Almagro takes Nice over Surprising Baker, Serbia wins World Team Cup

Almagro takes Nice over Surprising Baker, Serbia wins World Team Cup
ATP Nice

Brian Baker was a Nice Surprise

Nicolas Almagro took another clay court title in Nice today, closing out surprise finalist Brian Baker, 6-3 6-2. While the final itself was not much of a battle, Baker, who has made an amazing return to the tour after numerous injures that forced him to retire, qualified and then tore through Sergiy Stakhovsky, Gael Monfils, Mikhail Kukushkin and Nikolay Davydenko.  He carried a streak of 16 straight wins and 16 straight wins on clay (the challenger in Savannah and Nice) going into the final against Almagro and now heads  to Roland Garros to try to surprise more tennis fans and pundits.
Almagro, one of the favorites going in, acquitted himself with wins over Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Steve Darcis, 2 seed Gilles Simon and Baker, all in straight sets. Another good performance was turned in by Nikolay Davydenko, who beat Matt Ebden, 7 seed Denis Istomin, upset top seed John Isner before falling to Baker in the semis.
The Bryans took the Nice doubles title over Oliver Marach and Filip Polasek, 7-6, 6-3.
ATP Dusseldorf/World Team Cup

In Dusseldorf, Serbia beat the Czech Republic in the final.  The Serbs, led by Janko Tipsarevic, Viktor Troicki and doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic went undefeated in blue group play. They knocked out Croatia, Russia and Germany with Tipsarevic and Troicki both winning all of their singles matches.  Tipsarevic and Troicki also beat Berdych and Stepanek today to clinch the final.
The Czechs,  led by Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, reached the final and won the red group, beating Japan, the US and Argentina.  Berdych has won all his singles matches this week so far and is in top form going into Roland Garros.  It was a rough week for the US team featuring Andy Roddick, Ryan Harrison and James Blake as they were swept by both Argentina and the Czech Republic.  They did manage to beat Japan.
Germany, led by Philip Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer, swept both Russia and Croatia before falling to Serbia. Argentina, led by Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer, swept the US and Japan before falling to the Czech Republic in a tight doubles final match.
And with that the French Open kicks off tomorrow!

–Steen Kirby

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