A year ago, Brian Baker was unranked and unknown, coaching at Belmont University in Nashville and playing in the Middle Tennessee Tennis League. But on Saturday he joined Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the Sweet 16 of Wimbledon after not playing on grass in seven years.
Baker defeated Benoit Paire 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to advance where he will face Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany who defeated Lukas Rosol who knocked off Rafael Nadal.
What makes Baker's story so remarkable is that last June, his ranking was nonexistent. This past January, he was ranked No. 456 in the world. Now he's ranked 78th. He started gaining attention when he reached the final in Nice this past May and made it to the second round of the French Open.
Additionally, he's had to overcome multiple surgeries, the most serious being a Tommy John procedure on his right elbow.