Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wimbledon Day 8: Baker

Curtain Call

Player: Brian Baker
Age: 27
Nation: USA
Current Ranking: 126
Today's Result: loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany, 27th seed) in straight sets

Photo via VOXXI

Baker was knocked out of the sport in 2007 with a long list of surgeries. He was coaching at Belmont College when he decided to give it another go. He started at the bottom on the Futures circuit and worked his way back up. He's just had the tournament of his life, reaching the second week in his first-ever Wimbledon main draw. Granted, he got some help. He never had to face a seed before the fourth round. But you can't control your opponent and at the end of the day, you've just got to beat the guy on the other side of the net. Baker got the job done. Bravo, sir.

The ESPN commentators have been quite giddy, even exclaiming that this is only the beginning for Baker. Let's be realistic. He's 27 years old. If there's a window at all, it's a small one. He's certainly earned the right to enjoy this great moment. Let's please leave it there for now.

Catching Up with Old Friends

Marin Cilic (Curtain Call, Roland Garros Day 6) - I'd love to watch Cilic play basketball. It's not just his height, though a 6' 6" Croatian certainly wouldn't seem out of place in the NBA. I really like the way he moves around the court and I'd love to see how that translates to the hardwood. By reaching the fourth round, he's matched his career best at Wimbledon.

Golden Squid Report

Richard Gasquet - Gasquet matched last year's result by reaching the fourth round. He took out 12th-seeded Nicolas Almagro (Spain) in the third round. He lost today to Florian Mayer (Germany, 31st) in a match that started yesterday.

Marina Erakovic - Erakovic also matched last year's singles result, losing to Roberta Vinci (Italy, 21st) in the second round. Unfortunately, she and partner Tamarine Tanasugarn (Thailand) failed to match last year's semifinal run in doubles. They lost today to Ekaternia Makarova/Elena Vesnina (Russia, 5th) in three sets.


  1. Why do they need so many people in these things? For the men they ought to just get right to Federer, Nadal, and that other guy whose name I can't spell. They seem to always be the ones in it at the end. The rest of these guys are just there for padding the tourney roster. The women might have a little more variety these days, but probably not much.

    1. You've gotten right to the heart of the reason why I originally started my blog. There are 256 players between the men's and women's draws. 256 players means 256 stories. Granted, not everyone has a legitimate shot at the title but that doesn't mean there aren't other goals worth attaining. It is my goal each day to identify a player who had a successful tournament even though he/she lost.

      I can understand why the casual fan might not have much interest in tuning in before the end. But to me, watching everyone else helps you appreciate WHY Federer, Nadal and Djokovic (that's the other guy) are so much better. Similarly in soccer, it's worth watching other teams so you can appreciate why Spain and Brazil are so good.