Baker's fairytale run ends with knee injury - NBC Sports

Baker's fairytale run ends with knee injury
Once highly ranked junior taken off in wheelchair during second set vs. Querrey
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American Brian Baker has battled a rash of injuries since being the No. 2 ranked junior in the world.
January 16, 2013, 9:01 am

American Brian Baker's hopes of a fairytale run at the Australian Open were ended in the cruellest of fashions on Wednesday when he was taken off court in a wheelchair after suffering a serious knee injury.

The 27-year-old, who returned in 2012 after seven injury-plagued years off the professional circuit, had won the first set of his second round match against compatriot Sam Querrey when he suffered the injury.

"I didn't see what happened," Querrey told reporters. "I hit a ball, and then he hit a ball long. I was looking at the ballkids to grab balls for my serve, and then I looked back and he was on the ground.

"And then just asking him, he said he kind of just felt his knee almost buckle and kind of heard like a pop or a snap. He didn't know if it was bones or a tear, but he couldn't straighten it, couldn't walk.

Top-ranked Djokovic cruises

Novak Djokovic's campaign for a hat-trick of Australian Open titles shifted up a gear on Wednesday, as he demolished American Ryan Harrison 6-1 6-2 6-3 to charge into the third round.

The steely-eyed Serb warmed up with a workmanlike performance in his opener against Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, but was at his devastating best in a 91-minute rout of the 62nd-ranked Harrison.

Bullied on the baseline and broken early in each set, the 20-year-old American scrambled hard to make a contest under the lights at Rod Laver Arena, but surrendered the match when his opponent ripped a searing forehand down the line.

Djokovic will continue his bid for a sixth grand slam title, and fourth at Melbourne Park against Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.

No. 24 seed Janowicz survives after on-court tantrum

Nos. 4, 5 seeds Ferrer, Berdych advance

With defending champion Novak Djokovic not playing until the last match on Rod Laver Arena and the two other members of the men's 'Big Four' not back on court until Thursday, there was a somewhat flat feeling to the start of day.

Radwanska was followed on Rod Laver Arena by men's fifth seed Tomas Berdych, who wrapped up a 6-2 6-2 6-4 hammering of Frenchman Guillaume Rufin with his eighth ace after exactly two hours.

David Ferrer, seeded fourth in the absence of Nadal, was playing out on Margaret Court Arena and required 38 minutes longer to dispatch dogged American lucky loser Tim Smyczek 6-0 7-5 4-6 6-3.

Berdych is the likely quarter-final opponent for Djokovic, while Ferrer is seeded to play the Serbian world number one in the semi-finals.

Japan's Kei Nishikori said he had brushed off the knee injury that forced him to withdraw from the Kooyong warm-up after his 7-6 6-4 6-1 victory over Argentina's Carlos Berlocq on court three.

"It's getting better," the 16th seed said. "And I didn't feel any pain today. Just the hot conditions bothered me a little, but otherwise fine."


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