Baghdatis breaks title drought

STOCKHOLM: Marcos Baghdatis broke through for his third career ATP title on Sunday with a 6-1, 7-5 defeat of Olivier Rochus to lift the Stockholm Open crown, success which the Cypriot hopes will kick-start his 2010 season.

But there will be little time to rest for the world No 66, who claimed his first trophy since Zagreb in February, 2007. After a

few days at home on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus next week, the 2006 Australian Open finalist will wrap up his season with a Challenger in South Korea.

“That’s it, that will be enough,” said the player, who has been tormented by injuries for the past few seasons. Baghdatis solidified

his rebuilding campaign in fine style on Sunday as he ended the final with his 15th ace against Belgium’s Rochus, who said he never expected to get this far this week. “Marcos played just great, but I surprised myself also,” said the finalist.

Baghdatis will be improving his 66th ranking with an eye on next season as he finally looks ahead to some good luck. “My goal is to stay healthy and try to play some consistent tennis,” said the winner, who only got word of his entry into the Stockholm main draw last weekend when he was playing a semi-final at the Tashkent Challenger. “They told me I was in, so I got on a plane right after the final and here I am.

I can’t say I was

expecting this victory but it feels great, I’m really happy.”

Baghdatis broke Rochus five times, the last in the penultimate game before finishing on his first match point with a concluding untouchable serve. “I’m physically fine but not at 100 per cent,” he said. “I want to spend two or three days at home with my brothers and family and then go to South Korean and end this season. I’ll be working hard on fitness in the off-season and trying to stay healthy.”

Luxembourg Open

LUXEMBOURG: Swiss tennis player Timea Bacsinszky took her first WTA title here at the $220,000 Luxembourg Open on Sunday as she beat Germany’s Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5 in final. The 20-year-old — ranked 70th in the world — took full advantage of the early exits of Belgium’s US Open champion Kim Clijsters and the other highly-favoured Danish player Caroline Wozniacki.

Bacsinsky, whose best previous performance was losing to Dinara Safina in the last 32 of the 2008

US Open, was very humble in defeat. “I will never be Martina Hingis or Roger Federer, I know that,”

said the winner. “What really is important to me is to have fun out on the court and not to have regrets at the end of my career.”