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Baghdatis guts Fish to set up Gasquet final


 

Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:52

When it comes to playing in Australia, there’s something about Marcos. The Cypriot, playing with the national flag on his chest in Sydney this week, is through to the final of the Medibank International after pipping Mardy Fish 6-4 6-7(7) 7-6(5) in the semi-finals.

The former Australian Open finalist will face Richard Gasquet for the Sydney title after the Frenchman broke his semi-final jinx at the event with a 6-4 7-5 win over compatriot Julien Benneteau.

Baghdatis will have to recover from his three-hour match in time for tomorrow evening’s final, but it could have been very different. The world No.42 saw a match point come and go in the second set, and Fish took advantage of his reprieve to clinch the tiebreak 9-7 and take the match into a tense third set.

The decider followed a similar pattern and, after trading breaks early on, a second tiebreak was needed to separate the pair, with Baghdatis prevailing against the world No.55 on his fourth match point.

World No.53 Gasquet showed flashes of the form that took him as high as world No.7 in 2006 as he continues to revive his career following a nightmare 2009.

But after having a doping ban for inadvertently ingesting trace amounts of cocaine, the former Wimbledon semi-finalist is now playing with the weight of the world off his shoulders.

Its tough to come back, its hard in the head, so it was really tiring, more tiring than playing 100 matches for sure, he said of his ordeal.

But I dont care. I know its hard, but I want to play just for fun. Thats why Im here and Im enjoying myself.

The 23-year-old clinched his semi-final with a Hawk-Eye challenge on match point showed his shot had clipped the line. “With Hawk-Eye you never know what can happen. I was very lucky with this point for sure,” he said.

“Otherwise it could have gone to a tiebreak and you never know. It was better to win with this shot.”

In the doubles event, Ross Hutchins and Jordan Kerr will face top seeds and world No.2 duo Daniel Nestor and Nenad ZImonjic in tomorrow’s final after beating Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley 7-5 6-3.

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