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Baghdatis' parents decide to stay home and miss final

The parents of Marcos Baghdatis have decided not to make the trip to Melbourne to watch their son play in his first Grand Slam final.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 11:16 IST

The parents of rising Cypriot tennis star Marcos Baghdatis have decided not to make the trip to Melbourne to watch their son play in his first Grand Slam final.

Baghdatis has been the revelation of this Australian Open, overcoming three top-10 ranked players to reach Sunday's final where he will play world number one Roger Federer, bidding for his seventh Grand Slam crown.

The 20-year-old's parents, Christos and Andrianni, were expected to make a late dash to Australia after Baghdatis came from two sets down to overhaul fourth seed David Nalbandian in Thursday's semi-final.

But they have decided not to make the long journey from Cyprus.

"My brother and cousin are coming from the Greek side, and that's all. My parents don't want really to come," Baghdatis said on Saturday.

"In the beginning I told them not to come. Then I told them to come. My father decided, No. So that's the story. He's more worried than me, I guess."

Baghdatis, bidding to become the first unseeded player to beat a top seed in a Grand Slam final in the Open era (post 1968), said now that the decision had been made he was focusing fully on the biggest match of his fledging career.

"I don't really mind. I mean, I'm in a Grand Slam final. I have to stay focused," he said.

"I don't have to see who is coming, who is not. That's all. I want to stay focused. I have one more match to win. I believe in it, so I just want to stay in the tournament."

Baghdatis said he would devote his victory to his mother should he upset the odds and upset Federer.

His parents have run up debts to put their son through a French tennis academy since the age of 14. Baghdatis turned down the offer of French citizenship, preferring to compete as a Cypriot.

"Because a lot of sacrifices she did, and that's the one person I love the most," Baghdatis said of his mother.

Baghdatis said he intended to return to his French home via Cyprus after the Open.

Cyprus erupted into jubilant celebrations Thursday after Baghdatis made reached the Australian final against Nalbandian.

No Cypriot has ever ventured so far in a major international tournament and the country will again be glued to television sets for the Melbourne final.

"I think after the tournament I just go there next weekend maybe," he said.

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 11:16 IST