Sunday, 29 January 2006

Naif at the finals

No one gets to the final of a Grand Slam tennis event by being as naive as Marcos Baghdatis appears to be; no one could be the court jester he sometimes appears, and still have the ability and composure to fight his way past two of the world's top five players to make the final.

Don't forget, Baghdatis is no rural peasant; a former Australian Open junior champion, he was taken to France at fourteen to learn his tennis -- and we all know just how cunning and deceitful the Frogs can be. (Just ask Amelie Mauresmo's erstwhile opponents, too many of whom retired hurt for a decent conspiracy not to get some legs.) Here's another example of French cunning:
Asked at courtside whether he would be watching his potential opponent in [his next match after beating Andy Roddick], the unconventional Baghdatis said with a smile: "I think my coach will be watching and I'll be sleeping with my girlfriend."
Don't believe a word of it: I'll bet he watched every point with a notepad and laptop hard at work in front of him. That's not to say his girlfriend wouldn't tempt him -- she could make a cripple dance -- but he knows he has a job to do before getting on the job. Doesn't hurt though to let your opponents think you're someone other than who you are; Baghdatis for them has been something of an unknown quantity among the machine-made opponents most of them meet at most tournaments, and his advantage is to play up the 'surprise factor.'

I'll be shouting on his side later tonight. How 'bout you lot?

Links: Gold standard meets a mercurial rising star - The Age


  1. looking at that picture? Personally I think he was telling the truth!

  2. among the machine-made opponents

    That's what I reckon too. Over-specialisation; Ugly.

    Very exciting until the tail of the second set, but then I knew the Fed had it. He's my guy every time.


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