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Old 04-18-2006, 10:35 AM   #29
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This is what happened in Houston.

Hurt Baghdatis forced to retire in Houston


2006/4/15
HOUSTON, AP



Fourth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus retired in his second-round match against American Vince Spadea on Thursday because of lower back pain.
The unseeded Spadea was ahead 6-2, 3-1 when Baghdatis walked to the sideline favoring his right leg after being broken for the third time in the match and told the umpire he could not continue.

"We still don't know what it is," Baghdatis said. "Maybe a nerve got squeezed. I just felt pain coming down my leg."

....

While practicing his serve before going on the court for the match, Baghdatis occasionally kneaded a muscle on the back of his right hip and bent forward to stretch regularly. He said that was when he first felt the pain.

During the match, Baghdatis initially asked for a trainer a game before being broken a second time to drop the first set. The trainer came out and stretched Baghdatis' right leg as he lay on a table courtside. When the Australian Open finalist returned to the court, he won four straight points to break Spadea for his first lead of the match, 1-0.

Spadea broke back in the next game and then held to lead 2-1. The trainer returned on the change over and stretched both of Baghdatis' legs as he lay on towels on the ground.

When the Cypriot went back to serve he was limping slightly. Five points and another break later, he told the umpire he needed to retire.

"I tried. I wanted to play," the 20-year-old said. "I didn't want to stop a match like this but the pain was getting worse."

The match was the first between the two players.

Spadea could sympathize. He retired at non-tour event at River Oaks Country Club in Houston last week with an elbow injury.

"I didn't want to have a worse injury and be out weeks and weeks," Spadea said. "Pain is a sign of illness, it could get worse right away."

Baghdatis came into the tournament after playing 11 sets in two days when Cyprus played at Bulgaria in the Davis Cup. But since his unexpected run to the finals of the year's first Grand Slam in Melbourne, he's been playing a lot.
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