Cyprus Mail
Australian OpenSportTennis

Baghdatis rolls back the years

Marcos Baghdatis

By Andreas Vou

Marcos Baghdatis pulled off a shock win to reach the third round of the Australian Open after defeating 20th seed David Goffin in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Few rated the Cypriot star’s chances against the 24-year-old Belgian who is regarded as one of the rising talents in the game, but Baghdatis rolled back the years to win 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 and reach the last 32 of his favourite Grand Slam.

Baghdatis started the encounter very much like he did in his previous match, with a resounding performance, to seal the first set 6-1.

The world number 78 kept his nerve and maintained his focus as he took the second set aswell by 6-4.

The third set did not quite follow the same pattern, as Goffin found his rhythm and levelled proceedings. In years gone by, Baghdatis has shown frustration in moments of adversity which, on most occasions, would lead him to defeat.

But the Limassol native bounced back strongly with a perfect 6-0 fourth set to advance.

It was an excellent all-round match from the 29-year-old in which he mostly dominated his much-fancied opponent. Baghdatis made just 24 unforced errors compared to Goffin’s 52, made 44 winners to the Belgian’s 28 and performed superbly at the net with 19 points from 24.

This is now the seventh time Baghdatis has reached the third round of the Australian Open but he has not reached the fourth round of any Grand Slam event since 2009.

The former 2006 finalist now faces world number11 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria,who defeated Lukas Lacko in four sets shortly after Baghdatis’ match.
The pair have met on six previous occasions in which the Cypriot has come out on top just once.

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