July 10, 2013

Brian Baker to Make Tour Return in Atlanta

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Former Belmont University assistant men's tennis coach Brian Baker will make his long-awaited return to the ATP World Tour July 20-28 at the BB&T Atlanta Open.

The event will begin the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

Baker has written one of the best comeback stories in tennis history. After a decorated junior career, which included victories over Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, an appearance in the 2003 French Open final and a world No. 2 junior ranking, Baker endured numerous injuries that forced him away from competition.

But after a six-year hiatus, Baker returned to professional play in late 2011. Success in Futures and Challenger series events soon followed, and momentum grew. Last summer, Baker parlayed his fine play into an ATP final in the Nice Open and a round of 16 at the Championships Wimbledon.

Rising as high as No. 52 in the Emirates Airline ATP Rankings, Baker entered 2013 with high hopes. Yet after an opening round victory over Alex Bogomolov in the Australian Open, Baker suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his second round match against Sam Querry.

While rehabilitating, Baker has contributed to a regular blog for USA Today Sports.

"We are thrilled to be Brian Baker's first tournament back since his Australian Open injury," Tournament Director Bob Bryant said. "Brian has persevered for one of the greatest comebacks in professional sports and the BB&T Atlanta Open is glad to assist him in the next chapter of his career by granting a wild card into our main draw."

Baker returns to the ATP World Tour with a protected ranking of No. 56, and he will be given nine tournaments to regain his pre-injury status.