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Old 04-13-2006, 07:32 AM   #19
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An article on his first round match. Apparently he was down 2-5 in the second set. Good comeback.

Baghdatis overcomes jet lag, wins match
By MICHAEL A. LUTZ, AP Sports Writer
April 13, 2006


HOUSTON (AP) -- Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus rallied in the second set to beat Jesse Witten of the United States 6-4, 7-6 (2) Wednesday as his rowdy, flag-waving fans shouted and stomped to the beat of throbbing music in the first round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.

Top-seeded Andy Roddick had little trouble in defeating Oliver Maranch of Austria 6-3, 6-4 in a second round match. He'll face former champion Tommy Haas of Germany in Friday's quarterfinals.

Baghdatis was down 2-5 in the second set when he finally gave his vocal fans something to cheer, just as he did when he came from far down in the rankings to reach the finals of the Australian Open in January. He lost in the finals but became a national hero in Cyprus.

Baghdatis held serve in the eighth game and broke Witten in the ninth game when Witten drove a forehand into the net trying to return a drop shot by Baghdatis. That brought Baghdatis' fans to their feet, sensing the comeback.

"I think Cypriots are everywhere," Baghdatis said. "It's fun playing in front of your countrymen, your own people. It's a big responsibility. The whole country sees what I do, especially the kids so I try to have a good image for them and try not to do any bad things in life, trying to show them good examples."

The two players then served out to force the tiebreaker. Baghdatis won the final four points of the tiebreaker and won the match at the first match point on Witten's errant service return.

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Baghdatis had a tough time to start the second set. He lost 12 of the first 13 points of the set. Witten closed out a love third game with an ace for a 3-0 lead. Baghdatis held in the sixth game after surviving two break points.

Baghdatis played 11 sets in two days in Europe last week and then showed up at Westside Tennis Club with jetlag from a long flight to Texas.

"I wasn't expected to play good today," Baghdatis said. "I just told myself to try to get through and fight at the important moments and that's what I did. It paid off for today. I played good at the end of the second set.

"It was important not to go to the third set. I think that will help me to get some sleep and be fresh for tomorrow."
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