Brian Baker’s magical Wimbledon run came to a sudden end Tuesday when he lost his fourth-round men’s match at the prestigious event.
Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, the No. 27 seed, started strong and toppled Baker in straight sets 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in a match orginially scheduled for Monday but postponed a day by rain. Baker had lost but one set in his previous three main-draw matches.
It nonetheless was the best showing ever for a Nashville player in a Grand Slam tournament.
Baker failed to convert any of his five break points. That included an opportunity on add point in the final game. He went back for what appeared to be a put-away slam on a lob but slipped to the grass.
Meanwhile, Kohlschreiber went 3-0 on break points, including a key win midway through the third set. It was the only break of the set.
Baker’s loss and Mardy Fish’s four-set setback to Jo Wilfred-Tsonga ended the possibility of a Fourth of July quarterfinal matchup between the last two Americans in the draw.
“Even with this loss, Brian’s story is not ending, it is just beginning,” ESPN commentator Brad Gilbert said at the end of the match. “What he’s been able to do [regarding the comeback after his six-year bout with injuries] is remarkable, and I think he has a very bright future.”
Baker, ranked No. 126 to start the tournament, appears certain to see his ranking soar into the 80s and. That would assure him of berth into the main draw at the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 27.
His next tournament may be the Hall of Fame grass courts event, which opens Monday in Newport, R.I.