You should indeed go to Metz Getta It's one of the few European tournaments I have never been to, but I hope to change that this year - if only for a long weekend. Would be nice to see Choupi again and maybe meet you too.
Would be nice to meet you again Rose. And Getta of course, you're welcome.
you girls convinced me to head to Lorraine this autumn.
just hope there isn’t any problem if i buy my tickets sometime by mid-July.
That's great news Getta Will be great to see yourself and Choupi in Metz. I'll probably go from something like Sunday - Tuesday/Wednesday, so that I can save a few days' annual leave for a similar length trip to my beloved Basel in November! But plenty of time to sort out all the details later.
Baghdatis and Soderling are training on the Promenade des Anglais
By Fabien Gauvin Monday, 17 May 2010, at 15:34
Before competing at the Open de Nice Côte d'Azur, the Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 2006 Australian Open runner-up and the Swede Robin Soderling 2009 Roland Garros runner-up exchanged a few balls on the Promenade des Anglais for an improvised tennis match. It remains to be seen if the two protagonists make the most of this unusual training. Baghdatis will face Mario Ancic in the first round, while Soderling, having a first-round bye, will play against Olivier Rochus in the second round. Photos* on the official website of the Open de Nice.
* photos were posted today by Christos and myself here on the Pictures and video links thread.
Marcos gave an interview after winning his second-round match against Marcel Granollers of Spain.
Day 5 - Marcos Baghdatis Thursday, May 27, 2010
Q. Could you give us an impression of your form?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I'm feeling pretty good. I'm playing solid. I could say I'm playing very smart on court and just finding solutions to win. I guess that's the most important thing, you know. I'm perfect physically. I have no injuries. I feel fit. I feel that I can last, so that makes things a bit easier.
Q. You played earlier in the week on these courts and they were hot and pretty fast. How did the rain affect the conditions of the courts today?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: For sure, yeah, the courts are a bit heavier than in the beginning of the week. Balls are heavier. But I think it could be an advantage for me, because I can hit the ball pretty hard. You know, I have more control that way. I can you know, the ball doesn't bounce so much. So, you know, I felt good in the first match. Felt good yesterday. Felt good today. So I have no problems. Q. They were in good shape despite the rain delays?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, very good. Q. Do you think having someone like the coach you have at the moment, who is someone that's spent a lot of time coaching people, on clay especially, is beneficial to you at this period for you?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: For sure. Not only because of the clay, but for from the time I started working with him, you know, he gives me basically a lot of solutions. That's very important. So he's a very smart guy. Very passionate. He believes in me. I think he's done a great job with me, and also with the whole team. You know, he brought the whole team around me. He built a whole team around me that are working for me. They're all good in what they do, so that's really important.
Q. Would it be possible to say that perhaps from 2006 when you had that wonderful year you now feel as though you're in very good position to be a challenger in Grand Slams, probably the best since then?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I think the last two years I suffered a bit with injuries, and, you know, with mind problems. I can say helped me mature a bit, and, you know, have more experience. I think I'm tougher than what I was before. I'm ready for any problem. I'm ready to find any solution. So I guess, yeah, I am. I'm tougher than before.
Q. And there is an opportunity that you might play Murray in the we don't know, of course, because we keep coming off and going back on would that be a match you would relish and look forward to, especially on clay?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: For sure. It's nice to play against opponents that it will be a great fight. You know, Andy is a great player. Not only a great player, but great fighter on court. He can last, so I'm looking forward to playing a great match with him. First of all, he has to win, you know. Then I'm not gonna think about it tonight. I won a match. I don't know if I'm playing tomorrow. I'll relax for tonight and see how things go tomorrow. THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.
Q. Do you know if you're going to play Davis Cup?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: No. You asked me the same question in Miami, and I said I will know during Wimbledon, after Wimbledon. I will know after Wimbledon. It all depends how people play at Wimbledon.
Q. But would you like to play on clay after Wimbledon?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I don't know. It all depends on my results after Wimbledon. You'll wait for Wimbledon?
good to see that Marcos is willing to acknowledge the contribution of all members of his team. also, i liked a lot that he isn't such a bozo to sacrifice his personal career for the Davis Cup. yeah, insights and lessons emerging from this research of his past.
French Open 2010: Andy Murray wins through after staving off Marcos Baghdatis comeback
Sunshine, and some semblance of order, returned to Roland Garros, though there was still the opportunity for a little chaos and weirdness on Court Suzanne Lenglen where, without warning, Andy Murray dropped a 0-6 set in his third-round match with Marcos Baghdatis, a tubby but talented Greek Cypriot.
By Mark Hodgkinson in Paris Published: 7:15PM BST 28 May 2010
In between producing some smart tennis to take the first two sets, and later winning the fourth set, he played one of the most peculiar sets of his grand slam career. This was The Mystery of The Missing 23 Minutes, an afternoon when Murray's French Open performance had a beginning and an end, but no middle.
So far in this tournament, Murray hasn't done straight sets or straightforward, but he has kept on going through the draw and tomorrow he plays Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, for a place in the quarter-finals of the clay-court slam. The Scot is yet to play on the main stadium, Court Philippe Chatrier, but he can hardly have done more to attract eyeballs in the sixteenth arrondissement.
In the first round, he played an entertaining five-setter, coming from two sets down against France's Richard Gasquet, and his rain-interrupted second-round match with Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela was played over two days. When Murray led by two sets to love against Baghdatis, a former Australian Open finalist, it did look as though the Briton was going to have a fairly uneventful afternoon, but then, suddenly, there was that strange 23-minute set or interval, during which Murray won just 10 points.
Just after Murray had been broken in the opening game of the fourth set, which was the fourth time in succession that he had lost his serve, and which gave Baghdatis a seventh consecutive game, the Briton was heard chuntering to himself at the back of the court about having no feeling in his "bat", meaning his racket.
And we had imagined that Baghdatis, who is gloriously erratic, was going to be the most unpredictable of the two. "I just played a bad set," Murray said of the interlude during his 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 victory.
Berdych, who is 6ft 5in tall, who has a quick serve and a giant forehand, and who likes to go for his shots, played superbly for a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 victory over John Isner, a 6ft 9in American. All three of Berdych's wins have been in straight sets, and he has dropped a total of just 25 games during this slam. Murray hasn't played Berdych for a while. Murray beat Berdych on a carpet court in Basle in 2005, and Berdych defeated Murray on a hard court in Adelaide in 2006.
It was in 2006 that Baghdatis went on a laughter-filled journey to the final of the Australian Open, where he was the runner-up to Roger Federer, and later that season he made the semi-finals on the Wimbledon lawns. Yet he has been unable to replicate that sort of form at the slams, and last season he drifted out of the world's top 150. A likeable man, Baghdatis has spoken about going through some mental difficulties.
Around 18 hours after the completion of Murray's match against Chela, which had finished at 9pm on Thursday evening, the world No 4 was back on court. There were some bursts of class from Baghdatis in the first couple of sets. But there were many more horrific errors. There were periods when Baghdatis was consistently dumping forehands into the net, when he struggled to put the ball back into play.
Still, from nowhere, Murray lost a 0-6 set for the first time since his defeat to Chilean Fernando Gonzalez in the quarter-finals of last season's French Open. Then Murray went down an early break in the fourth set.
But Murray's touch and range came back to him, and he immediately broke Baghdatis back for 1-1, the first game that the fourth seed had won in more than half an hour. Murray broke a couple more times, and so the set and the match was his.
Andy Murray braves brief lapse to beat Marcos Baghdatis in French Open
• Andy Murray beats Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 • World No4 will play Tomas Berdych in last 16
Kevin Mitchell at Roland Garros Friday 28 May 2010 19.28 BST
Andy Murray rumbled on into the final 16 of this French Open, where he meets the Czech Tomas Berdych on Sunday, and dismissed the loss of a set to love on the way to an otherwise impressive win over Marcos Baghdatis as an aberration.
He won only 10 points in the 23 minutes the third set lasted in searing heat, a whitewash that has not happened to him since Fernando González bundled him out of this tournament a year ago. But the fourth seed was unfazed after regaining his composure to beat Baghdatis 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 in two hours 23 minutes, overall by some way the easiest of his matches in a grinding week.
"I didn't play a very good set – that's it," Murray said. "I made mistakes. He hit the ball well. I am trying to focus on the rest of the match, which was very good. Once I got the break in the first set I started playing some really good tennis and finished really well."
All of which is true. But, to those watching, his brief blowout looked like the sort of collapse that leads to disintegration – especially as he has already survived a tough five-setter against Richard Gasquet, followed by another searching examination of his nerve over two rain-marred days against Juan Ignacio Chela.
What he proved was that there can be no doubting his resolve, whatever the reservations about his levels of concentration or a chronically weak right knee that has troubled him intermittently.
"My legs felt fine," he insisted. "I just got off to a bad start in the third, got broken a couple of times. It's not like you're not trying. You want to make sure you're fresh right to the end of the match. I made a few more mistakes than normal at the end of the set."
Murray (and Berdych, as it happens), dismissed the notion that he does not like to play on clay. "No, I enjoy this tournament. Many times it's my favourite surface. I can play very well on clay, it just takes me more time to get used to it and it's the hardest physically to win, long rallies, long matches. It's very different to the other slams, where I am a lot more sure of myself."
So Murray, against the odds perhaps, goes into the next round against Berdych in good heart. They have a win apiece against each other, the last of them four years ago, a form line that means little, as they both agreed. "It was a long time ago," Berdych said. "We have moved to completely different levels."
He declared himself "very pleased" with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win in 93 minutes over the big-serving American John Isner. "Everything worked almost 100%. There was not even one thing that I maybe did wrong."
Murray said of Berdych: "He's had some good results this year, in Miami and Monte Carlo. He obviously beat Isner pretty easily so it's going to be pretty tough. He's a big guy, big serve, hits the ball hard and flat, low percentage tennis. He doesn't feel uncomfortable going for his shots."
Murray went for plenty of his against Baghdatis, whose poor serving in the first two sets allowed the Scot to move in more often than he has done for quite a while. When he did stay back, his defensive game was so solid the Cypriot struggled to find an opening to counter, the ball threading deep and wide on both wings.
Baghdatis had a break point as early as the second game. His side-spun chip for deuce showed Murray was up for it. He even smiled when he double-faulted, and breathed more easily when he held under pressure.
Symmetrically dressed – Murray white top, blue shorts, Baghdatis the other way round – they traded muscular ground strokes, the Cypriot all wide-eyed passion, the Scot cooler than jazz. Court Suzanne Lenglen was packed on a bright day, entranced as the fourth seed had to work harder to hold serve than the world No30.
The lingering question, one that grew louder by the day, was: how many tough matches could Murray stand? The player himself had no doubts his relentless gym work had put enough gas in the tank to get him through the longest examination.
He answered all the questions perfectly in the first two sets, slumped into a weird despond in the third and came out roaring in the fourth again. By that time, Baghdatis was confused and spent. He imagined he had done enough to fight his way back into the match but, like Gasquet and Chela before him, discovered there is a cold determination lurking in Murray's psyche that sets him apart from most players.
It is why he could walk away from Roland Garros last night perfectly content, while his fans were left chewing their programmes.
World No.30, Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus, who lost in the third round on Friday to Andy Murray, was kind enough to answer our “if you were…” questions. If you were a country?
Cyprus. I love my country. I need to go home on a regular basis to recharge my batteries and get back in touch with my roots. I left Cyprus when I was 14 years old, which is undoubtedly why I feel so attached to it. I had a tennis court built so I can train at home and spend more time there.
If you were a city?
Sydney. I took a three-week vacation there and loved it. 
If you were an appetizer?
Saganaki, a Greek cheese (resembles feta). You eat it as an appetizer and it’s fresh and delicious. 
If you were a film?
Tie Break (a documentary about the Mouratoglou academy, where Marcos trained). 
If you were a song?
“Genethlia,” which means birthday in Greek. 
If you were a car?
An Audi R8 Spider.
If you were a drink?
(Someone suggests gin & tonic). Oh no! Water. Water is very good. If you were a tournament?
Bâle. The people are really nice, the atmosphere is relaxed, and I feel good there. 
If you had a special power?
Invincible, like Superman.
If you were a football player?
Wayne Rooney. If you were a sport other than tennis?
Football. If you were an airport?
If you were a time of day?
9pm. If you were a website?
If you were a place in Paris?
My parents’ house, in Levallois.
If you were a romantic location?
A bateau-mouche (sightseeing boat on the Seine River).
 Australia and especially Sydney has an irresistible appeal to Marcos. Marcos spoke openly about it during a soirée organised by Cyprus Tourism Organisation in Paris two years ago. here's the released video clip:
couldn't help crying when i saw scenes from Marcos-Agassi match, heard Marcos speaking about the sacrifices that he and his family made, saw Marcos' Mum and Dad hugging him when the plane from Australia landed on Larnaca four years ago...
Marcos must hire a new coach and fitness trainer as soon as possible. Marcos needs to get fitter and try to lift his tennis back to the levels he reached at one time… coaches of such high calibre as Magnus Norman, Tomas Krupa and Hernan Gumy can bring something more to Marcos’ game and can inject killer instinct and tenacity in him. too bad that these three men are committed elsewhere. anyway, the way things work out in coaching, who knows where a coach from a “rival” will end up.
of course coaches who have any respect for themselves, and therefore can help Marcos to improve and make the most of his talent, are reluctant – to put it mildly – to settle in Cyprus… Cyprus is not Mallorca, Marcos. but, you expected that Marcos, didn't you?
successful coaches are not brain-dead, suicidal morons.
hmm, yesterday was Petros' - Marcos' elder brother - name day. so, there was much of excitement and jollification. glad to hear that Marcos enjoys a "quiet" holiday with his family. he's going through a hot phase, and Cyprus is definitely a funky place.
however, the real issue is that Marcos remains coach-less (his brother Petros is good only to keep Marcos company at Hilton's gym in Nicosia - i have nothing against Petros, but i feel you see the point i'm making).
assuming that Marcos didn't change his mind and plays Atlanta, then he should seek help from Florida's tennis academies to be fit in two weeks' time... Marcos will go through a lot during this transitional period, yet transitions can be both stressful and awesome.
successful coaches are not brain-dead, suicidal morons.
Sorry - but that made me LOL so much I had to respond to it. Sometimes I think ALL men (inlcuding Coaches) are brain-dead suicidal morons :tape: Anyway - good luck to Marcos in his future - I hope he finds the right person for him.
As for my own take on the situation, having seen a lot of Marcos and his Coaching set-up these last months - my feeling (for what it's worth), is that Marcos is a fun, light-hearted personality who enjoys partying and having fun, but wants it all to come easy. Bluntly, he just doesn't much enjoy the hard graft necessary for a top athlete to reach the pinnacle of success, especially with so many younger, keen, new players coming into the sport all the time. Nothing wrong with being a "party animal" at all of course - you're only young once, so why not enjoy it? But seems that when a Coach tries to explain that more success means more training, more time in the gym, and less "fun", he doesn't accept it too well, because he basically finds training etc very boring, and doesn't react too well to any "authoritarian" figure telling him he should do more.
Thanks guys for your comments. I do read them all and value your opinions and feedback. I want to thank Eduardo and Horacio very much for all the hard work they have put into my career during our time together, and we’ve achieved some great results. However, I feel I’ve made the best decision for the next stage in my career and I’m excited about moving forward. 2 hours ago
continued... I'm taking a boat trip this weekend and will start the hard work again from Monday. Thanks again for all your support, I really do appreciate it and I hope to see some of you in the USA this summer! 2 hours ago
hmm, training, conditioning and developing resilient self-confidence without being coached by a quality tennis coach is virtually impossible, no matter how tremendous drive has Marcos to succeed. so, as i politely refuse to accept Marcos is a liar, he's apparently hired a coach. but, he refuses to reveal his identity. well, that's fine as long as Marcos and the "unknown visitor" don't start killing each other...
last but not least, Marcos’ new manager of course:
4. Michael McBride
his input and advice is invaluable. he, for instance, advised Marcos to skip the two Korean challengers last year, and instead to accept the invitation to play Stockholm… he also recently advised Marcos to swap Kooyong for Sydney…
so, while Eduardo, Horacio and Pancho help Marcos and teach him how to think, plan and train, Michael, on the other hand, teaches Marcos with caution how to hit the target.
i was just wondering if Michael McBride is still Marcos' manager. Marcos hired him soon after the start of his collaboration with Infantino (Marcos' previous manager was Jean-Philippe Bernard).
anyway, Michael has so far done an excellent work.
it seems Markos Baghdatis will get as new coach one of his ex-coaches the french Payre Guillaume (not confirmed yet). However a local newspaper (politis) reported that the Payre Guillaume (who currently works in China) is coming to Cyprus next Wendesday 14/Jul/2010 to fix the deal and if everything works ok then they will travel to US together.