• Baker, Paire hope to continue hot streaks

    6/28/12 3:33 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Baker, Paire hope to continue hot streaks Brian Baker and Benoit Paire will be back in action at the All-England Club on Thursday. Baker is set to face Jarkko Nieminen as Paire battles Alexandr Dolgopolov.

    Jarkko Nieminen vs. Brian Baker

    Baker, the comeback kid of 2012, hopes to become the protagonist of another great story as he takes the court for Wimbledon second-round action on Thursday. The 27-year-old, who missed almost six full years due to a plethora of injuries, is back on the scene and up to No. 126 in the world. He reached the Nice final almost out of nowhere and won a match at the French Open before falling to Gilles Simon in five sets. The American qualified for the main draw at the All-England Club then took care of Rui Machado in straight sets on Tuesday.

    Up next for Baker is Nieminen, who scored an impressive 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win over tough grass-court player Feliciano Lopez in the opening round. Nieminen is now 17-15 for the season, which includes a title as a qualifier in Sydney. The Finn is not at his best on grass and his weak second serve can be exposed, so Baker in four sets is the pick.

    Benoit Paire vs. (22) Alexandr Dolgopolov

    Paire and Dolgopolov will also be squaring off for the first time in their careers when they clash at Wimbledon on Thursday. Dolgopolov took care of a slumping Alex Bogomolov 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 in his opener while Paire dismissed Matthew Ebden 6-1, 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-3.

    It is Paire who is enjoying the best form of late, having advanced to the 's-Hertogenbosch semis before losing to eventual winner David Ferrer. The Frenchman boasts 17 of his 23 career ATP match victories in 2012. Dolgopolov is still a solid 21st in the world, but he is just 16-13 for the year. Grass will give Paire his best chance at an upset, and look for it to happen after four sets.

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