Federer lets his chances slip in loss to Baghdatis

March 17th, 2010 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger Federer Indian Wells, California, March 17 (DPA) Marcos Baghdatis claimed success on his seventh try with a stunning 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) third-round upset of Roger Federer, saving three match points to knock the top seed out at the Indian Wells Masters.
Federer was playing only his second match since the Australian Open and his recovery from a lung infection in February.

The last time that the 16-time Grand Slam champion lost after holding match points was the 2006 Rome final against Rafael Nadal, when he had two winning opportunities.

But the Swiss Tuesday admitted that poor choices and some average play at the wrong time was all it took for him to miss out on victory.

Federer was unable to convert on two match points late in the second set and another while leading 6-5 in the third.

“It was a decent match, but maybe wrong choices at the wrong time for me,” said Federer, Indian Wells champion in 2004-2006. “Maybe I was going for too much, maybe playing too passively.

“That’s not something you can really work on. That comes through playing matches, and that’s what I need.”

Baghdatis, 0-6 against Federer and winner of just two of 23 previous sets against the Swiss, was overjoyed after his first career victory over a world number one.

“Seven must be my lucky number,”said the Cypriot, who ended last season with the Stockholm title and began 2010 by winning Sydney.

“I’m very happy, it’s been a long time for me. I’m just glad to be back on court and having fun,” said the frequent injury victim.

Federer was analytical in defeat. “I used up too many chances,” he said after striking 46 unforced errors. “That comes back and haunts


“But he hung in there, obviously, otherwise he wouldn’t be there. That was the result.

“It wasn’t the worst match, you know. Conditions are quick. It’s tough to return, but I did many good things tonight but also many bad things. It’s just a question of not letting that happen too often.”

Fourth seed Andy Murray won a battle with Michael Russell 6-3, 7-5.

The 2009 finalist Scot displayed patchy form in victory and next meets Nicolas Almagro, who put out James Blake 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

“It was a tough match with a lot of long rallies. There were long, tough games. I played well and saved a lot of break points,” Murray said.

“I would have liked to have closed it out in 6-3, 6-3, but I

stayed composed to the end.”

Sweden’s French Open finalist Robin Soderling, seeded sixth, advanced over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.

Crowd favourite and seventh seed Andy Roddick beat Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands 6-3,


Women began booking quarter-final places, with second seed Caroline Wozniacki defeating 16th seed Nadia Petrova of Russia 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.

Number four seed Elena Dementieva earned a defeat of Arvane Rezai of France 6-3, 6-3.

“Today was pretty comfortable game for me because she was playing like I expected her to play,” Dementieva said.

“She was very aggressive, hitting some flat balls, and it was easy to get to the rhythm. We’ve played lots of times before, and I knew what to expect from her, so it was not a big problem today.”

Poland’s number five Agnieskwa Radwanska followed the formbook with her 6-3, 6-2 defeat of French 11th seed Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-2.

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