Baghdatis Staves Off Retirement In Wimbledon Opener
Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis staved off his retirement on Tuesday, defeating Canadian lucky loser Brayden Schnur 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the second round at Wimbledon for the third consecutive year and the 10th time overall.
"Against my opponent that I played today, yes. I'm very happy," Baghdatis said. "I think tactically we did everything perfect."
Baghdatis received a wild card into the season’s third Grand Slam, announcing his decision to hang up his racquets after his final match at SW19. In the next round, Baghdatis will face in-form No. 17 seed Matteo Berrettini.
“I’m so grateful because to be able to finish and play my last match at his historic tournament, it’s just a dream come true for so many people [to play here],” Baghdatis told ATPTour.com before the tournament. “It’s a dream come true for me, so I’m so grateful for that.”
Baghdatis was able to convert five of his 16 break chances against Schnur, this year’s New York Open finalist. The Cypriot was strong on serve, saving six of the seven break points he faced to move on after one hour and 56 minutes.
Baghdatis advanced to the semi-finals at SW19 in 2006, a result that sent him soaring into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time. Earlier that season, he made the final at the Australian Open. Baghdatis' best effort at the All England Club since came the very next year, when he advanced to the quarter-finals.
His next opponent, Berrettini, battled hard to move past Slovenian Aljaz Bedene 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(3) in two hours and 56 minutes. Berrettini, who's at a career-high No. 20 in the ATP Rankings, won his first grass-court title at the MercedesCup, defeating #NextGenATP sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final. The Italian also made the semi-finals the following week at the NOVENTI OPEN.
"He's on fire. He is having a great year this year. He's a young kid. He has huge weapons, and I think it's going to be tough. But again, I think I have the game also to disturb him on grass and find ways to make him feel bad in some moments," Baghdatis said. "That's what I'm going to try and do. I have the experience, and I think I have experience enough to know what to do on those moments. I'll try my best to find ways to make him feel uncomfortable on the court."
Berrettini and Baghdatis have not previously played. The 23-year-old will try to reach the third round at The Championships for the first time.