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Baghdatis reaches semis in Melbourne

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Baghdatis reaches semis in Melbourne

Postby Sotos » Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:06 pm

MELBOURNE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Unseeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis extended his extraordinary run at the Australian Open on Tuesday, upsetting seventh seed Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-4 6-2 4-6 3-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals.

Baghdatis, a former world junior number one currently ranked 54th, followed his shock win over second seed Andy Roddick with another gritty victory under floodlights at the Rod Laver Arena.

Baghdatis played superbly in the first two sets, unleashing his full range of shots to grab a two-set lead before Ljubicic fought back to win the next two and force the match into a decider.

Baghdatis, 20, fended off two break points in a tense third game then ripped a cross-court forehand past Ljubicic to gain the decisive break in the next game.

He coolLy held his remaining three service games to advance to Thursday's semi-final against Argentine fourth seed David Nalbandian, who beat unseeded Frenchman Fabrice Santoro 7-5 6-0 6-0 earlier in the day.

"I started thinking a lot and putting some doubts in my head," Baghdatis said in a courtside interview.

"He started serving well and got some confidence. It was going so fast I couldn't control the game.

"But in the fifth set I started hitting the ball again."

Baghdatis has developed a cult following at the Open.

Melbourne's large Greek community have adopted him as one of their own and Tuesday's quarter-final was more like a football match than a tennis match with local Croatian supporters also urging Ljubicic on.


Baghdatis squandered seven break points in the opening set before he finally broke 26-year-old Ljubicic in the ninth game off a forehand error.

He broke twice more in the second set, the first off a backhand winner and the second off another Ljubicic mistake, before the errors started creeping into his own game.

A double fault set up the break Ljubicic needed to grab the third set then another double fault cost him the fourth set as well before he regained his composure in the decider.

Baghdatis' success has sparked a surge of interest in tennis in his native Cyprus. He first picked up a racket aged four and his tennis fan father encouraged him to keep playing.

Baghdatis was named "Man of the Year" in Cyprus after reaching the fourth round at Melbourne Park last year and he said he could only guess what the mood was like back home.

"I don't really know but I think it's getting crazy, I think they're all watching the match," he said.

Baghdatis left his Limassol home at 14 for the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris.

His two older brothers both played Davis Cup for Cyprus. He said one is now a tennis coach while the other is a mathematics professor in the United States.
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Postby Nampou re » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:43 pm

Anyone know what time the semi-final will be (live)?
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Good Luck to Baghdatis!

Postby dallas » Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:24 am

Amazing! :D :D :D :D :D :D
There is an E-card of Baghdatis here: :wink:
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Postby Maria28 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:25 pm

Bravo again to Marcos!

I watched the game. He was fantastic!
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Postby sneezing7 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:52 pm,5936,17940662%255E12428,00.html

I was quite suprised to read this article.

ANy truth in it?
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Postby KONSTANTINOU » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:06 am

There not after him but hopefully they give him an extension like his father said....He is making us proud he is fighting for Cyprus his on way he does not need a gun..
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Postby It » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:11 am

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