Will Brian Baker take this comeback to the distance? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Will Brian Baker take this comeback to the distance?

Mercury
05-25-2012, 09:46 PM
How far do you think he'll take it?

Certinfy
05-25-2012, 09:48 PM
All the way to the World Tour Finals I think.

misty1
05-25-2012, 09:52 PM
he can get to the top 50 i think..maybe more but i would think its to late for him to do anything major.I want to see how he does against nicolas though because this week he's beaten a disinterested and injured monfils, a davydenko who is a shadow of his former self and kukushkin..nothing more really needs to be said there.

lets be honest here if monfils was healthy and motivated he would have lost in the 2nd round to him anyway

JurajCrane
05-25-2012, 09:58 PM
lets be honest here if monfils was healthy and motivated he would have lost in the 2nd round to him anyway

Yes, but even 2nd round was great result for him. This final is just ... you know.

nellis_lv
05-25-2012, 09:58 PM
I think he'll finish in the Top 40.

If he can improve on holding his own service games, even higher.

Excellent return game but he'll get broken way too easily by the top guys. He got broken 15 times this week, already, and return game keeps saving him.

Certinfy
05-25-2012, 09:59 PM
He's top 50 for sure, but that's assuming the body holds up.

Serve is far too inconsistent but it is a weapon, just needs to spend more time on it.

Could reach top 25 though, not sure if any higher considering he's 27 now though.

SamRFC
05-25-2012, 10:00 PM
I agree with the point about the player's he's beaten. There's no real outstanding result. (okay winning the amount of matches he has in a row is impressive). I'm yet to actually watch his however so I'll make a better judgement when I see him in the final tomorrow if he gets much of a chance against Almagro.

250 events can throw up runs like this (Ward at AEGON last year), but by the sounds of things he's easily top 100 potential, can't see him push Top 50 for a while though

nellis_lv
05-25-2012, 10:06 PM
Oh, and a big server like Isner/Raonic could easily destroy him.

Has yet to face those in his juniors/futures/challengers experience and that return game would pretty much be nullified.

misty1
05-25-2012, 10:06 PM
I agree with the point about the player's he's beaten. There's no real outstanding result. (okay winning the amount of matches he has in a row is impressive). I'm yet to actually watch his however so I'll make a better judgement when I see him in the final tomorrow if he gets much of a chance against Almagro.

250 events can throw up runs like this (Ward at AEGON last year), but by the sounds of things he's easily top 100 potential, can't see him push Top 50 for a while though

thats a good point about 250's and it begs the question: is this just another 1 time run? james ward has done nothing since that run at the aegon last year and golubev has completely gone off the rail after his title win a couple seasons ago.

navy75
05-25-2012, 10:20 PM
How can this be a one-time tournament run when this is Baker's very first ATP level tournament in 7 years? James Ward seems like a nice guy from a personality standpoint, but I don't see how he and Baker are comparable on any level. I suppose it is possible if Baker's disastrous health luck kicks in yet again. Barring that, I'm sure that Baker will keep getting better and better as he gains more match play.

Baker is easily more naturally talented than most in the top 50, and we don't even have to go into heart. I also don't agree that someone like Isner would destroy him, as Baker has the kind of returning ability to get more breaks against Isner than almost everyone else in the top 50. Baker is still subject to unlucky draws until his ranking rises, which might delay his ascension somewhat. Barring an elongated run of bad draws or another health concern, I think that Baker could definitely be in the top 20 or higher within a year or so.

Filo V.
05-25-2012, 10:22 PM
Baker is so much better than Ward talent wise, and is so much more intelligent a player than Golubev. Also remember this in Europe, on Euro red clay, yes, he made RG boys final, he's a good clay player, but this isn't even his best surface.

It's too early to determinate where he will go from here. He has the talent to definitely be top 50 without question and much more. His serve and forehand have been a bit shaky, this week, though. With that being said, he's just coming back and this is his first event at this level in a long time, so we just don't know.

Orka_n
05-25-2012, 10:23 PM
As I said after the Savannah final: He will rise.

Top 15 at least.

If he can stay healthy that is.

r2473
05-25-2012, 10:26 PM
He's going the distance.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__PU5CVSegg


Reluctantly crouched at the starting line
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags go up.
Churning and burning they yearn for the cup.
They deftly manuver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
Reckless and wild they pour through the turns.
Their prowess is potent and secretly stern.
As they speed through the finish the flags go down.
The fans get up and they get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns,
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

(chorus)
He's going the distance,
He's going for speed.
She's all alone (all alone) all alone in her time of need.
Because he's racing and pacing and plotting the course.
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse.
He's going the distance......aaaahhhhh aaahhhhh.....

No trophy, no flowers, no flashbulbs, no line-
He's haunted by something he can not define.
Bowel shaking earthquakes, of doubt and remorse.
Assail him impale him with monster truck force.
In his mind he's still driving-still making the grade.
She's hoping in time that her memory will fade.

Because he's racing and pacing and plotting the course.
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up.
And long ago somebody left with the cup
But he's striving and driving and hugging the turns,
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

Orka_n
05-25-2012, 10:28 PM
Baker is the new GolubevExcept he will actually rise

Deathless Mortal
05-25-2012, 10:28 PM
He will go far. If Mardy Fish managed to get to top10, then so can Baker. The only thing he really has to improve is his serve, but I don't think it'll be a problem. His movement will get better with more matches under belt.

BauerAlmeida
05-25-2012, 10:30 PM
He'll be TOP 50. Unfortunately it's to late for him to be be TOP 10, but he has the game to do it.

Mark Lenders
05-25-2012, 10:32 PM
Baker is the new Golubev

Baker is already far better than Golubev will probably ever be.

Golubev is the closest thing the ATP has to a WTA player: his only strategy is just to hit the ball as hard as possible, that's pretty much it.

Brian is already better than him, even after seven years off the tour. He could actually amount to something great, his talent is there for all to see.

Deathless Mortal
05-25-2012, 10:35 PM
He'll be TOP 50. Unfortunately it's to late for him to be be TOP 10, but he has the game to do it.

Then why is it too late exactly? The top 10 players are averagely 27 years old, and he's 27 now. Not to mention Fish only made the top10 at the age of 30.

mooncreek
05-25-2012, 10:39 PM
The question is how the body holds up during the US Hard Court season He has the choice of events to play in July (nobody would deny him a WC), when most of the players will be preparing for the Olympics. It stands to reason he'd only play a few events but maybe pouncing on Newport-Washington-WinstonSalem before the US Open.

If the body holds up, I'd say he's a solid Top 50 player. I don't see it as higher due to the scheduling he's likely doing to stay healthy. Let's just enjoy the ride for now.

Mark Lenders
05-25-2012, 10:39 PM
Then why is it too late exactly? The top 10 players are averagely 27 years old, and he's 27 now. Not to mention Fish only made the top10 at the age of 30.

It's not too late because he's 27. It's essentially because he lost 7 years of his careers. In such a competitive sport, even losing 1 year is normally the end of a player's career at the highest level, let alone 7. It is already a success in itself that he managed to return to the tour.

Top 10 might be a bit too ambitious after everything he's been through. Not because he doesn't have the talent, but because he lost years and years of development and all the injuries have left their scars as well, both physical and mental.

It'd be a miracle if he ever was in the world's top 10 after everything he had to go through. I'll be pulling for him, but wouldn't put my money on it.

Machiavelli
05-25-2012, 10:51 PM
Just listened on CNN Brian talking live, I mean how can you not like the guy, Down to earth, humble, comes across as a honest and sincere person; with the history he has, 5 surgeries (hip, elbow etc.), the unquestionable talent which is there obviously, amazing return of serve, excellent bh, good fh, great read of the game, the consistancy on serve needs improvement; but i dont see why can't reach the top of the game, he believes he can, he just needs to stay healthy...

A true cinderella story....

Mark Lenders
05-25-2012, 10:56 PM
His game, or at least some aspects of it, are a bit reminiscent of Nalbandian, I think (perhaps wrongly).

Deathless Mortal
05-25-2012, 10:57 PM
It's not too late because he's 27. It's essentially because he lost 7 years of his careers. In such a competitive sport, even losing 1 year is normally the end of a player's career at the highest level, let alone 7. It is already a success in itself that he managed to return to the tour.

Top 10 might be a bit too ambitious after everything he's been through. Not because he doesn't have the talent, but because he lost years and years of development and all the injuries have left their scars as well, both physical and mental.

It'd be a miracle if he ever was in the world's top 10 after everything he had to go through. I'll be pulling for him, but wouldn't put my money on it.

I'd agree had I not seen him play. This way I really believe he can do it. We saw this week in just his first ATP level tournament after so many years how he can compete with decent players. With some more match practice and fixed serve and movement, he should be a threat for even better players. Also, Troicki was on the verge of breaking to top 10 a year ago, and do you really think Troicki is better than Baker, even after he missed so many years on tour?

Mark Lenders
05-25-2012, 11:09 PM
I'd agree had I not seen him play. This way I really believe he can do it. We saw this week in just his first ATP level tournament after so many years how he can compete with decent players. With some more match practice and fixed serve and movement, he should be a threat for even better players. Also, Troicki was on the verge of breaking to top 10 a year ago, and do you really think Troicki is better than Baker, even after he missed so many years on tour?

No, I don't think Troicki is better than him, but Troicki did benefit from the best conditions to maximize his (inferior) potential.

And yes, Brian is doing great this week, probably fueled by the adrenaline of returning to the tour. But let's see how he does after the honeymoon period wears off, that will be the real test. Not to mention the main issue is if, after all the surgeries and stuff he has been through, his body can take the rigors of an entire year on the pro tour. Even player s with far less serious injury histories tend to have a lot of setbacks upon returning.

If his body (and mind) are ready for the weekly grind of the tour and he faces no further setbacks, I believe he can break into the top 10. But it's a big if. I'll be rooting for him to make it, though.

Sauletekis
05-25-2012, 11:14 PM
The fact that he was 7 years off, also means that he will end his carreer later than the others. His knees for example didn't get wear out throught the years of playing, because he simple didn't...

outrider
05-25-2012, 11:23 PM
Everyone knows who the guy would be if he stayed healthy in the past.
He did not beat guys like Tsonga, Djokovic or Monfils when he was a junior because of ONE good day.
Baker has got more talent than most players between 30 - 100 in the rankings...
There is only one question: What will do his body if he plays 60-70 and more matches over the year?!
If he stays healthy then he will break into the Top 50, no questions about it.

A comparison between him and guys like Ward or Golubev is a shame for our sports.

CooCooCachoo
05-25-2012, 11:36 PM
I'm torn between two options that you didn't include:

- Solid Top 100 player;
- His career will be short-lived due to recurring injury problems.

Looner
05-25-2012, 11:41 PM
I'm torn between two options that you didn't include:

- Solid Top 100 player;
- His career will be short-lived due to recurring injury problems.

I tend to agree with this.

We still do not know how his body would hold up. However, Tsonga is an interesting case here. I mean he was injured for ages and ages and seems to have recovered in terms staying consistently healthy as of late which has allowed him to rise. I hope Baker does well and manages to stay in the top 50 for 3-4 years so he can earn the money he so richly deserves. Hopefully, he can have one top 20 season in there as well.

LastRocket
05-25-2012, 11:42 PM
Oh, and a big server like Isner/Raonic could easily destroy him.

Has yet to face those in his juniors/futures/challengers experience and that return game would pretty much be nullified.

It was long time ago, but still. He served breadsticks and bagels at that time >>

Chanda Rubin North/Central American & Caribbean Junior Champ
13 Oct 2002
Final Brian BAKER def ISNER, John (USA) 6-1 6-0 http://www.itftennis.com/juniors/players/player/profile.aspx?playerid=100003655

Mongoose
05-25-2012, 11:45 PM
will be seeded by US Open

Top 10 by French Open next year

contending for slam titles by start of 2014

will challenge Chuck Norris in arm wrestling in 2015

LastRocket
05-25-2012, 11:45 PM
As I said after the Savannah final: He will rise.

Top 15 at least.

If he can stay healthy that is.

I agree, we both saw it coming :bowdown:
If he stays healthy TOP15. With real training, coach etc.....

Deathless Mortal
05-25-2012, 11:46 PM
It was long time ago, but still. He served breadsticks and bagels at that time >>

He is a Baker after all. ;)

LastRocket
05-26-2012, 12:01 AM
Juniors:

USTA National Tennis Centre, Flushing Meadow, USA 2003
Brian BAKER def MONFILS, Gael (FRA) 6-4 6-2

All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, Great Britain28 Jun - 06 Jul 2003
Brian BAKER def STAKHOVSKY, Sergiy (UKR) 2-6 6-4 6-2

Stade Roland Garros, Paris, France01 Jun - 08 Jun 2003
Brian BAKER def STAKHOVSKY, Sergiy (UKR) 6-2 6-7(5) 6-1
Brian BAKER def BAGHDATIS, Marcos (CYP) 6-4 7-5
Brian BAKER def TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) 6-3 6-3

Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships 15 Dec 2002
SF Brian BAKER def BAGHDATIS, Marcos (CYP) 6-2 6-7(1) 6-3
F Brian BAKER def MONTCOURT, Mathieu (FRA) 7-6(5) 6-2

Chanda Rubin North/Central American & Caribbean Junior Champ 13 Oct 2002
Final Brian BAKER def ISNER, John (USA) 6-1 6-0

LTA International Junior Tennis Championships - Roehampton 23 Jun - 28 Jun 2002
Brian BAKER def TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) 6-2 6-3
Brian BAKER def BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE) 6-3 5-7 13-11

Royal Astrid Tennis Club, Loverval, Belgium27 May - 01 Jun 2002
Brian BAKER def WAWRINKA, Stanislas (SUI) 6-1 6-2

http://www.itftennis.com/juniors/players/player/profile.aspx?playerid=100003655

ATP:
Adelaide, Australia01 Jan - 02 Jan 2005 Qualifying Draw
Brian BAKER def DJOKOVIC, Novak (SCG) 6-2 6-4

http://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/players/player/profile.aspx?playerid=100003655

nole_no1
05-26-2012, 12:05 AM
Too late to call. I'll just wait to see him playing on grass/hardcourt and then i'll say. He is top 20 material that can be said

Mongoose
05-26-2012, 12:11 AM
Juniors:



ATP:

Isner :spit:

dencod16
05-26-2012, 05:59 AM
I think it depends on how he approach it. If he keeps pushing it to the ATP Tour everytime and not try Challengers he might find it difficult to go deep in another tournament. I think he needs to take it slow and not force it. Get some confidence by winning some challengers to make him go up in the rankings.

dencod16
05-26-2012, 06:04 AM
He will go far. If Mardy Fish managed to get to top10, then so can Baker. The only thing he really has to improve is his serve, but I don't think it'll be a problem. His movement will get better with more matches under belt.

I think it will be a problem, if he doesnt improve his serve he will be demolished by players with better returns and players with rocket serves. For him to really go into the top 50 he needs a serve. However, he should not force it.

Mountaindewslave
05-26-2012, 07:31 AM
Juniors:



ATP:

so sad seeing how much success Baker was having as a junior, dominating his peers who all ended up being hugely successful :o who knows what kind of career he might have had if not for the injuries appearing

FleetSeb
05-26-2012, 09:20 AM
I really like his game, been rooting for him all week BUT the extremist bandwagoners are already getting annoying!

His anticipation and serve need to improve. Top 50 is a possibility for sure, would be great to see him get there.

DJ Soup
05-26-2012, 10:17 AM
top 100 for sure. I mean, could end up ranked 65º or 32º or even 15º. So top 100