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Almagro, Baker of U.S. reach Nice final

  |   May 25, 2012 at 3:53 PM
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NICE, France, May 25 (UPI) -- Defending champion Nicolas Almagro won in straight sets and American qualifier Brian Baker defeated a Russian veteran Friday in the semifinals of the Nice Open.

Almagro, of Spain, breezed to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Frenchman Gilles Simon in just 68 minutes.

Baker took down Nikolay Davydenko 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-2. He broke the Russian's serve eight times.

Almagro and Baker meet Saturday for the title.

The Spaniard is 11-5 in finals in his pro career.

Baker, 27, once considered a future star in men's tennis, has battled back from injuries and surgeries. He is now in his first ATP final.

The event is a tuneup for the French Open, which begins Sunday.

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