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American Baker loses final to Almagro in Nice

(AP Photo/Christian Alminana)

NICE, France (AP) Nicolas Almagro beat American qualifier Brian Baker 6-3, 6-2 to win the Open de Nice on Saturday and clinch his 12th career title.

The defending champion broke the 216th-ranked Baker's serve in the fourth and eighth games of the second set. He also had 11 aces.

It was a successful tournament for the 27-year-old Baker, who was sidelined for nearly six years after five surgeries - three on his hip, one on his elbow and one sports hernia - before returning to competitive tennis last July in the lower tiers.

Almagro said, "I think if he plays as he did this week, then he will win many, many tournaments."

On Friday, Baker outlasted Nikolay Davydenko 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2.

Updated May 26, 2012

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