Baghdatis, Hewitt Finding Old Magic in Oz
by Staff | January 21st, 2010, 8:13 am

Marcos Baghdatis was the big upset winner on Thursday in Melbourne, coming back from 0-2 sets down and bursting with emotion upon clinching a 4-6, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 17 seed David Ferrer at the Australian Open.
“It was great coming back. I’m a bit tired,” said Baghdatis, who won the title last week as an unseeded player in Sydney. “I had five matches in Sydney. Mentally it was tough today. I was a bit tired. Wake up and play the first match at 11 [a.m.]. I’m happy I went through, and that’s the most important thing. I found the solution to win.”

Cypriots and other fans chanted and sang to Baghdatis throughout the match.

“A lot of things,” Baghdatis said of what they sang. “Marcos, I love you. I will never stop singing for you. Stuff like this.”

The remainder of Thursday’s top results were rather routine, with top-seeded Roger Federer dropping only seven games against Romania’s Victor Hanescu, (3) Novak Djokovic topping Swiss Marco Chiudinelli in four, (6) Nikolay Davydenko popping Ukraine qualifier Illya Marchenko 6-3, 6-3, 6-0, (9) Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco losing only five games to Ivan Sergeyev of the Ukraine, and (10) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overpowering American Taylor Dent in straights.

“Qualifying guys really don’t scare because nothing to lose,” says Davydenko, who is still figuring out who he can scare and who he can’t. “That’s what’s should be, I need to scare against these guys because I don’t know these guys, how he’s playing. That’s was is now different. It’s not like between guys Top 10 who is scare. This is now Top 10 and something 150 in the world. You know, it’s now different position.”

Federer said he enjoyed Prince William arriving to take in his match.

“I’m used to it because I play a lot of prime time matches where there are very important people watching. This one tonight was obviously extremely special. It’s a pleasure, of course, playing in front of him,” Federer said. “Where he comes from, he knows tennis, and Wimbledon’s big, you know. So for me it was very — I mean, a big honor that he came to watch me.”

Aussie favorite and No. 22 seed Lleyton Hewitt put down an early test from qualifier Donald Young, dismissing the American 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-1.
“He’s flashy and rides a bit of a wave for a few games, and then throws in a couple of suck games out of nowhere,” Hewitt said of Young, one of the “Next Great Americans” who never panned out. “He’s a lot better playing than his ranking is right at the moment. He obviously struggled with the expectation of being the next great hope for America for a while. He’s been 70-odd in the world, and won’t be long before he’s back there.”

Fine compliment, returning to the Top 70.

Other winners of note Thursday were (18) Tommy Haas over Janko Tipsarevic in five, (30) Juan Monaco coming from two sets down to defeat Michael Llodra, and (26) Nicolas Almagro almost blowing a two-set lead before topping Benjamin Becker in five.

Matches to look for Friday include (7) Andy Roddick vs. Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, Florian “Oscar” Mayer vs. (injured?) (4) Juan Martin Del Potro, Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. (2) Rafael Nadal, the all-Croat in Ivo Karlovic vs. (24) Ivan Ljubicic, John Isner vs. (12) Gael “Force” Monfils, and (14) Marin Cilic vs. (19) Stan Wawrinka.

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5 Comments for Baghdatis, Hewitt Finding Old Magic in Oz

the_mind_reels Says:

Incredible performance by Baghdatis yesterday. Glad to see that he seems to be finding his good old form. He’s a real fighter.

Is there a record for how many times a player has won a match while visibly cramping and unable to stand up in the fifth set? Give the man a trophy. It’s unreal how cleanly and how big he can still hit the ball while limping around the court.

Cindy_Brady Says:

If Baggy was cramping after Ferrer, I can only imagine what type of damage Hewitt will do. Anyways, it looks like the winner of that match will be drained and easy meat for Fed.

I’m still waiting for that unexpected upset special. I hate it when things go as planned. It’s boring. Someone rise up and beat a top seed! PLEASE!!

MMT Says:

I saw Donald Young lost to Lleyton Hewitt in DC this year – it was a crappy match. He’s got a great serve for someone his size, but his decision making – particularly on the backhand side – is awful. Constantly missing on flat backhands up the line to finish off the point when he’d be better off setting up his forehand. He’s just too inconsistent both technically and mentally to be effective at this level, and I don’t see him breaking through, although he has made some improvements by virtue of his qualifying for the main draw.

As for Almagro – if I’m not mistaken that’s the second time he’s almost blown a 2 sets to love lead in this tournament. This guy really knows how to make the road hard for himself.

Gordo Says:

Cindy – there have been a lot of pretty exciting 5-setters. If you read that Del Potro beat Blake in the paper it is expected and paerhaps boring, but that match between the two of them was anything but.

Cindy_Brady Says:


I said the Blake/Del Potro match was exciting in another blog. I’m talking about an actual breakthrough win for an under dog. Not just a good showing.

I don’t count the Soderling loss, since I believe he was never a real top 10 player to begin with. He played above his head last year. A Cinderella year for him. Now he’s coming back to Earth where he and his real ranking belong. Somewhere in the 20-30s range. He’s not mentally ready to be one of the top 5 players in the world. Just my opinion.

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