Crowd favourite Baghdatis can't stop admiring Dubai


Crowd favourite Baghdatis cant stop admiring Dubai
Baghdatis beat his friend Viktor Troicki on Monday.

Dubai - Baghdatis has to be on top of his game in the round of 16 clash against Serbian seventh seed Filip Krajinovic

By Rituraj Borkakoty

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Published: Tue 27 Feb 2018, 7:38 PM

Last updated: Tue 27 Feb 2018, 9:47 PM

Passionate support from the Dubai crowd always brings the best out in Marcos Baghdatis, the biggest player to have emerged from Cyprus, that tiny island country.
On Monday night, the crowd was once again behind the hugely popular Baghdatis as the 2016 Dubai runner-up stormed into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a 7-5 6-2 victory over his friend Viktor Troicki of Serbia.
"It's just an amazing place to be in. It's the best place to be at this time of the year," Baghdatis told reporters after his victory over Troicki, the world number 66.
"Yeah, I have fun whenever I come here. I love the conditions. I love the club here. I mean, the people, the crowd comes out here and shows you so much energy, gives you so much energy. It's always a pleasure to be back," the 2006 Australian Open runner-up said.
"I mean, when you play, of course, the support from the crowd helps a bit. But you don't think about you are going to win because the crowd is with you. You just play your game. You try to find a way to win the important moments," he added.
"I think that's what I did. I played a solid, solid match in important points, solid match throughout the match. Yeah, that was the difference."
There were three breaks of serve in the first set with Baghdatis losing his serve once before getting the crucial break in the 11th game.
"I think, like I said, I played pretty well in important points, key moments of the match. Second set I think, yeah, I broke him first game. If I hadn't broken him in the first game, I think it could have been a complicated second set," he said.
"But I don't think it was easy at 5-5 in the first set. In fact, it was a great battle in the first set. First match of the tournament, it's always hard, especially when you play a player like Viktor who knows you so well, played so many times. We played doubles together. We are kind of friends.
"But I came strong in the first game of the second set to make some great returns and break him there. I think, yeah, then it went like a routine. I started playing better and better and I became more confident."
Baghdatis, whose ranking has fallen to 112 due to an injury-plagued 2017 season, has to be on top of his game in the round of 16 clash against Serbian seventh seed Filip Krajinovic.
"I never played him before, so I don't know. Maybe I will watch a bit of his match tomorrow (Tuesday) and see. Now for me it's very important to go back to the hotel, recover, do all the recovery. At my age, that's the most important thing right now," Baghdatis said.
"I will just try to do what I've been doing in the last few months with my team, continue this solid work and solid matches that I'm playing in the last few months."

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