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June 8, 2009
M. BAGHDATIS/J. Ward
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How did you feel out there today? You seemed to move pretty well.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I felt pretty good. It was a weird match, you know, not a lot of rhythm. But I was feeling good, serving quite okay, returning okay. I basically did everything okay, you know.
I did what I have to do to win the match, so that was enough, no?
Q. How big is the adjustment coming from clay to grass?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I don't have problem, you know. I'm always happy when I leave from clay and come to grass. (laughter.)
Q. What did you make of your opponent? Do you think he's got the potential to be better, move up in the world?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I don't know, because he didn't play today. Just -- he didn't do anything. You know, he -- I think he didn't push himself, you know, to fight or something.
I don't know. Maybe he's playing like this. Maybe that's his style, but I didn't feel somebody who really wanted to beat me today.
Q. Needed more passion, maybe?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Maybe. I don't know. I don't know the guy, so I cannot say. That's what I felt. That's what I felt.
Q. This is a very big opportunity for the British players to get wildcards. Are you surprised he didn't show more of an effort to take that opportunity?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, you know. If I was going to play myself this tournament, you know, I would, you know, want to -- I don't know. I'd be happy to be on the court. I would be fighting. I would be just trying to put the ball on the court, just try to do something, you know. That's not what I felt, you know.
Q. You can feel vibes, can't you, as a player? You can feel if your opponent is not really up for it? You get the vibes from...
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: What's vibes? That's what I don't understand.
Q. You get the feeling when your opponent isn't up for it, isn't so passionate maybe?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I don't know. Maybe that's the way he is, you know. Not all the players are passionate. Not all the players, you know, are pumped up, you know.
I don't know. I don't know the guy. I'm just saying what I felt, and I don't want to, you know, cause any problems for anybody. I'm just saying what I think, you know. That's all.
Q. You're a wildcard yourself and you seem very focused.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah.
Q. Getting the job done?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, for sure. Like you said, getting the job done is very important and winning the match is very important for me, especially now. I didn't win a match since Miami, so that's a long time.
So, you know, I'm pretty happy I won today, getting into the tournament slowly, slowly.
Q. Was it a bit of a late scheduling for your schedule?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, thankfully from Chris. He gave me the wildcard, and I really appreciate that. I answered immediately yes.
So I'm happy to be here. I'm happy they gave me the wildcard, you know. Last year I was injured for eight months. I lost my ranking, so it's nice when you know that people like tournament directors believe in you and are there to help you. So that's really nice.
Q. You didn't apply for your wildcard. He approached you rather than you approached him?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: No, we -- yeah, I did. Yeah, I did. I did apply.
Q. You applied and he replied?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yes.
Q. Just before...
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I applied on Thursday, and he -- I applied on Wednesday and he answered on Thursday night if you want it specifically, a time. I don't remember, but...
Q. You must have been thrilled, delighted?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I'm happy. You know, like I said, I didn't win a match since Miami. I'm not in the best confidence -- I'm not in the best shape of my career, you know.
I was injured last year for eight months, and, you know, I'm just happy to be back on court, you know, without injuries and just having fun on the court and practicing, you know. I think it will take a bit of time for my fitness to come back, because I was injured on the back.
When you have back injury, it's tough to do anything, you know, work out. It's really tough. I didn't work out for a long time. So I'm happy to be back and I will try to do my best.
Q. It's been a few years since you arrived here without many expectations. Maybe it might allow you to relax and enjoy yourself and maybe go a bit further than expected?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I am already further than I expected. (laughter.) So I'm happy.
No, I'll tell you the truth: I don't care, losing or winning. It's not the point, you know. I want to win, but, you know, I just want to feel happy on court.
I want to find my personality on court which I lost because of my injuries and, you know, like I said before, it would take time, but I'll fight. I'll just, you know, wait until it comes, and when it comes, that's what I want to achieve, you know.
Q. Can you explain a bit of the sort of injury you had with your back, and...
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I had a herniated disk on my T10- T11.
Q. What sort of treatment did you have?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Exercises for the back, get the back stronger, you know, before starting playing. It took me a while, you know, to feel 100%. Now I feel much better back-wise, but physically I need more time and more matches on my leg, more fitness on my leg, on my shoulders and everything, you know.
Like I said, it's like starting from the beginning for me. It will take some time.
Q. It's always big for you coming over to London, isn't it, with your following, your support?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I love the weather here.
Q. It's okay.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: No, it's nice to be back. I had some nice moments also here in London, you know. Playing semis of Wimbledon in 2006 was one of them. You know, it's nice. It's nice. The people are really great. I really mean it. It's nice.
Only thing is the weather, but it's okay. When you have a house here, it's okay.
Q. What do you make of what's going on at the top end of the game at the moment with yesterday's events in Paris? What did you make of Federer's achievements?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I'm very happy for him, because he deserves it. Like he said on the interview, you know, a lot of people were telling him how he will never win Roland Garros and you didn't, things like that.
He just closed their mouths, because he's one of the greatest players in the world and we have to respect. What he did for the game is unbelievable.
So, you know, I'm really happy for him, and now nobody can say anything. He's the best player in the world in history, you know.
Q. Do you think now that the pressure is maybe off his shoulders of -- well, he still would like to beat Sampras' record, but...
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: He already did, no?
Q. Well, he leveled with Sampras.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: But his five finals, Sampras four. So for me, he did.
Q. So with the pressure off his shoulders, do you think he's a more dangerous opponent now?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: He can be more dangerous but he can be more lazy. You never know.
But we don't care, you know. We're happy for him. Now in the court anybody can beat anybody. I'm not thinking he will more dangerous or not. I don't know. I'm happy for him.
He's having a kid this year, which is nice, you know. So it's nice to have people like Roger around, you know, for the history and for the tennis, for the sport.
Q. Do you see him regaining the No. 1 ranking?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I don't know. You know, Rafa is tough. It's a tough thing. Murray is behind, Djokovic, some other young guys. It would be tough, but for sure he's capable of doing it or he showed it, you know. The last how many years he's playing only finals, and that's amazing, you know, finals in every Grand Slam.
So if Rafa gets a bit, you know, weak, loses some matches, then why not? You never know, you know. If Rafa keeps up this way, it will be tough for him, but if Rafa goes a bit down, for sure he will.
End of FastScripts