No wildcard, no problem
Brian Baker was denied a main draw wildcard but breezed through qualifying to secure his first Wimbledon appearance in seven years with a 5-7 6-2 6-1 6-2 win against Maxime Teixeira.
The AELTC decision now looks like a blessing in disguise.
Baker suffered a disappointing loss to Evgeny Korolev in Queen’s qualifying which wasn’t really surprising given it was his first match on grass since his opening round retirement defeat to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon qualifying in 2005.
An extra three matches to get to grips with the surface will have done him the world of good.
While the Baker story may blow all other tennis comebacks out of the water, Yeu-Tzuoo “Jimmy” Wang is another 27-year-old currently rebuilding his career after a long absence.
The man from Taiwan followed up his win against Teymuraz Gabashvili to beat Roberto Bautista-Agut in straight sets and secure his first appearance at a slam main draw since qualifying for Wimbledon in 2007.
Like Baker, Wang was among the best juniors in the world but despite peaking at #85 as a 21-year-old, his pro career never took off and looked to be all over when a serious wrist problem in 2008 kept him out of the sport for the best part of two years.
He returned to the tour at the end of 2010 and has slowly worked his way back to the top 200 since then. A place in the Wimbledon main draw is just reward for his efforts.
No Miracle this time
He almost did it again.
Matteo Viola, the man who has won five matches from match points down this year, produced another remarkable comeback to force a fifth set against Florent Serra but eventually came up just short.
Viola saved a total of nine match points in fourth set before taking it 10-8 in the tiebreak on his first set point.
He had a break point for a 3-1 lead in fifth but Serra held on, broke serve at 4-4 before serving it out comfortably to 15.
Another impressive fight from the 24-year-old Italian but not quite enough this time.
The Lucky Loser
The chances are the lucky loser draw has already been made, but there’s no official announcement so who knows.
By my reckoning, the four players in the hat to take the main draw place vacated by Gael Monfils are Rajeev Ram, Wayne Odesnik, Roberto Bautista-Agut and Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy.
Given the apparent lack of transparency surrounding the process, cynics might suggest that Odesnik’s chances of getting picked are considerably less than the 25% implied by mathematics.
We’ll have to wait and see.