Published: Saturday, January 24, 2009
Baghdatis is night owl at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Marcos Baghdatis is getting tired of burning the midnight oil at the Australian Open.
The 2006 runner-up finished his third-round match at 1:14 a.m. Saturday against American Mardy Fish.
But that was an early finish compared with his record from last year, when he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in a five-set match that didn't begin until after 11:30 p.m. and finished at 4:34 a.m.
Baghdatis, who beat Fish 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, said he wanted to play some earlier matches, maybe even in his fourth-rounder when he takes on defending champion Novak Djokovic.
"I cannot say it's not a problem," Baghdatis said. "It's a bit of a pain ... for me because the last two years I'm here I'm finishing matches after midnight ..."
Baghdatis said it would be impossible for him to catch up on his sleep before taking on Djokovic on Sunday.
"I will wake up normal because my eyes will be open at seven or eight o'clock like always with all the adrenaline and all the pressure," Baghdatis said. "So I don't think I'll get a lot of sleep.
"I'm just saying it's tough for the players. It happens that it's me second time in a row."
Tournament schedulers must not have been listening, although perhaps they were planning to allow him a Sunday sleep-in.
He's scheduled to play Djokovic in the second match at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night, following a women's singles match that begins at 7:30 p.m. If that goes to three sets, it could be another late start for Baghdatis.
A former No. 8 after his strong play in 2006 that started with his finals loss to Roger Federer at Melbourne Park, Baghdatis has been hit by injuries and is now ranked 97.