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Brian Baker

By Chris Oddo
Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013

Brian Baker, Ryan Harrison and six other players were granted wild cards to this year's U.S. Open, the USTA announced on Tuesday.

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Baker, who tore his lateral meniscus during his second-round match at the Australian Open, made his return to tennis last week at the Aptos Challenger, reaching the round of 16 before losing to Guido Pella of Argentina, 6-4, 6-4.

Currently ranked at 185, the American has endured six different surgeries since 2005. He quickly became known as the comeback kid when last year he parlayed his first ATP main draw win in nearly seven years to a spot inside the ATP's top 60 by the end of 2012.

After winning the USTA's wild card playoff to secure a French Open wild card last April, Baker went to Europe and reached his first ATP final at Nice before heading to Roland Garros. Baker reached the second round of the French Open, then qualified for Wimbledon and reached the round of 16.

The 28-year-old Nashville, Tenn., native reached the second round at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Monday when he defeated Denis Istomin in straight sets.

21-year-old Ryan Harrison, currently 102 in the ATP rankings, reached a career-high ranking of 43 in July of 2012. He reached the second round as a qualifier in his first main draw appearance in New York after he defeated Ivan Ljubicic in four sets. In 2012 Harrison dropped a four-setter to Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round.

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Rhyne Williams, Bradley Klahn, Rajeev Ram and Collin Altamirano were the other Americans who were granted wild cards, while France's Gillaume Rufin and Australia's James Duckworth received wild cards through the USTA's reciprocal agreement with those countries.

Williams, 22, reached his first career ATP semifinal in Houston earlier this season. The Knoxville, Tenn., native is currently at a career-high ranking of 114.

Klahn, 22, won the Aptos Challenger last week, which enabled the Poway, Calif., native to earn the wild card as the top American points earner at select USTA Pro Circuit events this summer. In 2012, Klahn received a wild card into U.S. Open qualifying and reached all the way to the second round of the main draw.

Ram, 29, is the highest-ranked American who did not receive direct acceptance into the U.S. Open's main draw.

Altamirano, 17, became the first unseeded player to win the USTA's boys 18 championships in the 71 years that the tournament has called Kalamazoo, Mich., its home.

(Photo Credit: AP)


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