It's with a brand new title in his pocket that Marcos will land in Melbourne. I guess the self confidence will be boosted by this great situation so I hope, like we all do I suppose, Marcos will have a great time at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2006 finalist and crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis brushed aside Italian Paolo Lorenzi with an emphatic 6-2 6-4 6-4 round one victory in front of a lively Margaret Court Arena crowd on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old Baghdatis dominated the world No. 84 Lorenzi in the first set, sprinting to a 5-0 lead en route to taking it in an impressive 28 minutes.
The 28-year-old Italian appeared overwhelmed in his debut Grand Slam. His unforced error count totaled 17 in the first set alone, and he had no answers against a confident Baghdatis, who had a large band of Cypriot supporters cheering him on.
Baghdatis entered his first round match of the Open on a five-match winning streak, having won his fourth career title at the Medibank International Sydney last week. It wasn’t long before he grabbed the advantage in the second set, breaking Lorenzi in his second service game.
The popular Cypriot had a chance to move further ahead but was wasteful with his break point opportunities, converting only one of four chances, but he still managed to serve out the set 6-4.
Baghdatis didn’t release the pressure on Lorenzi in the third, sending down some big serves and winning 85 per cent of points on his first serve for the set.
The Italian had two break points at 4-5, but Baghdatis blasted down an ace and a forehand winner to level. He soon served out the set to take the match, kissing the court and giving a thumbs-up to his supporters.
Baghdatis now advances to the second round, where he will face 17th seed David Ferrer. The Spaniard won on Tuesday after Frederico Gil of Portugal retired hurt in the third set of their match, which Ferrer led 6-0 6-0 2-0.
Popular Cypriot and Australian Open 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis has come from two sets down to defeat Spaniard David Ferrer in a gripping match at Hisense Arena on Thursday.
In a four-hour contest, Baghdatis overcame a sluggish start and some untimely cramps late in the final set to outlast the 17th-seeded Spaniard, winning 4-6 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3 6-1.
The beginning of the match was characterised by long rallies, with both players choosing to ease into the contest slowly. At 3-3, the seventh game became a battle of wills. After facing break points, Ferrer eventually held, but when Baghdatis held to love in the next game the momentum started to shift in the Cypriot’s favour.
A successful challenge in the eighth game for Baghdatis brought up two break points, but Ferrer withstood the onslaught, holding serve to make it 4-4 with the set looking headed for a tie-breaker.
When Ferrer broke serve and snatched the set 6-4, seemingly against the tide, it sent murmurs through the pro-Baghdatis crowd.
Three serves around the 200km/h mark and an early break for Baghdatis in the second set sent the crowd into a frenzy, but they were hushed again when Ferrer broke in the next game.
With the Cypriot serving and trailing 4-3, poor shot selection at 15-30 brought up two break points that the Spaniard converted on the second attempt. Ferrer served out the second set 6-3 before quickly taking a 2-0 lead in the third set.
A frustrated Baghdatis bashed his racquet on the ground before the third set, and it seemed to spark him into action as he took it to a tie-break. He stole an early lead before Ferrer saved two set points, but the Spaniard then handed Baghdatis the set with a forehand that sailed over the baseline.
Winning the third set to stay in the match seemed to be just the tonic the Cypriot needed. He took an early break in the fourth set and never looked back, sealing it 6-3 with a superb forehand winner down the line.
Baghdatis then finished in a flurry, breaking the Spaniard’s serve twice in the final set. As he prepared to serve out the match, the world No. 31 was temporarily floored by painful cramps, but was able to hold on and take the contest on his second match point.
His third-round opponent will be the winner of Thursday afternoon’s clash between Australian Lleyton Hewitt and American Donald Young. It was at Australian Open 2008 when Baghdatis and Hewitt played a memorable five-set clash at Rod Laver Arena at the same stage of the tournament, a match won by Hewitt at 4.30am.