Skip to main content

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.

Part of complete coverage on
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
February 2, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
January 21, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
January 15, 2014 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.