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Baghdatis stars as Cyprus promoted

Marcos Baghdatis extended his record Davis Cup win streak to an incredible 36 matches

The Cyprus Davis Cup team defeated Ireland 2-0 over the weekend to seal promotion to Europe Zone Group II, after wins from Petros Chrysochos and Marcos Baghdatis.

Cyprus breezed through to the knockout phase of a round-robin competition in Estonia, featuring 15 nations, after finishing first in Group C with maximum points, defeating Iceland (2-1), Andorra (3-0) and Montenegro (3-0).

A clean sweep against Montenegro on Friday set up an interesting promotion playoff against Ireland, and the Cypriots continued where they left off in the previous encounters.

The team is comprised of Cypriot tennis legend Marcos Baghdatis, young prodigy Petros Chrysochos, as well as Soteris Hadjistyllis and Constandinos Christoforou.

Chrysochos defeated Peter Bothwell in the first of the two match-ups in Tallinn. The 19-year-old from Larnaca, ranked 572, won 6-1 2-6 6-0 to leave Cyprus within one win of promotion.

The youngster demonstrated his promising ability throughout the week, winning his three previous matches against Iceland, Andorra and Montenegro and only dropping two sets in the process.

In the next match of the decisive playoff round, it was up to Davis Cup veteran Baghdatis to finish the job for Cyprus.
The Limassol-native had already written his name in the tournament’s record books during the week after surpassing Swedish legend Bjorn Borg’s record of 33 straight victories set back in the 1980s.

Baghdatis’ win over Birkir Gunnarsson on Wednesday (6-4 6-0) saw him equal the record that the Swede had set over 30 years ago, before his 6-2, 6-0 win over Andorra’s Jean-Baptiste Poux-Gautier on Thursday set a new record.

Up next was Sam Barry, ranked 359, which on paper looked like a routine match for Baghdatis, but it turned out to be far more of a contest than first predicted.

Baghdatis was made to work hard for the first set, eventually coming through 6-4, and was stretched even further in the second.
A victory in the tie-break for Baghdatis extended his Davis Cup win streak to an incredible 36 matches.

More importantly, however, Baghdatis’ win handed Cyprus promotion to European Group II of the Davis Cup.

Further good news for Baghdatis last week was that, after reaching the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, narrowly losing out to Stan Wawrinka, the Limassol-born star made it into the Top 40 of the ATP World Ranking for the first time in three years.

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