Formerly down-and-out, now up-and-coming American Brian Baker fell in the Finals of the Open de Nice to Nicolas Almagro – 6-3, 6-2.

Almagro is currently ranked #14 in the world.

While I’m sure Baker is down about the loss, here’s hoping he’s able to appreciate the amazing achievement he’s accomplished, and use it to build on for future tournaments – particularly the French Open, in which he has earned a wildcard into the main draw.

And if Baker thought his star was rising in Nice, just wait until ESPN2 and The Tennis Channel get their hands on him.

It would not surprise me in the least if Baker is the last American man standing in the French Open, though based on recent American performances in the tournament that isn’t saying all that much. Still, if he does win a round or two, you can bet he’ll receive an on-air segment and will truly begin to enjoy the fruits of this remarkable comeback.

And if he can stay healthy this time around, Baker looks to be the real deal and we should expect to see him competing against many of the top level players for at least the next few years. Unfortunately, based on his history, that’s a big “IF.”

Onto the French Open.

Go Brian!!!

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