Marcos gave a short on-court interview and said that he didn't take all his chances in the second set and he's gonna try to finish his next match quicker playing smarter the pressure points. he also said he's really happy and thanked the crowd for the support they have extended right through the beginning...
Marcos is through to the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup after producing a solid serving display to beat talented Ukrainian, Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-2, 7-6(7) on Friday in Moscow.
Victory for Marcos avenged the straight-sets defeat he suffered to World No. 56 Dolgopolov two weeks ago in the Beijing first round. He is now through to his sixth ATP World Tour semi-final of the season and will bid to reach his 10th career tour-level final when he faces Denis Istomin on Saturday at the ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tennis tournament.
Marcos made a fast start to Friday’s quarter-final, breaking in the third game with a testing forehand crosscourt pass to force an error from Dolgopolov. He then played a great returning game to break again for 5-2, before an easy service hold clinched the first set.
Marcos created the only three break point chances of the second set, but Dolgopolov fought off the danger each time to force a deciding tie-break. The Ukrainian had his chances to extend the match to three sets, holding three set points at 6-4 and 7-6, but Marcos held strong before converting his first match point after 82 minutes.
Marcos was impressive on serve throughout, not facing a break point and winning 84 per cent of the points behind his first serve.
“I lost to (Dolgopolov) in Beijing after leading in the first set and in the second set. I took my chances this time and I was a bit lucky in the tie-break,” assessed Marcos.
He will face Istomin for the first time on the ATP World Tour, although he did prevail when the two met in the final of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Tashkent last year. The Uzbekistani player cruised through his quarter-final match with Igor Kunitsyn to reach his first quarter-final since finishing runner-up in New Haven in August.
“I am the favourite now but I need to be focused and just worry about my next match,” said Marcos, who is the only seeded player remaining in contention. “Denis is tough; I played him once last year.”
Fourth seed Marcos Baghdatis needed to call on all his fighting qualities to defeat Denis Istomin in the Kremlin Cup semi-finals Saturday, recovering from a double break down in the third set to win 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) and reach his third ATP World Tour final of the season in Moscow.
The Cypriot was impenetrable on serve for the first two sets, winning the first 29 points behind his first serve and saving seven break points. However, Istomin managed to draw level with aggressive play in the tie-break and then surged into a 3-0 double break advantage in the final set.
Baghdatis fought hard to stem Istomin’s momentum by immediately recouping one of the service breaks to cut the deficit to 3-2, and later levelled at 5-5 as he capitalised on a nervous game from his No. 46-ranked opponent. In the ensuing tie-break, Baghdatis was quick to pounce, racing to a 5-1 lead before strong serving sealed him victory after two hours and 26 minutes.
In the final Baghdatis will face World No. 43 Viktor Troicki, who continued his strong run of form with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas.
“I was feeling a bit stiff, playing defensive, only my serve was working,” explained Baghdatis. “But I kept fighting and at 3-0 down in the third [set] I saw some change in him and I started playing more aggressively.
“I expect to play better (against Troicki). He is very tough, he was close to beating [Rafael] Nadal in Tokyo, he beat Tsonga this week and he is full of confidence.”
Baghdatis, who was the only seed remaining in the semi-final draw, will look to win his fifth career ATP World Tour title. The 2006 Australian Open runner-up triumphed in Sydney (d. Gasquet) at the start of the season and reached the Washington final in August, losing out to David Nalbandian.
Serbian Troicki, who ousted third-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round, converted four of the 11 break points he created and won 81 per cent of points behind his first serve to seal victory in 71 minutes over Cuevas.
“It was a good match for me, the match point was one of the best points of the tournament,” declared Troicki. “I tried to be aggressive and make him run a lot and I was successful. My form is getting better and better; in the first round I was down a set and 3-0 (against Dmitry Tursunov), then I beat Tsonga and now I am in the final!”
The 24-year-old Troicki is through to the third ATP World Tour final of his career and is hoping to make it “third time lucky” after runner-up efforts in Washington in 2008 (l. to del Potro) and Bangkok in 2009 (l. to Simon).
Marcos produced a stunning fightback in the third set to defeat Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) Saturday in the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Marcos was exceptional on serve in the first two sets, winning the first 29 points behind his first serve and saving all seven break points he faced. He clinched the first set after breaking serve in the first game courtesy of a rifling backhand up the line. However, he could not break through Istomin’s defences in the second set and the Uzbekistani grew in confidence. In the decisive tie-break he was rewarded for attacking tennis and was able to level the match.
Istomin was quick to capitalise on his momentum in the final set, racing to a 3-0 double break lead. It sparked the start of the fightback from Marcos, though, who produced a gritty performance in the next game to recoup one of the breaks.
Marcos was denied on a chance to break back again in the eighth game as Istomin came up with three clutch serves at 0/40 and the Uzbekistani looked to have escaped again when he came back from 0/40 down when serving for the match. Marcos persevered, though, and played two composed points to level at 5-5 before forcing a tie-break.
In stark contrast to the second-set tie-break, Marcos was quick to stamp his authority in the deciding breaker, racing to a 5-1 lead before closing out victory in two hours and 26 minutes.
“I was feeling a bit stiff, playing defensive, only my serve was working,” reflected Marcos. “But I kept fighting and at 3-0 down in the third [set] I saw some change in him and I started playing more aggressively.”
In the final Marcos will face Serbian Viktor Troicki, who cruised through his semi-final against Pablo Cuevas in straight sets earlier in the day. While Marcos was battling through his semi-final, though, Troicki was back out on court contesting the doubles semi-finals.
Marcos has played Troicki once before, beating the 24 year old en route to winning the Sydney title in January. The Belgrade native has hit a good run of form in recent weeks, reaching the semi-finals in Tokyo, where he very nearly beat World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, and this week defeated third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.
“I expect to play better (against Troicki),” said Marcos, looking ahead to the final. “He is very tough, he was close to beating Nadal in Tokyo, he beat Tsonga this week and he is full of confidence.”
Marcos is bidding to win his second ATP World Tour title of the season, and the fifth in his career. The final is scheduled to take place on Sunday on centre court, beginning not before 2:30 pm local time (11:30am UK, 1:30pm Cyprus). Check out the full order of play here : www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2010/438/op.pdf