Category Archives: Marcos Baghdatis

Nadal Under Pressue In Madrid

Any tennis player enjoys the crowd support when playing at home. Rafael Nadal, gold child of Spain, is no different and receives huge support when in Spain. I remember traveling in a taxi in Madrid and having a 20 minute conversation with the driver about his love for Rafa. To say the world number one is popular is an understatement. To say he’s not under huge pressure now is also an understatement. Read more »

Murray Bombs In Rotterdam

The disappointment for Andy Murray has continued after he was thumped today 4-6, 1-6 by Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in the opening round at Rotterdam. Marcos now leads his head to head with Andy 3-1.

Murray had managed to gain a hand 3-0 lead in the opening set before his game crumbled allowing Marcos to win all but two other games. The Scot managed to stay on the court for just over an hour to avoid complete embarrassment. Marcos wrapped up the match in 61 minutes.

Much has been written lately about the state of Murray’s game and mind, with many saying that not only does he need a new coach but he needs a complete haul over, including the expulsion of his mother from his box. Murray’s mystery over his latest Slam failure was evident throughout the final against Djokovic, and clearly still weighs on his mind over two weeks later.

“I have to think about what it was. You have to get the balance right, making sure you come to the tournament mentally feeling you are ready to win it and maybe I didn’t feel like that.

I struggled to adapt, it was very fast out there and Marcos was hitting the ball well, very flat, and I didn’t really adjust to the conditions so maybe it’s something I need to think about…how to prepare better or if it was too soon.”

Murray’s serve, sometimes a liability, sometimes a weapon, abandoned him again today, allowing Marcos to dominate the match without difficulty. He will now play doubles with his brother to try and sharpen his skills rather than taking time off to mental deal with what’s happened.


The Scot also admitted that his wrist was causing some problems for him. “I was struggling a little bit with my wrist but I don’t know why. It wasn’t terrible today but it seems to be happening a lot this week. A lot of the players have had problems with their wrist. Maybe it’s the change of surface and balls and not having that much time to get used to the conditions. I don’t think it’s anything serious.”

“I started the match really well, but then started missing quite a lot; I made quite a lot of mistakes.You need to be very sharp with your movement on a surface like that and maybe I wasn’t. Marcos played very well.”

>Baghdatis Sends Del Potro Packing – Wrist Watch Continues

>Marcos Baghdatis was going to be a difficult opponent for the returning Juan Martin del Potro. The outcome entirely depended on if Marcos had found some form – and he had. The Cypriot won 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 42 minutes

The opening set was a white wash as Juan Martin seemed to struggle with the very loud crowd that had accumulated to support Marcos. It was a new and improved Marcos who took to the court, significantly more toned than he has been in recent years was playing with aggression and accuracy on his side as the giant Argentine looked somewhat confused and at odds for a solution.

Marcos took the quick first set 6-1 in just 33 minutes.

During the second set, Juan Martin was defending break points in the third game when he went to serve. He tossed the ball and stopped. He adjusted his wrist band. I thought it was odd but maybe it was a bad ball toss. He tossed the ball again and as he struck the ball his racquet flew out of his hand and Baghdatis broke him. Juan Martin was grimacing.

It wasn’t long before the physio and the doctor were on court. As del Potro tentatively put his wrist band back on everyone watched closely waiting to see what would happen next and if it was only a matter of time until he retired.

He played a better but tentative second set, repeatedly being attended to by the physio who continued to mobilise his wrist joint during the breaks.

The third set saw Juan Martin come out swinging and Marcos drop his intensity off slightly. After nearly ten minutes of play the Argentine managed to consolidate a break of serve. Eventually Marcos broke back despite serving just 45% of first serves in compared to Juan Martin’s 72%. Again del Potro broke for a 5-4 lead as Marcos faltered and then he claimed the set 6-4 after 43 minutes.

After Marcos had his calf rubbed by the physio he came back out on court and accelerated towards the finish line.

It was a great effort from the big man and hopefully his wrist will be fine but it doesn’t create much hope of a seamless return to the top.

>Del Potro Moves Into Second Round

>Juan Martin del Potro has had a great start to his comeback, beating Dudi Sela. The Argentine fought for two hours and 39 minutes for the 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory. Juan Martin spent most of last year trying to rehabilitate his wrist injury which eventually required surgery.

Juan Martin has a chance in his next round as he plays the often injured Marcos Baghdatis who survived a five set match today.


Q. How good does it feel to be back in a Grand Slam arena after so much frustration for you?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I feel good. Is nice for me be here with these players, this tournament, and of course playing a Grand Slam.
Today I play good tennis again. But I’m really enjoying this week. I met with all the players, especially the top 10 players. They support me when I was very bad. So now I face to face with them and I say thank you. 

Q. Did you have to change your technique a little bit to put less pressure on your wrist?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I trying to not. I feel in good shape again. I work very hard with my physical trainer. I need time to play harder and to play stronger. But just I need time.
Sometimes some balls I play, I hit very, very far, and sometimes not. But with time and with training and with focus in every practice, I will take again.

Q. Have you become a very patient person? Usually young people are impatient; they want to see everything very quickly.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I know the way to be with good ranking again. But it’s a long road. I need to work very hard because all the players are very tough at this moment. All players playing good tennis, especially here in the five set matches.
But I’m still improving my game. I feel good with my wrist. That’s important to training every day and to feel comfortable for the next tournaments.

Q. Can you describe this last year with your injury.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I had a very bad year. For three or four months nobody knows about my wrist. I think that’s a bad thing for my mind. But after the surgery, the doctor say between four and six months you will be playing again. I was very, very quiet. Because if I do my step by step very quiet, I will be playing again. That’s what is happen now.
I have a good start season. I beat Feliciano López last week and today I won another match. That’s what I need. I need time, I need matches, I need sets, I need hours into the court. Then in the future, I will be better.

Q. You talked about the support of the fellow top 10 players. How did they support you? Did they call you or send messages?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Everything. They call me and they send an emails, everything. It’s important. They have all his schedule very close, very completed. Sometimes if you got his callings, is good because they are thinking about you and about yourself. So I just want to say thank you to all of them. For me it’s good playing against them again.

Q. Was someone calling you or writing you more than others, better friends you have on the circuit?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: My better friends are in Tandil. I don’t know. With one matches is good, is enough to feel they support. I don’t care if Federer send me ten message and Rafa send me two. The important thing, it’s they send to me and they was thinking about me. So I just want to say thank you.
I was watching his matches in my home. I’m really want to congratulate all of them because they are making amazing tennis for the fans and for the players, too.

Q. I know you have to play more matches, but do you feel as strong now as you were when you won the US Open?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don’t think so. I say last week I have this present today from this tournament. To my future, I will try my best. I don’t want to think in the past. I won a Grand Slam, but I’m working to improve my game. I don’t know if I can play like two years ago or not, but I will try.
Every practicing, every day, I speak with Franco. If he say, Make hundred service, I will do it for be good with myself. I’m trying to improve every day. I’m trying to fight with the top 10 players again.

Q. What is the most difficult thing for you now that you’ve been away for such a long time?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Everything. Everything is difficult. But I am really enjoy be here again. I know maybe two years ago, play against 200 players, feel good. But this is my present. If I play against Rafa or if I play against 50 different player, I will feel I don’t know very complicated. It just depends my game. It just depends my mind, my physic.
I know the way to win matches, but I need time to do it.

Q. Do you realize there were only two players who won a slam out of the last 23 slams? One was you and the other was Djokovic. Is that something you almost don’t believe today or something that gives you pride and hope that you’ll be back?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I already won my Grand Slam. Djokovic, too. But maybe Murray, Novak, Soderling, now they have the game to beat Rafa and Roger.
I am very far away, but I’m working to be in that level in the future. I’m trying to beat Rafa and Roger in same Grand Slam to win another one.

Nadal Faces Terrible Draw For Histroy Making Win

Rafa Nadal, who is still struggling to get over his fever, has been drawn against some difficult players for the Australian Open in his bid to claim all Grand Slam titles simultaneously.

Nadal will face world number 96 Brazilian Marcos Daniel before potentially facing Feliciano Lopez or Alejandro Falla (who almost knocked out Roger Federer in the first round of Wimbledon) in the third round. Read more »

Player Profile: Ernests Gulbis

Full Name: Ernests Gulbis

DOB: 30.08.1988

Height: 190cm

Weight: 77kg

Turned Pro: 2004

Highest Rank: 27 (May 2010)

Current Rank: 77

Plays: Right handed, double handed backhand

Career Prize Money: $2,472,708 USD Read more »

Nalbandian Claims 11th Title

David Nalbandian has claimed his 11th career title in Washington after defeating Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 7-6. Over the last three years the Washington title has been claimed by an Argentine (2008, 2009 Juan Martin del Potro). Read more »

Nalbandian And Baghdatis Set For Finals Clash

David Nalbandian has reached his first final of the season after defeating Gilles Simon and Marin Cilic. David beat Simon 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in Washington in a quarterfinal match of fluctuating quality. Nalbandian dropped serve 5 times during the course of the match and squandered multiple break points until he finally broke through for an early 2-0 lead in the third set. Read more »

>Seeds Fall In Rome: Baghdatis, Ferrero And Querrey Out.

>It was a bad day for the seeds in Rome today with Marcos Baghdatis, Sam Querrey and Juan Carlos Ferrero packing their bags and heading off towards Madrid to train and await the next Masters tournament.

Ernests Gulbis disposed of Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2 in just under 70 minutes in fairly simple fashion with Gulbis striking the ball cleanly and simply outplaying the Cypriot. Gulbis will face Roger Federer in the next round.

Querrey was scheduled to play Julien Benneteau who can play dangerous tennis if he’s in form, and in a first round encounter that could have gone either way, the Frenchman came out on top 7-6, 3-6, 7-6. Benneteau managed to win just 4 more points in total that his American opponent.

The biggest surprise (although I’ll admit I had a sneaky feeling he’d fall early but not this early) was the thrashing of Juan Carlos Ferrero by qualifies Santiago Giraldo who beat Ferrero with 32 winners compared to just 9 from Ferrero. Ferrero was thrashed so convincingly that the first set, which Giraldo won 6-0, took just 17 minutes to complete.

John Isner barely survived his 25th birthday clash with Horacio Zeballos, rallying back to win in three tight sets 4-6, 7-6, 7-5. Isner was aided by 20 aces.

>Rome Preview: Nadal Looking Good

>

The Rome Masters 1000 is just around the corner and most people are picking Nadal as their tournament favourite after his blistering form in Monte Carlo. Nadal is the defending champion at the event and pulled out of Barcelona, part of his normal schedule, in the lead up to Rome saying his body needed rest. Some of that need for rest was undoubtedly due to the emotional release after finally winning a tournament after a drought that went for almost a year.

However, the Spanish number one and world number three wont feel terribly rested after a day in Barcelona for a press conference, a day in Mallorca, a day in Barcelona as a pallbearer at Juan Antonio Samaranch’s funeral, a day in Mallorca and then a flight to Rome. Either way he and Federer are the ones to watch in this tournament. Unfortunately tennis’ great rivals are due for a semi final show down rather than a finals battle. If Nadal doesn’t win it then the only other player I’d pick is Roger.

Out with injury or “fatigue” are: Andy Roddick (fatigue), Juan Martin del Potro (wrist), Nikolay Davydenko (wrist), Tommy Hass (hip), Fernando Gonzalez (knee), David Nalbandian (hamstring), Gilles Simon (knee) and Radek Stepanek (fatigue syndrome/ ?over training syndrome)

Let’s have a look at the draw.

Federer’s Quarter

Federer has been resting and training since his early departure from Miami, he may be a little match rusty but that’s never been an issue for the Fed-express before. Fed will have a tough second round match against the winner of Ernests Gulbis and Marcos Baghdatis, although I don’t think Baghdatis will be able to repeat his efforts in Miami, coming back from being multiple match points down, ultimately knocking Federer out in the third round. Federer wont make the same mistake again.

Roger could then face a large number of big names in the quarters; Ivan Ljubicic, Nico Almagro or Marin Cilic. I suspect he’ll meet either Nico or Marin, both of which he’ll deal with easily.
Winner: Roger Federer

Nadal’s Quarter

Nadal will not be happy to see Swede Robin Soderling’s name as a potential quarterfinal opponent even if the scoreline from their meeting last year in Rome indicated a walk over (which it was not). To meet Soderling he will have to get past Kohlschreiber in the second round and then possibly Juan ‘Pico’ Monaco in the third (although Pico has been playing poorly lately). I think we can confidently say Nadal will be in the quarterfinals.

The main obstacle in Soderling’s path to the quarters is a third round match up with Tomas Berdych.
Winner: Rafael Nadal

Murray’s Quarter

I expect Murray to get through his second round, likely against Fabio Fognini. However, I expect David Ferrer will deal with him in the third round. Ferrer has played well on clay courts this year, winning Acapulco, being runner up at two earlier tournaments, and putting in a semi final showing in Barcelona.

Surprise wonder-kid Thiemo De Bakker is in the top part of Muray’s quarter. I expect he will be a little tired after his recent efforts in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2nd round) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (3rd round) wont make the same mistakes they made in Barcelona. I suspect Juan Carlos Ferrero will survive a 3rd round match up with Tsonga but that he will fall to Ferrer in the quarters, although this match could go either way.
Winner: David Ferrer 

Novak’s Quarter

Novak has some big names in his quarter including early danger (round 2) Janko Tipsarevic who, if hot, can do damage. There is also John Isner, Lleyton Hewitt, Mikhail Youzhny and Fernando Verdasco.

After two finals appearances in two weeks, Fernando will have enough momentum to get him to the quarters passing Youzhny on his way. Youzhny will take a struggling Hewitt in the first round even if Hewitt has won all of their previous matches on clay. By the time Verdasco gets to the quarters I imagine he will have run out of steam and be dealt with by Novak (if he’s got his head in the right place).

Novak, who’s has some time off to pull himself together, will deal with John Isner in the third round in a tight 3 setter. While Isner is normally a dangerous hard court opponent, his long limbs and the slower clay surface will make it harder for Isner to come out on top even if he did push Novak to 5 in their Davis Cup match-up this year. Novak will be looking to recapture the magic he had on clay this time last year when he was runner up to Nadal.
Winner: Novak Djokovic

Semi finals: Federer V Nadal & Ferrer V Djokovic

Finals: Nadal V Djokovic

Winner: Rafael Nadal.