Marcos Baghdatis is the son of a Greek Cypriot mother and a Lebanese father, Christos, who migrated to Cyprus. He began playing tennis at age five with his father and brothers. 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.
On January 28, 2006, Baghdatis received an exemption from the otherwise mandatory Greek Cypriot national service so that he could concentrate instead on playing tennis. He received the honor as the 2005 Cyprus Male Athlete of the Year for his accomplishments.
Baghdatis' Playing Style
Baghdatis's playing style is relaxed and smooth. His main strength is his 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.
This season saw Baghdatis return to form. He started off the year at the Brisbane International; one of the first ATP 250 tournaments of the season. In the first round he beat American Mardy Fish 7–5, 7–5 but he was soundly smashed in his second-round clash against hard-hitting Czech Tomas Berdych, 0–6, 1–6.
He then entered the next Australian Open series tournament; the Medibank International ATP tournament in Sydney, worth 250 points. In his opening round, he looked rusty but managed to beat Australian wildcard Nick Lindahl 6–2, 7–5. In the second round, he beat the number 6th seed Viktor Troicki 7–5, 6–3. He then stunned the number 4th seed Lieyton Hewitt, rallying from a set and a break down in the 2nd set (at 4–6 1–2) to win 4–6, 6–2, 6–3 in the quarterfinals. Then he defeated American Mardy Fish in another heart-stopping 3 set win, 6–4, 6–7(7), 7–6(5) in the semifinals. In the final, he faced Richard Gasquet. After epic drama with a rain delay (at the start of the 2nd set) to add suspense, Baghdatis went on to triumph at the Medibank International in the final, beating Gasquet 6–4, 7–6(2). The win elevated his ATP ranking to 31.
At the 2010 Australian Open, Baghdatis beat Italian Paolo Lorenzi in the opening round 6–2, 6–4, 6–4, and defeated 17th seed David Ferrer in the second, 4–6, 3–6, 7–6, 6–3, 6–1. This marked his second career victory after being down two sets to none, while suffering from leg cramping in the final game. He faced Lieyton Hweitt in the third round; a rematch of the same tournament and round exactly two years ago, when Hewitt won in an epic five-setter lasting 18 minutes short of five hours. This time, however, an alleged right shoulder injury forced Baghdatis to retire just 54 minutes into the match after trailing 0–6, 2–4 After this, his ranking dipped slightly to No. 34 (on January 1). After deciding not to defend his quarterfinal points (from last year) at the 2010 SA Tennis Open in Johannesburg, his ranking dropped 2 places to No.36 (on January 8).
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