With top seed Robyn Soderling’s withdrawal from the semifinals due to an elbow problem, Marcos Baghdatis was gifted a berth in the finals at the Stockholm Open. The Cypriot now ranked 66th took full advantage of Soderling’s generosity in holding off Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-1, 7-5 to carry his first ATP title since Zagreb in 2007.
Since reaching the Australian Open final in 2006, Baghdatis’career has hit multiple bumps. The Cypriot’s ranking plummeted to 151 in July of this year after reaching a high of 8 in 2006. Of late, Baghdatis has been dabbling on the challenger circuit where he’s won a couple of tourneys. Currently 87th in the world, Rochus has also been longing for a title, his last was in 2006. Regardless of the adversary, for the Belgian, this was going to be a formidable task after a three set semifinal zapped a great deal of his energy.
After each player successfully held in his opening game, Rochus troubled Baghdatis by taking him to four deuces. But, with an ace and a forehand up the line winner, Marcos stayed on serve at 2-1. Perhaps a little fatigued, at 40-15, Rochus committed two double faults for deuce. Now with a forehand winner, Baghdatis had his initial break point. However, with a decent serve, Rochus got an error in reply for deuce. Ultimately, with two backhand errors from Olivier, Marcos secured the break on his third try. After easily consolidating, with a backhand down the line winner, Baghdatis had another break chance. Later on, Baghdatis capitalized stretching his lead to 5-1. With a solid service game, Baghdatis put the set to rest.