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Jamie Baker (born 5 August 1986) is a retired British professional male tennis player, who was British No. 2 in 2008.[2]

Jamie Baker
Jamie Baker (tennis).jpg
Country (sports)United Kingdom Great Britain
ResidenceGlasgow, Scotland
Born (1986-08-05) 5 August 1986 (age 32)
Glasgow, Scotland
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Turned pro2004
Retired29 June 2013
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachKeith Reynolds (2004-2013)
Prize money$401,380
Singles
Career record7–20
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 186 (25 June 2012)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open1R (2008, 2013)
French OpenQ2 (2012)
Wimbledon1R (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012)
US OpenQ3 (2007)
Doubles
Career record1–3
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 306 (1 November 2010)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Wimbledon1R (2007, 2013)
Team competitions
Davis Cup1R (2008)

He won the first match of Leon Smith's tenure as Davis Cup captain, in the tie against Turkey, helping Great Britain to a first Davis Cup win in three years.

Baker has twelve Futures single titles; in doubles, he has 1 Challenger and four Futures titles.

After retiring from tennis, Baker moved into Corporate Finance for a bank,[3] whilst also being a part-time television pundit for Eurosport and the BBC.[2]

Contents

Early and personal lifeEdit

Baker's parents are Gordon and Lynn, and he has an older brother Steven. Baker first picked up a tennis racket at four, and holidayed at Center Parcs where he and Steven would win adult competitions.

Baker went to junior tournaments all over the UK, and met the Murray brothers. Their mother Judy Murray counselled the Bakers that the best way to progress, would be for Jamie to leave home and move to the LTA Tennis Academy in Loughborough. Lynne and Gordon met host families who might look after their son, but decided they couldn't let Jamie go by himself. Gordon relocated to his company's office in Loughborough, while Lynn stayed in Glasgow. At Loughborough, Baker realised that he was in the second tier of junior players, but he was the only one in his group dedicated enough to compete on the senior tour.[2]

His brother Steven is an international squash player.

Junior careerEdit

He had a fairly successful junior career, peaking as high as 6 in the junior ITF rankings. He reached the quarter-finals of junior Wimbledon in 2004, and in the same year won the 18 and under national championships. He won a grade 1 junior event in Venezuela, before turning professional at the age of 18.

Senior careerEdit

2005–06Edit

In 2005 Jamie began playing on the futures and challengers tours. His most successful challenger result was a quarter-final at the Burnie Challenger in February 2006. He made his ATP Tour debut by virtue of wild cards at the 2006 Artois Championship and played at the 2006 Wimbledon Championships.

Baker made his debut for the Great Britain Davis Cup team in September 2006 in the crucial relegation play-off against the Ukraine. Great Britain won the tie 3–2, although Jamie lost his match, the fifth rubber, 6–3 7–6 against Sergei Bubka.

2007Edit

Baker continued in Challenger tournaments, reaching the final in Waikoloa and making semi finals at places like Lexington and Knowville. He also achieved his first ATP Tour victory, against Alexander Peya, at the 2007 Artois Championships.

He made a second Davis Cup appearance in the World Group Play-off against Croatia on No. 1 Court, Wimbledon in September. With Great Britain leading 4-0, Baker played the dead rubber, losing 6–4 6–4 against Marin Čilić. Britain won the tie 4–1 and qualified for the 2008 World Group. He finished the season ranked as Britain's number 3 player.

In November, he was invited to practise with Pete Sampras at his home.

2008Edit

Baker made a positive start to 2008 by qualifying for the Australian Open. He disposed of 9th seed (Q) Yuri Shukin 6–2 6–0 and then battling past Alexander Peya 6–4 7–6 to reach the final round where he defeated Daniel Köllerer 6–4 6–4. Though he was defeated in the first round by Ivo Karlović, his result of 6–4 6–4 6–7 6–4 was described as highly creditable[4]

Baker later played in his first 'live' Davis Cup rubber in the World Group first round match against Argentina. Though he lost the opener to David Nalbandian (#9), and with Argentina winning 4-0, he gained his first Davis Cup win by beating clay court specialist Agustín Calleri (#41) 7-6, 6-4 in the final tie of the match. When the match finished, the Argentine fans who had been jeering throughout, rose as one to give him a standing ovation. Argentina had won their last ten home encounters 5-0, so Baker prevented the 2006 finalists taking their 11th successive 5-0 victory.[2]

Following the Davis Cup, Jamie won 2 consecutive titles in $15,000 Futures Tournaments in Brownsville, Texas and Harlingen, Texas, becoming 211 in the world and British No 2.[2]

Baker contracted Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) in April,[5] and had to spend three days in intensive care in Florida. Fellow Scot Jamie Murray noted that he was lucky to be alive. Baker had been likely to miss Wimbledon as a result,[6] but was granted a wildcard for the tournament. He lost in the first round 4–6 2–6 3–6 to the Italian Stefano Galvani.[7] ITP was debilitating; unable to train at his previous intensity for more than a year, and with the problem exacerbated by further injuries, Baker’s ranking plummeted to 427 by the year's end.[2]

Consequently, Baker suffered from bouts of depression that his illness had struck just as his career was progressing, and it took two years before he accepted his situation.[8]

2009Edit

Singles

Baker began the 2009 season playing on the futures tour, but won just twice in his first six tournaments of the year.[9] In July he reached the semi-final of the Gyeongsan event in Korea and in August reached the same stage of two tournaments in Thailand, before winning the event in Nonthaburi, Thailand at the end of the month.[9] In September and October he played four futures events in Australia, winning in two and was runner-up in the others. Following this he returned to the challenger tour, losing his first qualifying match in Charlottesville to Jermaine Jenkins. A week later he qualified for the main draw in Knoxville and won his first round tie against Raven Klaasen before losing to Taylor Dent in the second round.[9] He also reached the second round of the events in Champaign, Illinois and Puebla, Mexico later in November.[9]

Doubles

Baker partnered fellow Briton Chris Eaton at the start of the year, the pair winning the Glasgow futures event.[10] They lost in the first round of their next event. Baker partnered Australian Mark McCook in Korea, but again lost in the first round. In August he resumed his partnership with Eaton and they reached the final of the Great Britain 11 futures event. In his next two doubles events, Baker partnered Australian Dane Propoggia, reaching the final of the first futures event, but losing in the first round of the second. With his move up to the Challenger tour, Baker partnered Australian Nima Roshan in Puebla, reaching the semi-final.[10]

2010Edit

Rather than begin the year in Australia trying to qualify for the Australian Open, Baker chose to play in Futures events in the United Kingdom.[11] He reached the final of the first one, losing to Chris Eaton in Glasgow.[5]

In May, Baker won his only Challenger title, playing doubles with James Ward at the Savannah Challenger.[12]

In July, James Ward beat Baker in the final of the Great Britain F8 Futures in Manchester.[13]

The new Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith selected Baker to take part in Great Britain's vital Davis Cup tie vs Turkey, at Eastbourne, in July alongside James Ward, Ken Skupski, Colin Fleming and Alex Ward(non player). Defeat would have meant Great Britain's relegation to Europe Zone Group III. Baker played his part in the victory by winning both his singles matches, Britain eventually triumphing 5-0, and giving Great Britain a first Davis Cup win in three years.[14]

2011Edit

In March, Leon Smith announced his team for the Euro/Africa Zone Group II tie against Tunisia, but he sprang a surprise, omitting Alex Bogdanovic, having recalled the 26-year-old to the squad after a three-year absence. Instead, Smith's singles players were Ward (No 214) who lost at the first hurdle in six of his seven tournaments this year. and Baker (No 406), who had lost first time out in his last two events. Although Bogdanovic (No 374) had lost all six of his live Davis Cup rubbers, he had at least won a Futures tournament in the United States this year.[15] Baker lost his opening singles match, but won his dead rubber, contributing to Great Britain's 4–1 victory.

2012Edit

In December, Baker spent nearly a month with his close friend Andy Murray at his luxurious winter training base in Miami,[2] along with James Ward, Ross Hutchins and Oliver Golding. [16][17][18]

2013Edit

Baker qualified for the main draw of the 2013 Australian Open, beating Donald Young in three sets in the final qualifier.[19] He was defeated by Lukáš Rosol of the Czech Republic in the first round.

In May, Baker decided to retire, but wanted to have one more go by playing on his best surface, grass. There was success in the preliminaries in Nottingham and at Queens, and then for his last match, defeat in the second round of Wimbledon qualifying, against Igor Kunitsyn, a Russian baseliner who had once been in the top 50.[2]

On 29 June Baker announced his retirement from tennis.[20][21]

Performance timelinesEdit

Current through the 2013 Australian Open.

Tournament 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 SR W–L
Australian Open A Q1 1R A A A A 1R 0 / 2 0–2
French Open A A A A A A Q2 A 0 / 0 0–0
Wimbledon 1R 1R 1R A 1R Q2 1R Q2 0 / 5 0–5
US Open A Q3 A A Q2 A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Win–Loss 0–1 0–1 0–2 0–0 0–1 0–0 0–1 0–1 0 / 7 0–7
National representation
Davis Cup Z1 PO 1R A Z2 Z2 A A
Win-Loss 0–1 0–1 1–1 0–0 2–0 1–1 0–0 0–0 4 / 4 4–4

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Jamie Baker". ATP. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jamie Baker's break point: A tennis nomad exits the planet's cruellest sport". Independent. 11 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Finding a new job after hanging up the tennis racquet". BBC Business. 27 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Baker ambitions ended by Karlovic". BBC Sport. 14 January 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Rare virus almost killed me.. and destroyed my hopes of tennis glory, says Jamie Baker". The Daily Record. 19 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Baker recovering after illness". BBC Sport. 24 April 2008.
  7. ^ "Baker tumbles out in first round". BBC Sportdate=24 July 2008.
  8. ^ "I have battled back from depression, reveals Baker". Mail Online. 12 January 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d "Jamie Baker – 2009 Singles Activity". ATP World Tour. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Jamie Baker – 2009 Doubles Activity". ATP World Tour. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Baker ignores trip to Australia Open in his 'make or break' year". The Herald. 9 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Savannah Challenger doubles champion". ATP World Tour. 9 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Davis Cup 2010: Jamie Baker confident ahead of crucial clash with Turkey". Telegraph. 8 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Davis Cup 2010: Great Britain beat Turkey for first win in three years". Telegraph. 10 July 2010.
  15. ^ "Tunisians tell of 'scary' build up to Davis Cup". Independent. 4 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Tennis fans tipping cabbie's son Ward to become Britain's new Wimbledon legend". Daily Star. 3 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Ross Hutchins interview: 'I knew it was cancer'". Telegraph. 31 May 2014.
  18. ^ "LTA pins hopes on Andy Murray model to revolutionise British tennis". Guardian. 8 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Britain's Jamie Baker has won through to the first round of the Australian Open". Sky Sports. BSkyB. 12 January 2013.
  20. ^ "Britain's Jamie Baker retires from tennis aged 26". BBC Sport. 29 June 2013.
  21. ^ Simon Cambers (29 June 2013). "Former British No2 tennis player Jamie Baker retires aged 26". Guardian.

External linksEdit