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 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.
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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
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)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.