Baghdatis beats Matosevic to clinch Aegon Trophy title in Nottingham

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Former World No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis beat Marinko Matosevic 6-4 6-3 in the Aegon Trophy final at the Nottingham Tennis Centre to clinch his first singles title since 2010.

The Cypriot completed a stunning return from an eight-week injury absence, overcoming the Australian third seed 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour 15 minutes.

The Aegon Trophy was just the second ATP Challenger event that the 2006 Australian Open runner-up and former Wimbledon semi-finalist has featured in since 2009.

He did not drop a set during the tournament, overcoming World No. 55 Igor Sijsling, fifth seed Kenny De Schepper of France and previous Aegon Trophy winner Benjamin Becker on the way to Sunday's decider.

"After these wins I've kind of found myself, my game, my attitude on court and the way I want to play tennis," said Baghdatis.

"It feels great to win the tournament. I feel that I've played really well throughout the week.

"Every match I got through I felt better and better, and in the final I just playing really solid, not giving too many points away and served well.

"I'm happy with how I'm playing and how I feel on court, fitness-wise and mentally."

Matosevic had only confirmed his place in the final an hour before it commenced, completing his semi-final against Gilles Muller after the match had been halted the night before because of fading light.

In a tense start, both Baghdatis and Matosevic managed to save one break point each.

However, Baghdatis grabbed his next opportunity to break the Australian, going 4-3 up on the way to claiming the opening set in 36 minutes.

Baghdatis heaped pressure on the World No. 66 in the first game of the second set, but Matosevic was equal to the challenge as he saved two break points to hold.

In a repeat of the first set, World No. 132 Baghdatis took a stranglehold of proceedings when he broke the Australian to go 4-3 up in the second.

He launched an ace to secure the next game and found himself with two championship point against a nervy Matosevic.

While the Australian managed to save the first, Matosevic conceded victory with a shot lifted long and wide.

"I've been working hard for so many years, and maybe there are things I didn't do right. Lately I have been working smarter and that has paid off," said Baghdatis.

"I'm not actually surprised, I think that is where I belong - winning tournaments.

"For me it is a massive relief to see my body get through five matches, I've been struggling a lot lately with health problems and injuries."

Elsewhere, the second of back-to-back ATP Challenger events in Nottingham starts on Monday with Daniel Smethurst taking on Ante Pavic of Croatia, while wild cards Edward Corrie and Marcus Willis meet in an all-British affair.

In women's singles qualifying for the Aegon Nottingham Challenge, Briton's Christie Freya and Naomi Cavaday are two wins away from the main draw.

Freya battled past fourth seed Tereza Smitkova 6-2 2-6 6-3, while Cavaday went through after Arina Rodionova of Australia retired in the third set.

Rain late in the day forced second-round qualifying matches to be suspended.

Entry to the Aegon Nottingham Challenge is free for all spectators.

For more information, including orders of play and a full list of results for the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, visit  www.nottinghamfestivaloftennis.com.

 

 
 

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