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Smiling Baghdatis retires at Wimbledon - 'I didn't want to leave the court'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 5 Jul 2019
  • Baghdatis calls time on tennis career after second round loss at Wimbledon
  • The Cypriot was a former top 10 player and Australian Open runner-up
  • Federer paid tribute to Baghdatis after his second round win
Marcos Baghdatis (Twitter/Wimbledon)

Marcos Baghdatis officially bid farewell to tennis on Thursday at Wimbledon as he went down to 17th seed Matteo Berrettini.

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A former top 10 star and Australian Open runner-up, Baghdatis was awarded a wildcard into his final tournament at Wimbledon and managed to win a round before bowing out 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3 to the in-form Berrettini, with his 15-year professional career coming to an end in one hour and 42 minutes.

In emotional scenes, Baghdatis emptied his racquet bag on court, handing fans on No. 2 Court a bunch of souvenirs.



“I didn't want to leave the court,” said Baghdatis. “It was a nice farewell. It felt amazing. Again, I want to thank everybody for staying and giving me that last emotion.
“I'm crying, but I'm happy. It's a happy moment for everybody, because I'm really excited for the future and the only thing I'm sad leaving behind is the last part: the fans and the emotions that they always gave me.”

Roger Federer - the man who beat Baghdatis in his one and only Grand Slam final at the 2006 Australian Open - paid tribute to the popular Cypriot after his own second round victory over Jay Clarke.

That tournament by Baghdatis - then ranked No. 54 - was one of the most spectacular runs to a Grand Slam final in the Open Era as he took out No. 3 Andy Roddick in four sets before back-to-back five set triumphs over No. 8 Ivan Ljubicic and No. 4 David Nalbandian in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. Baghdatis, spurred on by a massive Cypriot contingent in Melbourne, went on to take the second set in the final against Federer but ultimately fell in four.

“He had a winner's mentality, liked the big stage. I think that's also one of the reasons he did well here and also in Australia when the big matches came about,” Federer reflected.
“Off the court, he was always a lovely guy, always very funny, easy-going, good to be around with. So I liked him on the court, off the court.
“I think for Cyprus, he did so much coming from such a small country and becoming a sporting superstar,” Federer added. “I'm sure that was a big deal at home… He's always been a joy to watch also for us players, so we'll miss him.”

Baghdatis and his wife - former WTA pro Karolina Sprem - are expecting their third child later this year.


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Smiling Baghdatis retires at Wimbledon - "I didn't want to leave the court"

Marcos Baghdatis officially bid farewell to tennis on Thursday at Wimbledon as he went down to 17th seed Matteo Berrettini.

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