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Cyprus’ Baghdatis wins in China Open September 13, 2007

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Defending champion fifth seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus also reached the quarterfinals, beating Boris Pasanski of Serbia, 6-4, 6-4.

The 2006 Aussie Open runner-up Baghdatis has won his last seven matches here in Beijing, including a title bout victory over Croatian Mario Ancic a year ago.

Baghdatis currently ranks 18th in World’s rankings.

Marcos Baghdatis in China Open September 10, 2007

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China Open Tennis Tournament 2007

Defending champion and fifth seed Marcos Baghdatis will be in action Tuesday against Chinese qualifier Shao Xuan Zeng.

Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, seeded fifth this week, defeated Croat Mario Ancic in last year’s finale here.

Baghdatis, who is ranked 18th in the world, was the first Cypriot to win an ATP title when he beat Croatian Mario Ancic 6-4 6-0 here last September.

Andrew Thomas > the next new tennis star for Cyprus September 6, 2007

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Sydney-born junior defects to Cyprus > Tennis Australia is ruing the defection of local junior Andrew Thomas to Cyprus.

andrew_thomas.jpg  Although Thomas is still listed on the ITF website as an Australian, he has been playing the junior boys’ singles tournament at the US Open in New York this week as a Cypriot.

Thomas has advanced to the final 16 and was to play the No.11 seed Thomas Fabbiano for a place in the quarter-finals. While TA wishes the 17-year-old well, behind the scenes there are serious doubts he has made the best choice.

“While we respect his decision, Tennis Australia is extremely disappointed Andrew Thomas has chosen to play for Cyprus,” chief executive Steve Wood said.

Thomas, who was born and raised in Sydney, is a former world under-14 champion and was to be offered a full-time scholarship worth $125,000 by the Australian Institute of Sport for coaching, accommodation and travel costs.

His mother, Coral, was born in Cyprus and his father Tom’s grandparents are also from the island. Thomas has previously been a hitting partner for Cyprus’ greatest tennis export, 2006 Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis.

Wood said Baghdatis and the Cyprus Tennis Federation had provided funding for Thomas’ US Open campaign since TA had turned down his request for a cash hand-out. “Cash hand-outs do not support the philosophy of our program, which is about resourcing environments and funding opportunities,” Wood said. “In Andrew’s instance those opportunities have included and, form permitting, would have continued to include, international tours and playing with representative teams.”

Thomas is ranked 27 on the ITF rankings. There are four Australians in the top 25 but two, Greg Jones and Brydan Klein, move into the seniors next year when they become 19.

Thomas told Sydney radio station 2GB that playing Davis Cup for Cyprus was his aim. “I’m seeing Marcos now in world group two and looking to get in world group in the next couple years,” he said. “I like the environment in Cyprus; small community, nice people. I love it there, so I will probably head back there. Also Tennis Australia have not been supporting me as much in the last couple years, so I decided to play for Cyprus.”

TA spokesman Darren Pearce said in Melbourne that there had been “substantial amounts of money” spent on Thomas’ career, but it would not seek any recovery of funds. Three Australian juniors are into the final 16 at Flushing Meadows.

Cyprus avoids demotion in Davis Cup playoffs July 23, 2007

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Cyprus National Tennis Team had a 3-0 lead against Bulgaria in the Davis Cup playoffs. With another two singles yet to play on Sunday, Cyprus has already secured its stay in the Europe/Africa Zone Group II.

Cyprus’ Marcos Baghdatis and Photos Kallias, who enjoyed some good results over the past two months, respectively beat Bulgarian Yordan Kanev and Ivaylo Traykov in Friday’s singles, both by three straight sets.

The pair on Saturday also defeated Bulgarian doubles Ilia Kushev and Ivaylo Traykov with 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, thus enabled Cyprus team to remain in the Europe/Africa Zone Group II for another season. Cyprus had reportedly failed to defeat Bulgaria in all three of their previous meetings and broke this tradition in the Davis Cup playoffs this weekend.

On Sunday, Marcos Baghdatis, 18th in ATP’s singles ranking, will face Traykov and Kallias will compete against Kanev in the last two singles. But the outcome will not change the relegation of Bulgaria to the Europe/Africa Zone Group III.

Marcos Baghdatis bites his racket July 7, 2007

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marcos_bites_racket.jpg 
Marcos Baghdatis bites his racket during his five-set defeat by fourth seed Serbian Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon quarterfinals yesterday. Cheered on by a vociferous group of fans, the Cypriot battled back from two sets down but lost the final set 7-5.

Marcos Baghdatis’s Wimbledon adventure is over, but there is no doubt the All England Club will be a less colourful place without him. Baghdatis’s heroic quarter-final fightback against Novak Djokovic fell just short as he lost in five sets in the longest singles match of the 2007 tournament.

But the epic five-hour match was as memorable for the small group of Greek Cypriots, including pop star George Michael among their number, who brought a vivid splash of colour and noise to the traditionally staid atmosphere.

London has a large community of Greek Cypriots and dozens made the journey across the capital to support their compatriot. Such was their enthusiasm that it took a gentle word from the police to calm them down. But Baghdatis admitted the backing from his blue football shirt-clad legion of fans was much appreciated as he battled back from two sets down before finally losing 6-7 6-7 7-6 6-4 5-7.

“They were lovely, they were great,” he said. “I want to thank them a lot for coming. I know there is a lot of Greek Cypriots here in London, especially in north London. I want to thank them again for coming. I don’t really know how they get in. They must buy their tickets. Maybe they steal them!”

Baghdatis reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon July 6, 2007

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Baghdatis faces Djokovic after beating world number four Davydenko

Cyprus’ tennis star Marcos Baghdatis reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the second year running on yesterday, beating Russian grinder Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 7-6 6-3.

The Cypriot was roared on by a raucous bunch of fans out on Court 13 and the 10th seed obliged with some swashbuckling tennis in the delayed fourth-round clash. Baghdatis came from 5-3 down in the first set tiebreak to get on top and he again showed the greater adventure when it mattered to get through the second set tiebreak.

Sixth seed Davydenko, one of the most durable players on the circuit has enjoyed his best showing at Wimbledon this year but try as he might, he could find no way back in after dropping his serve early in the third.

Baghdatis set up a match point at 5-3 when he won a rally despite slipping over during the point. Davydenko saved that with a volley, but Baghdatis made no mistake on his second opportunity, belting away a backhand winner.

Baghdatis, who lost in the semi-final last year to Rafael Nadal, will face Novak Djokovic in today’s quarter-final. The Serbian came through a tough four set battle with former champion Lleyton Hewitt. Djokovic, who beat Baghdatis in their only encounter at the Rome Masters, believes he will face a tough task trying to make his first Wimbledon semi-final.

“Marcos Baghdatis is a great guy and a fantastic player, very talented,” said Djokovic. “Last year he made it to the semis, so I expect a very interesting and difficult match.”

The young Serb also played down any injury fears after a slip during his match with Hewitt which required a medical time-out. “The injury is not that bad, nothing serious. I just used the medical time-out to free up the tension I was feeling in my back after my slip,” admitted Djokovic.

Baghdatis advances to Wimbledon quarters July 5, 2007

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Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis was a fourth-round winner Thursday and advanced to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

Baghdatis, the 10th-seed, defeated sixth-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. Baghdatis also reached the quarterfinals here at Wimbledon last year.

Three more fourth-round matches need to be completed Thursday as last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Rafael Nadal highlights that action. The second-seeded Nadal looks to fight past 14th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny while Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych both look to advance to the quarterfinals.

There will also be two quarterfinal matches Thursday as Roger Federer will take on Juan Carlos Ferrero while American Andy Roddick will square off against Richard Gasquet.

Read Marco’s interview at > Wimbledon2007-The Official WebSite