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Busted Racquet

Brian Baker stopped in Paris; American women struggle after first-round success

Busted Racquet

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Brian Baker's amazing clay-court run came to an end Wednesday as he fell to No. 11 seed Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (4), 1-6, 6-0. The Frenchman appeared in control after taking the first two sets, but Baker battled to win the third in a tiebreak and quickly won the fourth. That momentum stopped in the fifth. Baker, playing his first-ever five setter and his 10th match in 12 days, had little left in the tank. He'll rise to the top 125 in the next rankings and there's increasing speculation that Wimbledon could give Baker a wild card. Even if he doesn't, Baker isn't going anywhere. His comeback story didn't end on Wednesday. It's merely taking its first break.

• After a strong 10-0 start, the American women have struggled mightily since. Jamie Hampton and Serena Williams were both ousted on Tuesday. In the second round, Irina Falconi lost to Samantha Stosur in straight sets, Melanie Oudin was quick off the court against Sara Errani, and Vania King lost to Dominika Cibulkova. In a match between two Americans, Sloane Stephens defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-1, 6-1.

• Édouard Roger-Vasselin had a commute that'll make most folks jealous. The Frenchman lives within walking distance of Roland Garros and takes advantage during his nation's Grand Slam. The New York Times detailed his story on Wednesday, hours before Roger-Vasselin fell to Juan Martin Del Potro. Roger-Vasselin was up a set and a break before the 2009 U.S. Open champion stormed back. At least he won't have a long trip home.

• No. 1 seed Victoria Azarenka cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Dinah Pfizenmaier. After being on the brink of elimination in the first match, Azarenka has dominated. She trailed 4-0 in the second set of her first-round match against Alberta Brianti. Since then, she's lost just four games. Azarenka will face Aleksandra Wozniak in a Friday third-round match.

Daniel Salcetti contributed to this post.

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