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July 7, 2006

Marcos Baghdatis


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Marcos Baghdatis.

Q. How frustrating was that today? You actually played quite well, didn't you, the second and third sets?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, was playing quite well, but I didn't find the solution to win. That's the most difficult thing, frustrating.

Q. You had a few chances, didn't you?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I had a few chances in the second set to break him. I didn't. I didn't take my chances. In the third set I got broken once and I had another chance to come back, Love-40 on his serve. That's all.

Q. You had a bit of a dodgy call as well, didn't you, in one of your breakpoints?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, it happens. It happens to everybody. I cannot say that turned the match. I was two sets down. But it happens to everybody.

Q. Could you tell us about your experiences of Wimbledon and how you've enjoyed it? The crowd's really taken to you?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, it's been fun. It's been fun being here. I start to like grass. That's a good thing.
And, like I said, it's just another experience for me. I played a semis of a Grand Slam. The most positive thing is that I feel close to the top, and close to Nadal, close to Federer. That's the most important thing.
I feel that I need some more experience to maybe have a win at them.

Q. Do you think Rafael can get near Roger on Sunday?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I mean, everybody can get near everybody. Everybody can get near everybody.

Q. Not with Roger. No one else has so far. Do you think Rafael could be the first man here to?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I don't know. I don't know. Just think that -- my thinking is that every day is different and everybody can beat everybody. I mean, Roger, it's sure that he's playing great tennis, but everybody can do anything.

Q. Nadal seems to have this quality that whatever you get at him, he still somehow gets the ball back again. How hard is that to deal with?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I mean, it's pretty hard. Not a lot of players in the circuit like this. When you're playing against him, you just lose some points in important moments that he brings the ball back one time more and you just miss it because you're not ready. That's why I said it's a matter of experience for me to play at this level all the time and gain some more confident.

Q. Is it key to attack the net more?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, but I mean, not like pushing it. You have to be patient, just try to find the perfect shot at the right time to go to the net.

Q. And if you are able to do that, how do you think he can deal with that?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I mean, I was playing really aggressive today in the second set and he didn't like it. He was under pressure, I think.
But, like I said, important points, I wasn't there. I didn't take my chances. So for sure he doesn't like it when you aggress him all the time. But it's not easy to do also. It looks maybe easy outside the court, but I can tell you inside it's not really easy.

Q. If you had to say, who do you think is the best player in the world right now?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Roger. Most talented. He can play everywhere. He's a great athlete. Maybe Roger about 5% more than Nadal.

Q. So they're close?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, they're very close. They're the two best players in the world at the moment. You cannot say one is the best, you have to take both of them. They're playing great tennis, and I think they have a step ahead of the other players in the Top 10.

Q. If you had to use a word or a phrase to express this wonderful year you've had, what word, what phrase would you use?

Q. Because?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Because I'm having fun in my life and I'm succeeding. Not a lot of people have this chance to do what I'm doing. I'm just trying to have fun with it and enjoy it and, I mean, that's all (smiling).

Q. You lost to him in Indian Wells, yes, 6-0 in the second. Do you feel today you made progress? Obviously, your second set here was fantastic. Do you feel like you're getting closer figuring him out a little bit?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I mean, like I said, it's a matter of experience. That's all. I mean, he has two years more on the circuit than me, and it's my first year that I'm really on the circuit playing Top 20 and Top 10.
So he's been here for a bit longer than me, has more experience. I just need time to gain confident in me and believe in my ability.

Q. Could you speak about how you felt coming out on the court for the first set. Were you a little bit nervous? Were you surprised at how quickly Rafa got off to a start? Did it take you a while to find your game?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I was a bit nervous. I wasn't so confident on the court, I can say. I wasn't having fun.
But it's a bit normal, like I said. It's a bit of experience. And after I played a great tennis. I just relaxed and just played great tennis. So I cannot say was a bad match. It was a great match from both sides.

Q. Does Wimbledon need an instant replay or player challenge system? Is that disputed shot, the HawkEye system on TV showed it was in.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I don't really know about that. They tried it in Miami. I think it was not bad. It was good because you can challenge, you can see the call, that's good. But, I mean, tennis is like this today. I mean, that's not the reason I lost.
But if they have a chance to put HawkEye challenge in this game, I wouldn't say no.

Q. If you have to find out some weakness on the Nadal play, which were this kind of weakness?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: There are not a lot, you know. I mean, there are not a lot. When he's in defense, he's playing unbelievable. He can put the ball -- he's nowhere and he can put the ball so deep and you cannot just go and play the other side.
And, I mean, when he's attacking, I mean, the ball is like so fast. You just run everywhere and you don't know where to be on the court. He's a great player. He's serving pretty good. I think he's serving better than before and he's returning better than before, that's for sure. He doesn't have a lot of negative things in his game.

Q. How do you feel Rafa can beat Roger?

Q. How do you think he can beat him?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I don't really know, to tell you the truth. I don't know.

Q. Did you see the French Open final?

Q. In your box there was a delightful little girl cheering. Who is she?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: It's a daughter of the owner of my academy - of my academy - of the academy I practice, sorry (smiling).

Q. Last time you left here, you were signing autographs for fans about 20 minutes. Do you enjoy the extra attention you're getting?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: It was five minutes. It was five minutes, not 20.

Q. Do you enjoy that extra attention you're getting as opposed to a year ago?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Do I enjoy? Yeah, it's fun. I like giving love to people. People give me love and they support me. That's all. I mean, it's important for me to show people that I'm not selfish and I want to show people who I really am.

Q. Do you think Rafa has been underrated at this Wimbledon?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: What does "underrated" mean?

Q. He's seeded 2, but nobody expected him to go so far.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, of course, nobody expected him. But like I said, he's starting to feel good on grass. He's starting to play great tennis. I mean, I don't -- he had a good draw. I mean, the bottom half of the draw was not easy but, I mean, not a lot of players were there. All of them were up on the top half.
But, I mean, he deserves to be where he is, and he's a great player.

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