American Brian Baker has once again been forced to withdraw from the Australian Open due to an injury suffered ahead of the tournament. Last year, Baker pulled out of the season-opening Grand Slam after suffering a knee injury in his second round match against Sam Querrey, which kept him out of competition for a total of six months. Now it appears that his injury has not fully healed and would significantly impact his performance in Melbourne.
Baker, who is currently ranked at No. 360 on the Emirates ATP rankings, only took part in three tournaments following his return in August, including the Cincinnati Masters and the US Open, but has been sidelined ever since. His protected ranking had secured him a place in the Australian Open main draw, but it appears that the 28-year-old is not yet ready to make his return.
Tournament officials have announced that world no. 105 Michael Llodra of France would replace Baker in the main draw of the tournament.