Brian Baker has been on an incredible run in his recent comeback.
The incredible comeback story of American tennis player Brian Baker came to a temporary end on Wednesday afternoon after he lost to the No.11 seed Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-1, 6-7(4), 1-6, 6-0 in the second round of the 2012 French Open.
Baker had been on an incredible run in the last month as he won a small Challenger event in America and made the finals of a 250-level tournament in Nice, France last week.
After having to take nearly six years off to nurse major injuries including his hips and shoulders, Baker has now proven that he can stick around with the best players in the world.
Here are the three major reasons why he is here to stay.
Baker (shown left) was a dominant player in the junior ranks.
Baker was one of the best junior tennis players in the world, as he obtained a No. 2 world ranking for junior tennis players in 2003.
At the 2003 French Open, Baker made the junior singles final before losing to an eventual top 10 player in Stanislas Wawrinka. During the tournament, he also defeated future top 10 players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marcos Baghdatis.
Baker also notched a win over the current No. 1 player in the world, Novak Djokovic, during his days on the junior tennis circuit. All of these wins will help Baker with his confidence because he knows he can beat these guys in big matches.
Baker has been producing some incredible return games of late.
Baker has done an incredible job of returning during his recent run. In fact, he won 52 percent of return points during his semifinal match against former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko. That is a ridiculous number for a guy who was playing in his first ATP-level tournament in six years.
Baker's drop shots have been outstanding.
It was clear from Wednesday's match that Baker had Simon on a string in the third and fourth sets by utilizing the drop shot brilliantly. Baker would follow up a weak return with a lethal drop shot that looked to be among the top 10 in the world.
With more and more match experience, Baker should be able to get even more confident with that filthy drop shot he showed off on Wednesday.