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By Gokul Pillai
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Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus asserted aggression in his match against World No. 5 Andy Murray. He eliminated Murray in the first round for the first time in 11 months. Baghdatis fine tuned his forehands in the match to handle Murray with precision in every game. Breaking the Scot’s serve became a habit for the Cypriot as he defeated Murray in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
This was Murray’s first ATP tournament after his Grand Slam final defeat against Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Murray was unable to control his free flowing errors in his first round match against Marcos Baghdatis as Bagdatis nailed 12 of the 15 games played in the match. The Cypriot took just over an hour to overcome Murray and marched into the second round
Murray said, “I started the match really well, but then started missing quite a lot; I made quite a lot of mistakes. You need to be very sharp with your movement on a surface like that and maybe I wasn’t. Marcos played very well.”
Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny took the path of success as he wasted no time to display his true form and eliminated Marcel Granollers from Spain. The sixth seeded Russian had defeated Ivan Ljubicic to win this event in 2007. Also last year’s finalist, Youzhny seems to be in great form and all set for another possible final attempt.
Jo-Wilfrred Tsonga was broken in the 10th game as he succumbed to magnificent Micheal Llodra for a brief time in the match but then responded swiftly with a break of serve at the start of the second set as he levelled the match. Tsonga then powered down his cannon ball serves to take the third set and the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to snatch the first round victory.
A relieved Tsonga said, “It was tough. I played better and better and I’m just happy to win because it was difficult. It’s tough to play a countryman, you don’t have the same aggression. It’s difficult to have a strong will to win."
Marin Cilic took magnificent points in the match and made his way in the game. Cilic took care of Jurgen Melzer in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 in 72 minutes. Cilic put the loss of 13 places in the ranking behind him as he commanded respect and dismantled Melzer in straight sets. Cilic said, “After I broke him, from that point he was searching how to play, what to do on the court, and that gave me a little bit more stability in myself and my game. I came up short in my own expectations at the beginning of the year. But I feel now I’m good and I’m feeling positive about things.”
Cilic said, “After I broke him, from that point he was searching how to play, what to do on the court, and that gave me a little bit more stability in myself and my game. I came up short in my own expectations at the beginning of the year. But I feel now I’m good and I’m feeling positive about things.”
Serbian Victor Troicki is next for Cilic as Troicki defeted Jarkko Nieminen in two close sets, 7-6(4), 7-5 in 88 minutes. In a upset, qualifier Benoit Paire defeated Gilles Simon in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in an all French encounter. Feliciano-Lopez also beat Floria Mayer of Germany, 6-3, 6-4
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