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Almagro denies Baker fairytale title in Nice; Schiavone on form

May 26, 2012 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
Nicolas Almagro hit top form in the Nice final to end the challenge of American Brian Baker.
Nicolas Almagro hit top form in the Nice final to end the challenge of American Brian Baker.
  • Nicolas Almagro retains Nice Open title without dropping a set
  • Almagro beats American qualifier Brian Baker in final
  • Serbia win World Team Cup with 3-0 win over Czech Republic
  • Francesca Schiavone wins WTA tournament in Strasbourg

(CNN) -- Spain's Nicolas Almagro dashed American qualifier Brian Baker's hopes of a fairytale ATP title triumph in Nice when he beat him in straight sets in the final Saturday.

The third seed successfully defended his title on the French Riviera with a 6-3 6-2 victory in 70 minutes.

"I played my best tennis in two years here," Almagro told the official ATP Tour website.

"I am very happy with my serve and my forehand. I moved on the court very, very well."

Baker has battled back to top form after a succession of injuries and setbacks over the past six years and came into the tournament as world number 216.

Brian Baker's grand slam comeback

His heroics in Nice where he beat a string of higher seeded players will see his ranking boosted ahead of the French Open where both he and Almagro are in action later this week.

Baker matched Almagro to 3-3 in the opening set but he lost the next three games and the second set also proved testing.

"I didn't feel like I played that poorly. I was a little sore and a little tired, but he was definitely the better player," he said.

Almagro feels the 27-year-old Baker has a big future on the ATP Tour.

"He lost the final today, but he is back, he is playing very good. I think if he plays as he did this week, then he will win many, many tournaments."

He lost the final today, but he is back, he is playing very good.
Nicolas Almagro

In other tennis action Saturday, Serbia won the World Team Cup for the second time as Janko Tipsarevic and Victor Troicki gave them a 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic in the final in Dusseldorf.

Tipsarevic beat Tomas Berdych 7-5 7-6 before Troicki sealed the title with a 6-2 4-6 3-6 defeat of Radek Stepanek.

Serbia completed the whitewash in the doubles.

On the WTA Tour, 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone claimed the Strasbourg title as she beat Alize Cornet of France in the final.

The Italian second seed won 6-4 6-4 to complete her preparations for Roland Garros in fine style.

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