By Nemanja Bjedov
Marcos Baghdatis defeated Argentinean Carlos Berlocq 7-6(3), 6-3 in the opening round of the ATP World Tour 250 Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning.
There were no breaks of serve in the first set, but the 28-year-old Cypriot did survive a scare when he was serving to stay in the set at 5-4 and 0-30 down; however, he managed to level the score and eventually claim the set in the tie-break.
Solitary break of serve in the second set proved to be more than enough for Baghdatis to clinch his 14th win of the season and progress into the second round after an hour and 32 minutes.
World number 48 Baghdatis will now take on the second-seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the second round.
The two players clashed last month in a four-set third-round contest at the US Open, and Wawrinka prevailed before going on to reach his first major semifinal.
That was the third consecutive victory for Wawrinka over Baghdatis, including a second-round victory at last year’s Australian Open and a third-round win at the Indian Wells Masters in 2008
Baghdatis has yet to record a victory over the Swiss.
The Cypriot is bidding to reach the final in Kuala Lumpur for the second time, having finished runner-up in 2011 when he lost to Serbian Janko Tipsarevic.