Cyprus Mail

Baghdatis aiming to bounce back from poor run of results

Baghdatis of Cyprus serves to Paire of France during their men's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris

By Nemanja Bjedov

MARCOS Baghdatis hopes of improving his performances when the grass-court season begins, after recording seven consecutive first round singles exits, including three clay court Masters, Roland Garros and three hard court events, over the last three months.

“I was playing good for a set and a half. I was controlling the match and I was following what my coach put in place over the past two weeks. Things were going well, but in the end it was the same old story. I have so many chances and I do not take them and then I lose a match,” assessed Baghdatis who won only nine matches in 2013, while losing as many.

“I need to tell myself I am winning the match because I deserve it. I need to give myself more credit. I am sure I do not do that, because I am a perfectionist. But sometimes you do not have to hit a clean winner to win the point. Or sometimes I miss-hit a ball in a rally and stop, and lose time. I get disappointed a lot in a match. I need to keep my mind in a positive state,” he added.

While digesting the disappointment Baghdatis is optimistic that his continued hard work with his new coach Zeljko Krajan will finally start showing on the court in the upcoming grass-court season.

“Two weeks ago I would not believe I could play like that on clay. Zeljko is a very smart coach. He is experienced and we worked on some key things, especially my forehand. During the match, more so yesterday than today, my forehand was aggressive. It was better than usual. I was dictating more of the points. I just need to continue working at the same rate and start winning the matches on the court,” said Baghdatis who is currently ranked 39th at the Emirates ATP Rankings.

After exiting Roland Garros early Baghdatis travelled to Croatia to see his family for a few days before leaving on Tuesday to go to Halle, ready to play his first tournament of the four-week grass-court season at the Gerry Weber Open, which begins on Monday, June 10.

“For sure, it is going to be easier on grass, I am going to win more matches. I think it is just continuing working and just keep on pushing. If you see my whole year, I have lost matches I should have won. I need to push myself. When I have chances, I have to go for it. I cannot wait for the other person to miss. I need to find the way to get through that,” the 27-year-old Cypriot concluded.

Baghdatis did not have a great grass-court season in 2012. He was eliminated in the second round at both Queen’s Club and Eastbourne, while at Wimbledon Andy Murray defeated him in the third round.

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