The first men’s wild cards for the 2012 Western & Southern Open have been awarded to Americans Brian Baker, Ryan Harrison and Sam Querrey. Their countrywoman Venus Williams had previously been announced as the first women’s wild card recipient for the August 11-19 tournament at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Baker is enjoying success following a remarkable comeback from five surgeries that kept him from the game for six years. The 2003 French Open junior finalist, Baker underwent left hip surgery in 2005, a sports hernia operation in 2006, and in 2008 underwent Tommy John surgery in addition to operations on both his left and right hips. While rehabilitating, Baker served as an assistant coach at Belmont University in his native Nashville. He returned to pro tennis in 2011, and this season reached his first career final in Nice and the Round of 16 at Wimbledon to approach the Top 75 in the rankings.
Harrison travels back to Wimbledon this week to represent the United States in the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 20-year-old attained a career-high ranking this month after reaching three ATP World Tour semifinals this season – at Newport, Eastbourne and San Jose. Last year he was a two-time semifinalist during the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Earlier this year he played his first Davis Cup ties, and in April was the first US teenager to play a live rubber since Andy Roddick in 2001.
Querrey is a past quarterfinalist at the Western & Southern Open who began 2011 in the Top 20. Early last summer he underwent right elbow surgery, and his comeback from that injury was realized in June when he reached the semifinal at Queen’s Club prior to Wimbledon. This week he is competing at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Los Angeles where he is a two-time champion.
The addition of these three wild cards brings the men’s entries to 47 for the 56-player field. Williams is the 38th player named for the 54-player women’s field. Additional wild cards will be announced for both the ATP World Tour and WTA fields, in addition to further players being added to the fields via the qualifying tournaments that will be held August 11-12.
The complete player lists as well as ticket information for the Western & Southern Open can be found online at www.cincytennis.com.