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After 6 Years Off, Baker Advances

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Brian Baker’s family and friends had waited years to see him play at the French Open—nine years, to be exact, since he made the boy’s final in 2003. They weren’t going to settle for bad seats.

So the Baker clan, 11 strong and ever optimistic, arrived at Court 6 at Roland Garros as two other men finished off a five-setter that had been held over due to darkness the night before. Next up were two women who played a three-set match while Baker’s entourage scouted out a section in the corner bleachers. Finally they sat and then watched as the most remarkable story of the spring tennis season got even better.

Brian Baker, the 27-year-old American who took six years off from pro tennis and had five operations, won his first match at the French Open, 6-3, 7-6(1), 7-6(5) over Xavier Malisse. He’ll play Gilles Simon of France on...

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