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

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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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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