By Nemanja Bjedov
Marcos Baghdatis, a finalist at the Malaysian Open in 2011, and the fourth-seeded Austrian Jurgen Melzer, took time out on Sunday to visit the Batu Caves, a limestone hill with a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak district, north of Kuala Lumpur.
“It was a great experience visiting something new,” said Baghdatis for the official web site of the ATP.
“It’s great to have Tourism Malaysia as a sponsor enabling us to visit the temple today. I’m looking forward to the tournament here for sure.”
The Batu River flows past the hill and the cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. It is also the focal point of the Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.
“It looks amazing – very traditional with so many people here. It’s a very nice venue and initiative to come here,” Melzer added.
This will be the fourth appearance for Baghdatis in Kuala Lumpur, but the first after reaching the finals in 2011 when he lost in straight sets to Serbian Janko Tipsarevic. Melzer, on the other hand, will play the event for the third time.
The world number 48 Cypriot will take on Argentinean Carlos Berlocq in the opening round, and if he advances he will then take on the second-seed Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who recently defeated him in the third round of the US Open.
Wawrinka is currently world number 10; the last time Baghdatis managed to overcome a player from the top 10 was in February in Rotterdam when he beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the second round.