Baghdatis Boots Defending Champ Pouille In Montpellier
The 33-year-old Cypriot came back from a break down in the opener and broke twice more in the decider to earn his first Top 20 victory since last year's Wimbledon when he beat then-No. 7 Dominic Thiem.
Baghdatis is into his first tour-level quarter-final of the season and will meet Moldova's Radu Albot for a semi-final spot at the ATP Tour 250. And to think, Baghdatis almost didn't make it out of qualifying.
The World No. 128 trailed No. 461 Antoine Cornut-Chauvinc by a set in the first round of qualifying, but rallied and has dropped only one set since, including qualifying matches.
But Baghdatis, playing in his first tour-level event of the year, stayed focused as the home crowd tried to rally their defending champion. Serving for the match, Baghdatis erased a break point and clinched the second rounder with only his third and fourth aces.
Albot reached the fourth tour-level quarter-final of his career by beating Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 34 minutes. If Albot defeats Baghdatis, he will advance to just his second ATP Tour semi-final (Metz 2018).
Did You Know?
Baghdatis is pursuing his first tour-level semi-final since Chengdu in 2017. The Cypriot last captured a title in 2010 at Sydney.