roposed roster, which included top laner Lee Parang Sang-won and support Oh Raise Ji-hwan, even though the two tea | Forum

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LAM Dec 7
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brian Baker is not among the collection of highly ranked players and Grand Slam champions playing tennis at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Nike Vapormax Womens .Baker was supposed to be one of those stars, though -- or at least appeared destined for big things as an up-and-coming teen who reached No. 2 in the world junior rankings and was the French Open boys runner-up in 2003.Hes a great ball-striker. Always has been. Still is, said Jay Berger, who will coach Baker and the rest of the U.S. mens tennis team in Rio, where competition begins on the hard courts Saturday. He has an incredible understanding of the game and where the ball is going.Ah, but Bakers body has been the problem. Repeatedly. To the tune of 11 operations. Procedures on both hips. His right elbow. His back. Surgery for a sports hernia. Four repairs of his right knee.Instead of giving up, he has mounted comeback after comeback after comeback. The latest return happened at the Australian Open in January, when he played his first match in nearly 2 1/2 years after recovering from a torn meniscus in his right knee.Its an incredible story. Its unfortunate everything hes been through. We all say that if he had stayed healthy, easily hed be a top-20 player, if not top-10, U.S. teammate Denis Kudla said. Its just that his body hasnt really done him any favors. But its going to be a special moment for him, knowing maybe he never got the chance to represent his country, even though he probably felt he could have been doing it for the last 10 years.Baker will play 107th-ranked Yuichi Sugita of Japan on Saturday, when others in first-round action include major champions Venus Williams, Serbias Ana Ivanovic and Croatias Marin Cilic in singles, and Serbias Novak Djokovic in doubles.Its natural to wonder whether Baker ponders what might have been.I mean, you probably think about it, but at the same time, I cant do anything about it. I did get injuries, Baker said.I would like to have thought that I would have had a pretty successful career and done well. But Im not going to say, like, `Oh, yeah, I would have been top 10, he continued. But sure, I would hope that I would be able to have a successful career, be a top-30 guy, year-in and year-out. But who knows?That, indeed, is the question when it comes to Baker, a 31-year-old who reached a career-high of No. 52 in the ATP rankings in 2012, and is currently No. 334.So how did a guy that far down get a spot on the four-man U.S. singles roster for the 64-player draw in Brazil?First of all, it helped that two Americans, John Isner and Sam Querrey, chose to skip the Rio Games. And Baker took advantage of a rule that allows injured players to use whats known as a protected ranking to enter nine tournaments of their choosing when they return.To those who think Baker shouldnt be in the field, Isner offered this answer: Look, its all within the rules. ... So good on him for getting into the Olympics and earning this spot -- and hopefully he can do something with it.While tennis players in Rio will earn neither prize money nor rankings points, Baker decided this was too rare an opportunity to let pass.Obviously you want to be able to utilize your `protected ranking to try to help get your ranking back up, said Baker, who spent time during his most recent rehab stint finishing his degree in general business with a finance concentration from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he also coached tennis. But I think the Olympics is a different animal.He recalls watching Andre Agassi win a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games.Theres not many things like the Olympics. Its a different thing. Youre not there just playing for yourself; youre playing for your country, Baker said. Its going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.One worth waiting for.---Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich Nike Air Vapormax 2018 .C. -- Calgarys Kevin Koe did it the hard way again. Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit .C. -- Manny Malhotra had two goals and an assist, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. http://www.wholesalevapormaxforsale.com/ . -- Ken Appleby made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season to lead the Oshawa Generals to a 2-0 win over the Belleville Bulls on Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League action. French AD carry Pierre Steeelback Medjaldi has left the European League Championship Series Team ROCCAT as of Thursday morning, the team announced via its Facebook page. Steeelback will be looking for a new team ahead of next seasons start, which begins in January.Prior to his split with ROCCAT, many analysts and experts considered Steeelback to be among the top AD carries in Europe. His spring split with the Unicorns of Love prior to his tenure at ROCCAT left him at second overall in kill-death-assist (KDA) ratio among AD carries in Europe, as he boasted 6.8 KDA across the spring. This performance ranks only behind H2K star AD carry Konstantinos FORG1VEN Tzortziou.Steeelbacks time with ROCCAT only lasted four months after he signed on in May, ffollowing his departure from Unicorns of Love. Nike Vapormax Platinum. Steeelback decided to play on ROCCAT over Unicorns because of its proposed roster, which included top laner Lee Parang Sang-won and support Oh Raise Ji-hwan, even though the two teams had been around the same level in the previous split.This summer, ROCCAT took 10th place in the League Championship Series, the lowest of any team in the league. It then had to fight for its league spot in the 2017 Spring Promotion tournament in August. 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