WIMBLEDON, England – American qualifier Brian Baker's career renaissance is headed for the fourth round at Wimbledon.
The 27-year-old Baker, of Nashville, Tenn., extended his remarkable comeback after six years away from the tour, beating Benoit Paire of France 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Saturday.
The 126th-ranked Baker needed five operations from 2005-8, including reconstructive surgery on his right elbow, and returned to the sport about a year ago. He began 2012 ranked 458th, but Saturday's victory is expected to move him into the top 80.
Baker was an up-and-comer who reached the French Open junior final as a teenager in 2003. But a couple of months after playing in the 2005 U.S. Open, Baker needed left hip surgery. His 2008 elbow surgery required about three years for a full recovery.