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Baghdatis to the final

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Baghdatis to the final

Postby Sotos » Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:46 am

Marcos Baghdatis surprisingly knocked David Nalbandian out of the Davidoff Swiss Indoor event 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) yesterday to dent the Argentine's chances of reaching the year-end finale.

Qualifier Baghdatis, the world No. 85 from Cyrpus whose career looked in doubt early in the season before an arm muscle operation, moved into the first final of his career.

In today's best-of-five-set final the Paris-based player will face fourth seed Fernando Gonzalez, the Chilean who defeated Dominik Hrbaty, of Slovakia, 6-0, 6-3 in the other semi-final.

"I'm not surprised, I knew I could play this well," said the Cypriot after ousting 2002 champion and second seed Nalbandian.

With his confidence riding high, the 20-year-old winner, whose father sent him to Paris at age 14 to fulfill a tennis dream, confided: "I was born to be a champion.

"It was my father's wish that one of his sons would be a tennis champion, I think it could be me," said Baghdatis, whose elder brother's career was cut short by a car accident as a junior.

The increasingly confident Baghdatis hit four straight aces in a love game that forced a second-set tiebreaker against Nalbandian, now fighting to earn a place in the season-ending Masters Cup with one week of regular season play to go.

Even under pressure, Baghdatis didn't flinch, racing to 4-0, holding his nerve at 4-2 after being passed and earning three match points as Nalbandian missed another of the drop shots he had been trying to get right all afternoon.

The underdog then produced a perfect drop shot of his own to secure the biggest win of his career.

Nalbandian came in having made the quarter-finals or better in his past five tournaments. He had recovered from a 0-6 first set to ovecome Baghdatis in the Roland Garros first round last May.

Baghdatis's previous best this season was a quarter-final appearance in Tokyo earlier this month where he lost to Mario Ancic.

He also considers making the fourth round at the Australian Open, where he lost to Roger Federer, as a breakthrough.

I saw the last 30 minutes on Eurosport. Not bad for our player. :D
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