is in the present right now, and I still have a long way to go this next couple of weeks.”

Next up for Baker is Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia. Tipsarevic needed to rally from two sets down to get past Frenchman  Guillaume Rufin of France 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

http://youtu.be/wNHjfo4etXY

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