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Tired Baghdatis falls to Simon in Marseille final February 21, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.

Marcos Baghdatis failed to capture his second consecutive and third career title, losing to the unseeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6(3) in the final of the Open 13 in Marseille at the weekend.

“Gilles played a great match today. He was just the better player,” admitted Baghdatis.

Several three-set encounters in the lead up to Sunday’s final in addition to his long run in Croatia took its toll on the 21-year-olds game as it lacked the spark and inventiveness normally on display.

“I have been tired for a few days now and I was missing that important kick during today’s match. It has been a great week for me anyway, the Marseille crowd was supporting me a lot and I had fun on the court,” Baghdatis said after the match.

Simon won his first career title without dropping a set. He claimed the opener on his third set point after the seventh seeded Cypriot failed to deliver a quality drop shot.

In the second set the Frenchman broke Baghdatis’ serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and then went ahead 5-2. However, Baghdatis demonstrated the fighting qualities that have become evident in the last two weeks to force a tiebreak. But a number of unforced errors proved costly and handed Simon the win.

Simon was delighted with his first career title: “This is the most beautiful day of my tennis career so far. It’s great to win in France, with my family and a lot of friends in the stands.”

“Today I wanted to play every point since I knew that Marcos was a bit tired. It’s unbelievable to win my first title without even losing a set. The crowd helped me a lot, I don’t know how the match would have ended if we played somewhere else.”

Baghdatis holds an ATP-best winning record in the current season with 14 match wins, despite his career-best nine-match winning streak being broken. The 21-year old Cypriot will next take part in the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open scheduled to start next week Monday.

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