Baghdatis to put past behind in Beijing debut | india | Hindustan Times
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Baghdatis to put past behind in Beijing debut

india Updated: Sep 12, 2006 10:28 IST

Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis will be looking for a calm win after his rollicking loss to tennis icon Andre Agassi at the US Open, when he plays at the China Open late on Tuesday.

The smiling Cypriot had to play the unlikely role of villain as he faced Agassi in the second round a fortnight ago at Flushing Meadows. The youngster went down cramping in five sets in a high-drama performance.

His match Tuesday against German Denis Gremelmayr, standing just three spots inside the top 100, should be much more low-key at the Beijing Tennis Centre.

Baghdatis will be ready to bounce back from his New York low point, where he faced an entire stadium of 23,000 Agassi fans. He bravely hung in for the duration despite the cramping.

"It's not easy, sometimes life is not easy, but you have to accept it. You have to accept things and you have to look forward," he said.

"That's how you progress, and that's what I'm trying to do."

Baghdatis, playing in China for the first time, is seeded behind Croatian Ivan Ljubicic and Nikolay Davydenko, who flew to the Pacific after losing a U.S. Open semi-final to Roger Federer.

Organisers have given the Russian, who has taken only a week or two off this season, a Wednesday start in hopes he can recover from his travels.

Ljubicic will be hoping to improve his image as the highest-ranked unknown in the game. The world number three has complained that he is often asked if he is a doubles player due to his relative anonymity.

The balding and thoughtful former Balkan child war refugee should have an easy start against Japan's Go Soeda, ranked number 186 and a qualifying round loser in New York.

Fellow Croatian Mario Ancic was due on court for the first time since Wimbledon as he returns to action after a summer jet-ski accident, taking on fourth seed Feliciano Lopez.

The tournament is missing Rafael Nadal, who withdrew with an ankle injury.