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Baghdatis China Open reign ended September 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.

Ivan Llubicic ended Marcos Baghdatis reign as China Open champion yesterday, the Croatian knocking the Cypriot out in the quarterfinals 6-4 4-6 7-6 (5).

It was fourth seed Ljubicic’s first win in four matches against Baghdatis who will now face Spaniard Fernando Gonzalez in the semifinals. Baghdatis was hugely disappointed to give up his title after saving two match points in the decisive tiebreak against Ljubicic. “I had many opportunities but I didn’t grasp them,” he said. “He played well in the tiebreak and he was more aggressive.”

Baghdatis has broken Ljubicic’s serve to start the match but the experienced Croat broke the fifth seeded Cypriot twice in a row to take a 4-1 lead. Baghdatis broke back in the ninth game to reduce the score to 4-5 but again failed to hold serve.

The second set started in similar fashion as the 22-year-old Cypriot broke Ljubicic’s serve in the first and third game and built up a 3-0 lead. However, Ljubicic managed to break Baghdatis in the fourth game and then hold server to get back in the match at 2-3. But Baghdatis held his serve to see out the set and level the tie.

Both men found greater consistency in their serve in the final set to force a tie-breaker. Unforced errors by the reigning champion handed the initiative to Ljubicic and eventually gave the Croatian his first tour win over Baghdatis.

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