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  • Tomic, Baker clash at Western & Southern Open

    8/14/12 3:51 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Tomic, Baker clash at Western & Southern Open Bernard Tomic continues his Cincinnati campaign on Tuesday against Brian Baker. The winner will advance to a likely meeting with Roger Federer.


    Bernard Tomic and Brian Baker will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they collide in the second round of the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday afternoon.

    Both players have been up and down in 2012. Tomic made it to the Brisbane semifinals and the Australian Open fourth round but he was on a horrendous seven-match losing streak before Toronto (where he reached the second round). The 19-year-old Aussie opened in Cincinnati on Sunday with a 6-4, 7-6(5) win over Ryan Harrison.

    Baker was off the tennis map for almost seven years due to myriad injuries. This season the 78th-ranked American resurfaced with a bang in Nice, where he reached his first ATP final, before reaching the Wimbledon fourth round.

    Suddenly, however, the amount of tennis seemed to catch up with him as Baker lost in round one of Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, and the Aptos Challenger. He ended the skid on Monday with a 7-6(7), 7-6(3) victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    This is a battle between two different styles; Tomic plays off-speed tennis almost all the time, using slices and other junk-balls to lull opponents to sleep. Harrison fell for it, but Baker is an aggressive player who takes almost every ball on the rise and likes to keep points short. This is an absolute toss-up, but Tomic in three sets is the pick.

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