ATP Players

Marcos Baghdatis

CY Cyprus
Date: 
Monday, June 17, 1985
Birthplace: 
Limassol, Cyprus
Residence: 
Limassol, Cyprus
Height: 
6'0'' (182 cm)
Weight: 
177 lbs (80 kg)
Plays: 
Right-handed
Turned pro: 
2003

Marcos Baghdatis ( born 17 June 1985, Limassol, Cyprus) is a Cypriot professional tennis player. He was the runner-up at the 2006 Australian Open and a semifinalist at the 2006 Wimbledon Championships. As of August 13, 2007, he is ranked No. 18 on the ATP rankings.

Personal life

Marcos Baghdatis is the son of a Lebanese father who migrated to Cyprus and a Greek Cypriot mother.

Baghdatis began playing tennis at age five with his father and brothers. He enjoys playing and watching football (soccer), and is a supporter of Apollon Limassol in Cyprus. He trained at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris on an Olympic Solidarity Youth Development Programme Scholarship since the age of 13 and learned to speak French. He attended the Grammar School in Limassol. His family was the first to own a house with a tennis court in Limassol.

On January 28, 2006, Baghdatis received an exemption from the otherwise mandatory Cypriot national service so that he could concentrate instead on playing tennis. Had he not been exempted, he would have been required to serve 25 months in the military, as is required of all Cypriot males upon reaching 18 years of age.

He also received the honor as the 2005 Cyprus Male Athlete of the Year for his accomplishments.

Tennis career

Baghdatis became the ITF World Junior Tennis Champion in 2003 and joined the ATP professional tour later that year.

2004

Baghdatis performed moderately throughout most of 2004. He picked up his form later in that year.

At the U.S. Open, Baghdatis played for the first time in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament. He defeated Olivier Mutis in a first round match 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5. He was one of only two players who won a set from eventual champion Roger Federer (the other being Andre Agassi). Baghdatis then finished the year with two challenger tournament titles, in which he defeated many higher ranked opponents.

2005

Baghdatis's 2005 season began with a first round loss in the Chennai Open.

In his next tournament, which was the Australian Open, as a qualifier Baghdatis defeated then-top-20 player Ivan Ljubi?i? in the second round and had a straight sets victory over another top-20 player, Tommy Robredo, in the third round before losing to Roger Federer in the fourth round.

Baghdatis suffered an elbow injury right after the Australian Open and was out of the professional tour until late April, when he entered a clay court tournament, the Estoril Open in Portugal. He held two match points in his first-round match against a resurging Juan Carlos Ferrero, but failed to convert them into a win.

Baghdatis kept playing challengers and qualifying for upper-tier ATP events for the rest of 2005 and found good form towards the end of the year. As a qualifier, he reached the final of the ATP tournament at Basel, defeating former world number 2 Tommy Haas, world number 40 Jose Acasuso, and the would-be 2005 Masters Cup champion David Nalbandian. But he lost the final to Chilean Fernando González 6-7(10), 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Although he was not the first qualifier to reach an ATP tour event final, he was the first player from Cyprus to do so.

2006

Baghdatis entered the Australian Open as an unseeded player and produced an unexpected four-set (6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4) victory over second-seed and world number three Andy Roddick of the United States in the fourth round. He then defeated the seventh-seed Croat Ivan Ljubi?i? in a quarterfinal 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, and in a semifinal, he came back from two sets down to defeat the fourth-seed Argentine David Nalbandian 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The vocal support he enjoyed from his local fans (consisting mostly of members of Melbourne's large Greek Australian community) throughout the tournament was considered one of the highlights of the tournament. In the final, Baghdatis started strongly but eventually lost to world number 1 Roger Federer 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2.

At the French Open, Baghdatis lost in the second round to Frenchman Julien Benneteau 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-4.

At Wimbledon, Baghdatis defeated British player Andy Murray in the fourth round in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, Baghdatis beat the 2002 champion and former world number 1 Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-2. Baghdatis then lost to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals 6-1, 7-5, 6-3.

At the U.S. Open, Baghdatis defeated Alexander Waske of Germany in the first round 7-6(1), 7-6(7), 6-3. He played retiring U.S. player Andre Agassi in the second round, and in a long match that lasted past midnight, Baghdatis lost 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 7-5. Although Agassi seemed to be cruising early in the fourth set, Baghdatis rallied from down 4-0 to take the set. He overcame cramping in the fifth set, trying to push the set into a tiebreaker, but Agassi broke his serve in the last game.

At the China Open, an ATP International Series event, Baghdatis defeated Mario An?i? in the final 6-4, 6-0 for his first career ATP tournament championship. 

2007

Baghdatis was the eleventh seed at the Australian Open but could not match his success from the previous year, losing a second round match to Gael Monfils 7-6(5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-0.

He won his next tournament in Zagreb, defeating Ivan Ljubi?i? in the final 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4. At the International Series Open 13 tournament in Marseille, France, Baghdatis advanced to his second consecutive singles final and the fifth of his career, where he lost to Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6(3).

At the French Open, Baghdatis defeated former semifinalist Sebastien Grosjean in the first round 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. He then beat Kristian Pless of Denmark 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to advance for the first time in his career to the third round. There, he defeated Czech Jan Hajek 6-2, 6-2 (retired). In the fourth round, Baghdatis lost to Russian Igor Andreev in four sets.

At the first grass court tournament of the season in Halle, Baghdatis reached his sixth career singles final by defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber in the semifinals 7-6(1), 6-4. In the final, which took place on his birthday, he lost to Czech Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-4.

At Wimbledon, as the #10 seed (16th-ranked), he made it to the quarterfinals for the second straight year, defeating Ernests Gulbis, Nicolas Devilder, #23 seed (25th-ranked) David Nalbandian, and #6 seed (4th-ranked) Nikolay Davydenko, before losing to #4 seed (5th-ranked) Novak ?okovi? in a thrilling 5-hour match which Djokovic won 7-6(4) 7-6(9) 6-7(3) 4-6 7-5.

At the U.S. Open, Baghdatis was defeated by #106 ranked Max Mirnyi, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-7. Baghdatis had a 1-5 lead in the last set tiebreaker but lost it 8-6.

At the 2007 Paris Masters, Baghdatis found good form. He reached the third round, where he crushed Nikolay Davydenko 6–2, 6–2, and then entered the quarterfinals and defeated Tommy Robredo 6–4, 6–4. Despite being up, one set to love and possessing an early service break in the penultimate set, Baghdatis was unable to post his first ever victory against the No. 2 seed, Rafael Nadal, losing to the Spaniard, 4–6, 6–4, 6–3. Had he won the tournament (and had Richard Gasquet lost in his semifinal match against David Nalbandian), he would have qualified for the 8th and final position in the Tennis Masters Cup event in Shanghai.

2008

Baghdatis started his season on the 2008 ATP Tour at the 2008 Chennai Open in India. Seeded second, Baghdatis suffered a surprising loss to Robin Haase, who defeated him 6–3, 6–4 in the first round. However, Baghdatis and Marc Gicquel defeated singles world number two Rafael Nadal and partner Tomeu Salvà in doubles, 6–4, 6–4 . He was invited to his first AAMI Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, filling in for an ill Roger Federer on short notice, where he defeated top 10 players Nikolay Davydenko and Fernando González before falling to Andy Roddick in the final.

At the 2008 Australian Open, Baghdatis was dealt a tough draw which pitted him against former 2002 champion Thomas Johansson and former 2005 champion Marat Safin, where he managed to beat Marat in five sets. Baghdatis lost in the third round to local favourite and former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt in 5 sets 6–4, 5–7, 5–7, 7–6 (7–4),3–6 in a match lasting 282 minutes, beginning at 11:52pm and finishing at 4:34am Melbourne time.

Marcos has skipped 2008 Miami Masters, 2008 Torneo Godó, 2008 Rome Masters, 2008 Monte Carlo Masters and 2008 Hamburg Masters because he had a problem with his ankle during the 2008 Davis Cup and the exhibition match. The day after the exhibition match, Marcos went to Paris where his doctor informed him that he should stay away from any tournaments because of the high ankle sprain. The next days, he would follow an intensive schedule of physiotherapy to be ready for the next Grand Slam which is the 2008 French Open

At the 2008 Roland Garros, the Cypriot did not bode well due to the fact that he had a high ankle sprain where he missed out on the ATP Masters Series tournaments, where he lacked proper training, practice and skill, causing him to lose in the first round of Roland Garros to Simone Bolelli in straight sets 6–2 6–4 6–2.

Playing style

Baghdatis's playing style is relaxed and smooth. His main strength is a powerful forehand and a natural talent for placement. He can make accurate and powerful down-the-line forehands and cross-court forehands on the run and often patiently constructs points to get in a position from where he can make outright winners with those shots. He also has one of the best backhands in the game, especially his two-handed backhand down the line. Baghdatis is noted for often playing high-risk tennis, attempting difficult shots which, depending on their execution, can pay off big or backfire. Unfortunately, these difficult shots have sometimes resulted in self-destructive losses.

He also has an exuberant and festive on-court presence that frequently rubs off on to the spectators. According to the Guardian, "Baghdatis is a wonderfully ebullient character who radiates immense enjoyment whenever and wherever he plays, and ... has acquired a loyal throng of fans who roar his every winning point." 

Equipment

Shoes: Adidas a3 Accelerator

Racquet: Fischer M-Speed Pro No. One

Clothing: Adidas Competition Group

Trivia

  • Of the 133 players who have ranked in the Top 10 (since 1973), Baghdatis is one of only three players to break into the Top 10 before winning his first career ATP title (also Cedric Pioline, Mikael Pernfors).
  • In 2006, he was one of the 4 players who reached at least two semifinals in a Grand Slam Tournament (the others were Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, David Nalbandian).
  • His 2 singles titles came after defeating a Croatian in the final (Mario An?i? at Beijing and Ivan Ljubi?i? at Zagreb).
  • He speaks Greek, French and English.

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