Marcos Baghdatis, Andy Roddick into Australian Open fourth round
January 24, 2009
FORMER Australian Open finalist and crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis won through to the fourth round after a late-finishing, straight-sets win over No.23 seed Mardy Fish.
The Cypriot, who stormed into the spotlight with his surprise run to the final in 2006, downed American Fish 6-2 6-4 6-4.
It was fortunate for Baghdatis he was able to finish the match in three sets, as it still ended at 0115 (EDT) on Saturday, having started at 11pm on Friday following a long women's match between Ana Ivanovic and Alisa Kleybanova.
Tournament officials came under fire last year for the late staging of a match involving Baghdatis. On that occasion he lost a five-setter to Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, a match which ended at 4.34am, after starting shortly before midnight.
Baghdatis came into the tournament in scratchy form, after almost falling out of the top 100 last year, due to injury problems.
But he said he was starting to hit form in what he described as his "home'' grand slam, given the amount of crowd support he enjoyed in Melbourne.
"I'm really happy I'm winning here and getting some confidence,'' he said.
"For a long time now I haven't been getting some wins so I'm really glad to be getting them here.''
Baghdatis will face defending champion Novak Djokovic in the fourth round.
Revitalised Roddick flattened 36-year-old Fabrice Santoro 6-3 6-4 6-2 to remain on course for a quarter-final with Djokovic and end the Frenchman's Australian Open career, which started in 1991.
"Saying I respect him is an understatement,'' Roddick said.
The world No.8 will play Tommy Robredo in the fourth round after the No.21 seed ended the giant-killing run of Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun 6-1 6-3 6-2.