Twentieth-seeded American Sam Querrey has advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, but not in the way he—or anyone else watching—wanted it to happen.
Facing countryman Brian Baker, Querrey trailed by a set and was locked at one game apiece in the second when Baker, out of the blue, caught his toe on the gritty blue Plexicushion and fell to the court. The mishap resulted in a knee injury that forced Baker to retire from his first Australian Open in eight years and sent Querrey moving on to the next round.
A trainer and a doctor were rushed immediately to the scene following the fall as Baker—recalling images of fellow American Serena Williams yesterday—lay sprawled on the ground in pain. Helped up a couple minutes later, the 57th-ranked Georgia native hopped gingerly to his courtside chair, unable to put pressure on his right knee.
He was also unable to straighten the leg. Microphones courtside picked up Baker telling tournament medical staff that it felt as if two bones in his right knee rubbed together.
Since 2005, Baker has had a series of operations that kept him away from the ATP Tour: left hip, hernia, Tommy John elbow surgery, left hip again, right hip. He worked his way back into the top 60 of the rankings in 2012 and gained worldwide recognition for his amazing comeback.
"That's the last guy you would want this to happen to," Querrey told ESPN's Brad Gilbert courtside following the injury.
The final score stands at 6-7(4), 1-1, retired—and Querrey awaits the winner of the Stan Wawrinka/Tobias Kamke match in round three.