• ATP Tour

British No. 7 Baker quits tennis at 26

ESPN staff
June 30, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Jamie Baker put up a good fight against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon last year, eventually succumbing 7-6 6-4 7-5 © Getty Images
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British No. 7 Jamie Baker has announced his retirement from professional tennis at the age of 26.

Baker's career has been dogged by injury and illness, including a spell in intensive care after contracting a life-threatening blood disease in 2008.

This year has seen the Scot slip from a career-high ranking of 186 to 333 and miss out on the main Wimbledon draw in qualifying.

"I have been strict with myself that I want to stop when I have a decision to make rather than tail away," Baker told the BBC.

"I have never found it hard to get up in the mornings and put in an honest day's training but over the last six to 12 months I have found that a struggle.

"I would not change any of it. The education and the journey that this tennis life has given me has been incredible.

"One of the reasons I've come to this decision is that I feel that I have acquired so many different skills and assets to myself as a character that I can use in other areas now."

Earlier this year, Baker revealed that he battled with depression after suffering a life-threatening blood disorder that saw him spend three days in intensive care.

He added: "I was told at one point for about a 24-hour period literally not to hold my breath for too long, let alone move because if a bleed started in my head, there's nothing they could do.

"From that setback I actually came back about four years later and reached my highest ranking again.

"It's hard to measure how much that process took out of me. It was incredible what I went through and the hardest time was actually afterwards and you just never know what sort of a toll that takes."

Baker did make a brief appearance at Wimbledon this year - losing in the first round of the men's doubles alongside fellow Brit Kyle Edmund.

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