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Rod backing for Baker and Fish.

ANDY Roddick is confident he has left American hopes of Wimbledon glory in the best possible hands.

Brian Baker and Mardy Fish (pictured) carry the Stars and Stripes into the last 16 of the men's singles along after Roddick bowed out to David Ferrer on Saturday.

Neither man was expected to still be standing by the second Monday for differing reasons but both are, outlasting the likes of Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych.

For Baker, his near-anonymity and inexperience are why he was not expected to survive the first week, while for Fish illness was the concern.

Fish missed the French Open after complaining of heart palpitations - he watched it on TV while strapped into a heart monitor - and his progress through the rounds in London has been warming.

Baker's tale of woe is a longer one, with the 27-year-old having fought through a six-year injury nightmare to regain a place on the main tour.

Once a promising amateur, he eventually took a job as a coach to make provisions for a premature retirement but today he will face Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fish will go up against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Roddick, a career flag-bearer for tennis in the United States and a three-time Wimbledon runner-up, has been touched by Baker's revival, which will see him break into the top 100 after Wimbledon. "It's great to see, I remember Brian and he was probably the best junior I had seen," he said.

"He had all the tools but we're all so obsessed in our little moments that all of a sudden you think, 'Gosh, where's is that guy?'.

"Everyone loves a comeback story. You think of people who are off for six months and it's tough to come back. Hell, six years, I can't imagine that."

Roddick is also glad to see Fish on the road to recovery.

"I'm really happy for him," Roddick said. "I was worried about him. Not worried about him for tennis, you can have tennis. I was just worried about him."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 2, 2012
Words:334
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