SPORTS

Baghdatis reaches quarterfinals

LONDON (Combined reports) – Marcos Baghdatis reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the second year running yesterday, beating Russian grinder Nikolay Davydenko 7-6, 7-6, 6-3. The Cypriot will face Serb Novak Djokovic, the fourth seed, for a place in the semifinals. The game is scheduled for today. Baghdatis was roared on by a raucous bunch of fans out on Court 13 and the 10th seed obliged with some swashbuckling tennis in the delayed fourth-round clash. Baghdatis, who lost in the semifinal last year to Rafael Nadal, came from 5-3 down in the first set tiebreak to get on top and again showed great adventure when it mattered to get through the second-set tiebreak. Sixth seed Davydenko, one of the most durable players on the circuit, has enjoyed his best showing at Wimbledon this year but, try as he might, he could find no way back in after dropping his serve early in the third. Baghdatis set up a match point at 5-3 when he won a rally despite slipping over during the points. Davydenko saved that with a volley but Baghdatis made no mistake on his second opportunity, belting away a backhand winner. For Djokovic, the Cypriot’s quarterfinal opponent, lower back pain, tennis shoes without traction and a feisty opponent were no match. He reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the first time yesterday after stumbling and tumbling on the grass court before beating 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (8), 7-6 (2), 4-6, 7-6 (5) in the fourth round. «I did some slipping, sliding, whatever,» said Djokovic, a French Open semifinalist. «So it was a bit dangerous. I can say that I was supposed to change my shoes… I’ll take care for next time.» Djokovic fell to his knees after winning, then got up, took off his shirt and pounded his chest with his fist while looking at his parents, who were hugging and cheering in the players’ box. «It was one of the best matches in this year’s Wimbledon,» Djokovic said. «So this win means a lot to me. It’s probably [the] most valuable win I ever had on this surface.» (Reuters/AP)