Tennis Prose



Players Ravaged By Injuries

Brian Baker was a highly touted American junior, he won the 2002 Orange Bowl and at 2003 French Open juniors he beat Tsonga and Bagdhatis before losing the final to Wawrinka. He beat 9 seed Gaston Gaudio at 2005 US Open. In 2007 he endured five surgeries (three hip, one elbow, one sports hernia) and missed six years. He returned in 2011 and by 2012 he reached the final in Nice, winning three qualifying rounds and then beat Monfils Stakhovsky, Kukushkin and Davydenko then losing to Almagro. In 2017 he won a doubles title in Memphis with Nikola Mektic and then another in Budapest. By 2018, Baker would have fourteen surgeries. He became an assistant coach at Belmont University and a USTA coach.

Cici Bellis was the ITF no. 1 junior at 14 in 2014 and at fifteen when she beat Cibulkova at US Open in 2015. By 2017 she was ranked 35 in the world. Some of her career best wins were against Radwanska, Ostapenko, Kuznetsova, Rogers, Pliskova but she’s had at least four surgeries to her arm, elbow and wrist and has not played a pro match in about a year.

Brian Baker with Todd Martin working on public courts with Christian Harrison.

Christian Harrison was a teen phenom and made a quick impact as a pro, reaching the US Open doubles quarterfinals at age 18 with brother Ryan in 2012. He won four Futures titles in 2013 and pushed John Isner to a three set marathon in Atlanta. Multiple surgeries caused Harrison to not complete in 2014 and 2015. This year in Delray he qualified, beat Garin and reached the semis (lost to Hurkacz). After what I’ve been told were about a dozen surgeries, Harrison’s current ranking is now at 277. Harrison is 27 years old now and his ATP singles record is 5-7.

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  • Cory · October 31, 2021 at 3:07 am

    Scoop, what happened to Jared Donaldson? A guy i likened to the top 20-25 potentially… had a great game. 2+ years of injuries now? He’s in his early 20’s…

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 31, 2021 at 9:11 am

    No idea what happened to Donaldson. They say it is a knee injury but I know a fan who was at his last two matches and said there was no sign of any knee injury at all. The second to last match I believe was in DC, he lost a long three set marathon to I believe Tsitsipas or Zverev and then lost the next week and claimed injury, but weirdly there was no sign of any knee injury in those matches. Something fishy there. What I remember about DOnaldson is he is a great Biofile and I saw him live at Miami Open qualies about five years ago, and he got killed. Then he LLed into main draw and got killed by I believe Nishioka. We sat there thinking this kid has nothing. But then a couple of years later he was top50, he got so much stronger and better. Whether it as naturally or with some help who knows.



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