By Andreas Vou
Marcos Baghdatis is through to the second round of the French Open following a 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 win over Gilles Muller on Tuesday afternoon.
The Cypriot star struggled for any sort of rhythm early on and made a handful of unforced errors in the opening exchanges which saw him on the brink of losing the first set.
Down 5-1, Baghdatis clawed his way back into contention as he reeled off six games in a row to claim the opening set.
Muller, currently No.42 in the ATP rankings, just three spots behind the Cypriot, again looked sharper at the start of the second set, breaking serve right from the off. But, as he did in the first, Baghdatis overturned the deficit, and after going toe-to-toe right until the final stages, eventually took a two-set lead.
While the first two sets had their difficulties, the third was a breeze for the Cypriot as he made light work of a dejected Muller, sealing his spot in the second round and a date with local favourite and sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Victory enhances Baghdatis’ positive start to the year. The 30-year-old reached the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships at the end of February, eventually losing out to world No.4 Stan Wawrinka.
Shortly after, he also helped the Cyprus Davis Cup team to promotion to Europe Zone Group II, first with comfortable wins in qualifying followed by a victory in the playoff match against the Republic of Ireland.
This is Baghdatis’ 11th appearance at Roland Garros and his latest win brings his overall record to ten wins and ten defeats.