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January 15, 2010

Marcos Baghdatis


6-4, 6-7, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You obviously must be pretty delighted with that, quite a hard-fought victory.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, it was a tough one, and a bit of pressure today with the draw of the Open and everything. So a bit of pressure. I had to stay concentrated, and I tried.
I had some moments of the match that I lost my concentration, but the most important thing is that I won the match and I'm playing a final tomorrow, so that's pretty positive.

Q. What does it mean to make the final after you were disrupted the last few years because of injury?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Oh, it's a pleasure. You know, it's been hard two years; 2008, 2009 was tough. You know, it's nice coming back. I won Stockholm. That was the last tournament of last year that I played.
So it's nice coming beginning of year playing finals and having a chance to win another title.

Q. And Richard, you've obviously both live in Paris and played there, but you've never played before.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, actually I think we did.

Q. No.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Never? Oh, juniors. Two times in juniors, I think. Yeah, never played him in the seniors for sure. But I know him. We used to play juniors together. He's a great player and he has a lot of the talent. He looks like he worked hard this winter, and he's playing great tennis.
I guess I'll enjoy my victory for today, and start thinking about the match for tomorrow.

Q. How did you go at the junior level?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I think it's 1-All. 1-All, yeah.

Q. Towards the end of the tiebreak, Mardy...

Q. Third-set tiebreak. Mardy challenged as you netted a forehand volley. I think it was at 4-5. Were you aware that he had made that challenge?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I heard something. I heard "out," and I stopped. So, yes, I don't know if it was him that said out or something, but I heard something and I stopped.

Q. How much did you have left in the tank? Could you have kept going on if the tiebreak had gone on and on?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I could have kept on even if there was a fourth set. I'm pretty fit, and I have no problems.

Q. How hard is it on a day like today? Do you keep an eye on the Australian Open draw? Is it hard not to have a sneaky peek?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: No, I didn't see the draw. I didn't even look at it. I didn't want to look at it before, because I didn't want to think about it. But, you know, some thoughts came during the match.
You know, it's not easy. I was thinking tomorrow, if I win, I'm playing tomorrow at 7:30 at night, you know, if I'm playing on Monday or Tuesday. So it's not easy. It's not the best preparation if you're playing on Monday to have a match on Saturday night.
But I'm pretty lucky. I'm playing on Tuesday I found out after my match. So I'm looking forwards for tomorrow's match, and then I'll see about the Open.

Q. A lot of players are already down in Melbourne hitting up and getting used to the courts. Do you find more match practice is beneficial for you?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: For sure. It's been tough the last two years, 2008 and 2009. It's important for me to win matches, win titles. That's what I'm trying to do.
You know, I'm not thinking of preparing a Grand Slam for the moment. I'm thinking of trying to win one or two titles this year, get back to the level where I want to be in the ranking-wise.
Then I think if I do that, then -- when I will be seeded and I will be in the top level, then I will give a shot at a Grand Slam.

Q. You and Richard are at very similar points. Obviously both trying to break back into the top 10. Do you see this as the first step to getting back to it top?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: No, I think I the most important thing is to continue working like the way I'm working, and I think the results will come. It's not -- okay, tomorrow it's important match. I want to win it for sure. It's one extra title in my career.
I mean, it's one hundred points difference, so it would help me go up in rankings. The most important thing is that I continue working the way I'm working, you know, working hard in the gym, outside in the court, and you know enjoying the tennis and keeping out from injuries.
If I do that, I think my level will go up pretty fast. Basically, that's my objective for the moment.

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