By Andreas Vou
Marcos Baghdatis has been drawn against Germany’s Dustin Brown in the first round of Wimbledon which begins on Monday, and the Cypriot has set himself a lofty target going into the tournament.
Brown is currently ranked 95th in the world and has met Baghdatis on just one previous occasion back in 2012 when the German of Jamaican heritage beat the Cypriot over three sets in the BMW Open in Munich.
Baghdatis goes into the sport’s biggest Grand Slam competition in good form; the 29-year-old recently won the Aegon Trophy final in Nottingham, his first singles trophy in four years and won his first round match at Queen’s Club the following week.
In his second round match against world No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka, Baghdatis suffered a shoulder injury which forced him to retire from the match and left concerns about his fitness ahead of Wimbledon. However, the current world No. 118 has recovered in time and is said to be back in peak condition to make an appearance after being handed a wildcard, stating shortly after the injury that his goal was “to get back into the Top 10.”
He went on to say that his target is to fall back in love with the sport and believes his ambitious goal will be accomplished once he does so.
My real goal is to play tennis and enjoy the moments on court, enjoy the crowd and do the best I can. I think once I do that, automatically I’ll get back into the Top 10,” said Baghdatis.
The former world No. 8 has won seven of his last ten matches while Brown has been struggling of late having only amassed four victories in the same number of matches.
While his aims of getting back into the Top 10 perhaps seem rather ambitious for a player who was outside the top 150 just four months ago, there has been an evident improvement in attitude from Baghdatis, having been training intensely since March in Florida.
Back on the surface where he feels most comfortable and at the place where he famously reached the semi-finals back in 2006, the charismatic Cypriot will be looking to roll back the years in order to get back among the sport’s elite.