NEW YORK (AP) - Brian Baker's remarkable comeback from a series of operations has him back in the U.S. Open for the first time since 2005 - and into the second round, too.
The 27-year-old Baker, of Nashville, beat 92nd-ranked Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 Wednesday.
Baker began the year ranked 458th but is now 70th. That let him get into the main draw at Flushing Meadows, the first time in his career that he didn't need a wild-card invitation or make it through qualifying to earn a spot in the field.
A couple of months after playing in the 2005 U.S. Open, Baker needed left hip surgery. That began a stretch of about 5½ years in which he played in two low-tier tournaments - and had five operations.
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