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Baghdatis beats Brown in thrilling contest

Cyprus star Marcos Baghdatis got off to a winning start at Wimbledon as he continued his good recent form

By Andreas Vou

MARCOS Baghdatis got off to a winning start at Wimbledon on Monday, defeating Germany’s Dustin Brown 6-4, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 in an enthralling first round match.

Much anticipation surrounded the encounter as the Wimbledon faithful were eager to see two entertaining players go head-to-head, and they were not disappointed as an enticing duel ensued.

Baghdatis went into the game as the favourite due to his excellent form preceding the tournament. The current world number 118 recently won the Aegon Trophy in Nottingham which ended his four-year trophy drought and had won seven of his last ten matches.

Brown, ranked No.95, is known for his giant-killings including a famous win over world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the opening match at the Gerry Weber Open earlier this season, though his recent form had not been the best.

Each player’s respective pre-tournament form was evident in the early part of the match as the Limassol native took a two-set lead.

After winning the first set 6-4 in a relatively routine manner, the second was far more enduring – the German defended five break points with the score at 6-5 before Baghdatis eventually broke Brown down to take the set.

But just as it looked as though Baghdatis had the match wrapped up, Brown broke early in the third set which he went on to win.

The same pattern followed in the fourth set as the German capitalised on a sluggish Baghdatis service and went on to open up a 5-2 lead.

The Cypriot rallied back, however, and brought the set level at 5-5, and on to a tie break which he won 7-4 to earn his place in the second round.

Baghdatis will now face Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer who defeated Italy’s Andreas Seppi in a five-set encounter earlier on in the day.

Baghdatis, a Wimbledon semi-finalist back in 2006, said prior to the tournament that his intends to return to the world’s Top 10 and though he will certainly have to up his game to accomplish his goal, the 29-year-old showed excellent character and determination to fend off a tricky opponent in the opening round.

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