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Marcos Baghdatis, Wimbledon, June 23, 2008
   

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Monday, 23 June 2008

 

Marcos Baghdatis def. Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3

Q. How did it go today? Do you think you're getting much sharper or not?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Sorry?

Q. Are you getting your sharpness back again?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah. I played in Halle good, but coming in Wimbledon a bit stressful in the beginning. Didn't have so much hit on the Wimbledon grass. It's a bit slower than the Aorangi, for sure, but I'm pretty happy with the way I was playing on the baseline, returning. Not so happy the way I served. Not a good percentage of first serve in. But I'm pretty happy for winning, and I have a second round match to play against Thomas, I think. So I'm pretty happy I'm in the second round, that's for sure.

Q. You're a guy who's very aware of good vibrations and a guy who's very aware of the emotional situation. Coming back to Wimbledon, you have a lot of good memories here, so when you walk back on this court and this club, does your tennis suddenly get better, too, do you think?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: It feels good to be playing back here. To be playing on grass it feels very good, for sure. It's one of my favorite surfaces, if not my favorite one. But for sure it feels good.

Q. How does Wimbledon compare to Melbourne?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Melbourne is the greatest tournament for me. Why? Because of the atmosphere around it, not only by the Greeks, but all the countries. The Swedish are very good at that. It's a different atmosphere than here and other tournaments.

Q. What is your view of the restrictions this year on the number of people a player can have with him in the locker room? I understand it's only one person. Only one coach may come with you. Do you have an opinion on that?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: It's a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is we don't have so many people in the dressing room. The bad thing is that maybe some players need two people in the changing room, and that's important for those players.

Even for me it would be good if I have my physio and my physical trainer in the changing room. But that's the way it is; we have to accept it. I hope maybe the organization here tries to make a bigger locker room so everybody is happy.

Q. I understand the main motivation is a concern about possible inside information getting out about injuries in regards to gambling. That this would be one way to safeguard the integrity of the sport, more so than limit the traffic.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I didn't get anything that you said.

Q. I hope I'm expressing it fairly.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: (From translation.) I think the ATP is doing a great job by covering that, and I think it could be, I mean, one of the reasons, but I don't know if it's the reason. The ATP put a rule that you're not allowed to bet, coaches, physios, anybody, so I think that wouldn't be a problem if they come in or not.

Q. How do you build yourself round by round in Wimbledon? Is it a question of technique as much as mentality?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: It's more I don't know, some players say they don't like to play on grass before Wimbledon, not many matches. Some players love to play a lot before grass. I mean, it depends on the player.
I like to play a lot on grass so I can start feeling the ball, especially the balls are getting so heavy and the grass of Wimbledon is a bit thicker than the other grass. But like I said, I just feel good on it from the moment I step on it. So it's just winning matches, getting through tough rounds and just feeling good slowly, slowly.

Q. Is it frustrating the way it turns on a point? I think you had three break points against you in that first set.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, but that's tennis . It turns around from one moment to another. Some people like it, some people don't. I do.

Q. What's your reaction from a guy who's played Federer many times to have people say he's no longer the clear favorite at Wimbledon after he's won five times? How do you react to that?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: He is the favorite. I played him in LA two weeks ago and lost 4 and 4. Playing against a guy like this on grass you can learn a lot. You can see what he's doing well and what he's not doing I mean, what he's doing so well to win Wimbledon. I tried to learn a lot from him, and watching him a bit makes you learn a lot, what he's doing so well. But I think he's the favorite, that's for sure.

Q. Do you think he's as good as the other years?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I think he is. But the other players are up a level, so they're more experienced now. They played him, they played more on grass, so they're maybe working on the right things, so that's why.

Q. He's obviously great on all surfaces, but what do you think makes him that extra level better on grass? Is it the variety of shot that he has?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, exactly. He can do anything. He can come to the net, he can play behind, he moves pretty good on grass, and others don't have I mean, it takes time to feel the movement on grass. He does it naturally, and I think that's the difference.

Q. Do you think Nadal, also, a little bit?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, he's starting to play great tennis. He won Queen's. He played great matches. For sure you cannot say Nadal is the favorite, but only put Roger as a favorite because he won it five times. But I think it's 52 48 percent difference. No big difference.

Q. He made a lot of progress also, because he is not so natural in grass as Federer is.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: No, but he worked hard. He accepted that it's not his best surface, but he said, I'll just focus on that, work on that, and one day I'll play better. And he is. He's playing very, very good. He's one of the favorites, too. I'm not putting all my money on Federer.

Q. I saw a documentary during the French Open about the academy. I assume you've seen it, right? You saw the one that they did?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah.

Q. What was your impression of it? Seemed like a very realistic impression of junior tennis. Almost too realistic.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I think it's good to see the way a champion grows up. It's really nice, because they only see the champion. We don't get to see the small kids that suffer, the parents that suffer, and all the family that suffers. There's a lot of sacrifices to do to become a champion, especially if you don't have the money and you don't have the power to pay all the coaches. I think it's great. That's why I accepted to be in that film, because it's the way I grew up and the way I became a champion.

Q. Did you feel it was a very fair, realistic perspective on it? Were you happy with the outcome?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, very nice.


 

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