Almagro rallies past Hanescu

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

NICE, France -- Nicolas Almagro of Spain rallied from a set down and topped Romania's Victor Hanescu for the title at the Nice Open.

The third-seeded Almagro earned a 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3 triumph in Saturday's final for his third title of 2011 and the 10th of his career. All of his titles have come on clay, making him a potential darkhorse at the French Open.

Almagro has been a quarterfinalist twice in the last three years at Roland Garros and is seeded 11th for this year's tournament, which kicks off Sunday in Paris. He will face Poland's Lukasz Kubot in the first round.

Hanescu reached his first final of 2011 and fell to 1-4 all-time in ATP title matches -- all coming on clay. His best previous result this year was a semifinal appearance last month in Morocco.

The 12th-ranked Almagro owns an impressive 10-3 mark in finals. He reached three straight title matches in February earlier this year, winning in Brazil and Buenos Aires before falling to countrymate David Ferrer in Acapulco.

In the run-up to the French Open, Almagro reached the semifinals in Barcelona and was a third-round loser to two-time French runner-up Robin Soderling in Rome.

Almagro improved to 4-0 lifetime against Hanescu, including three wins this year. He blitzed the Romanian in straight sets in Auckland and Acapulco.


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