Nice, France (Sports Network) - Top seeds John Isner, Gilles Simon and
reigning champion Nicolas Almagro were among Wednesday's second-round winners,
while a big upset came when American qualifier Brian Baker ousted fourth-
seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils at the $505,000 Nice Open.
The 6-foot-9 American Isner smacked 13 aces in sneaking past capable Belgian
Xavier Malisse 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-5), while the heavy French crowd favorite
Simon subdued Bulgarian qualifier Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-3 on the red clay at
Nice Lawn Tennis Club.
Meanwhile, a third-seeded Almagro, of Spain, got past France's Edouard Roger-
Vasselin 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 at this final French Open tune-up.
Almagro beat Romanian Victor Hanescu in last year's Nice finale.
The 27-year-old Baker stunned Monfils in 6-3, 7-6 (11-9) fashion in 1 hour, 31
The Nashville native Baker, who will be a wild card entry next week at the
French Open, was considered to be a can't-miss star in the 2000s before
series of injuries, including a reconstructed elbow, derailed his promising
Other upsets came when Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin doused fifth-seeded
Aussie Bernard Tomic 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 and former top-five Russian Nikolay
Davydenko drove out seventh-seeded Uzbekistanian Denis Istomin 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
Additional second-round action saw Belgian Steve Darcis overcome Italian
Filippo Volandri 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci take out wild card
and former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, of Spain, 6-4, 6-3. Ferrero is
also a former French Open champ.
Thursday's quarterfinals will pit Isner against Davydenko, Simon versus the
qualifier Bellucci, Almagro against Darcis, and Baker versus Kukushkin.
The 2012 Nice titlist will claim $91,000.
The Sports Network