Tennis Server ATP/WTA Pro Tennis Showcase - Legg Mason Classic 2010 - Wildcard Nalbandian Wins Washington - Marcos Baghdatis, David Nalbandian
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August 8, 2010

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Legg Mason Classic 2010, Washington, DC, USA
August 8, 2010
Editorial by Jane Voigt. Photography by Pablo Sanfrancisco.

Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Wildcard Nalbandian Wins Washington
 
August 8, 2010 -- Wildcard entrant and former top-ten player David Nalbandian won his 11th career title at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, defeating Marcos Baghdatis today on a toasty DC afternoon. It was the first time a wildcard had won this ATP World Tour 500 level event, one of the top twenty tournaments of the year.
 
The Argentine's victory also extends that country's hold on the title here in the nation's capital to three in a row. Juan Martin del Potro began the trend in 2008.
 
From the moment Nalbandian and Baghdatis appeared from the tunnel leading to Stadium Court, everything about this final screamed 'different.' Both men were playing here for the first time, so fans didn't know them as well as, let's say, Andy Roddick or John Isner or Mardy Fish.
 
Here were the #117 ranked David Nalbandian and the #25 ranked Marcos Baghdatis. Not exactly the names on fans' lips. However, neither one could ever be counted out given the vast depth of men's tennis, the points that separate match wins and losses, and Nalbandian's and Baghdatis's abundant talents and career records.
 
Their equipment was out of the ordinary, too. No Wilson stuff or Babolat or Head or Nike clothes.
 
Baghdatis used a Fisher racquet and covered all the Adidas logos on his shirt and shorts with Cyprus emblems. He doesn't have a clothing sponsor right now. Yesterday in his press conference, Baghdatis didn't know whether he was in negotiations with Adidas, either. "I don't do that," he said, beaming his big lovable smile.
 
Nalbandian used a Yonex racquet and wore that manufacturer's clothes, as he has for a number of years.
 
Finally, they displayed a style of tennis that betrayed the baseline bashing so familiar these last few years. They demonstrated deft strategic choices that involved changes in pace, spin, movement and net play. This match had artistry.
 
"Of course you have to think out there to win," Nalbandian said in a matter of fact manner.
 
The first game set the tone for Nalbandian. He won it at love with precise shot making. His dominance continued throughout the 33 minutes he needed to win it 62. In the first three games, Baghdatis won three points.
 
"The plan was to run the court and to put a lot of pressure on the returner," Baghdatis began. "I didn't do any of that in the first set so I started really bad."
 
The second set, however, was a cagey affair with multiple breaks of serve and dramatic net play. If Baghdatis's first serve percentage had been higher, the results from set two would have been better from his perspective. However, the Cypriot served 39% on first serves. He also wasted many break point opportunities.
 
"The second set was very tight," Nalbandian admitted. "I let him in a bit, but my return of serve was not as confident as it had been in the week. We both played well in tough moments."
 
This is Nalbandian's first ATP Tour career win since his title in Sydney in January, 2009. After a year-and-a-half of recovery from hip surgery, the struggle finally paid off.
 
"This made me feel good again," Nalbandian started. "For sure I didn't expect to win the first tournament when I came. If I continue to play this good, I'm going to go far for sure."
 
Marcos Baghdatis was grateful for his week in Rock Creek Park. Although disappointed with today's results, he hasn't forgotten where he was a year ago.
 
"I will never forget where I come from," he said calmly. "I was ranked 150 last year and now I maybe touched top twenty this year. I am looking forward to the future and playing better."
 
From the doubles side of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, American's can hail Mardy Fish. He came to America's rescue, winning the doubles title alongside Bahamian partner Mark Knowles. They defeated the Czech boys Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek 46 76(7) 10-7. This was Fish's eighth career doubles title and Knowles' fifty-third doubles title.
 

 
[WC] David Nalbandian (ARG) {blue shirt} d [8] Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 62 76(4)
 
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Earlier Coverage from this Event:
 
August 7, 2010 Legg Mason Classic: Baghdatis and Nalbandian Into Finals - Xavier Malisse, Marcos Baghdatis, David Nalbandian, Marin Cilic
August 6, 2010 Legg Mason Classic: The Big Bounce - Xavier Malisse, Tomas Berdych, Marcos Baghdatis, Fernandos Verdasco, David Nalbandian, Gilles Simon, Marin Cilic, Janko Tipsarevic
August 5, 2010 Legg Mason Classic: Xavier Malisse, John Isner, Fernando Verdasco, Ryan Sweeting, Tomas Berdych, Andrey Golubev
August 4, 2010 Legg Mason Classic: Heat on the Hard Courts of America - Marcos Baghdatis, Horacio Zeballos, Alejandro Falla, Lleyton Hewitt, Janko Tipsarevic, Sam Querrey
August 3, 2010 Legg Mason Classic: Returning To The Flock - Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Fernando Verdasco, Mike Bryan, Bob Bryan, Viktor Troicki, Michael Berrer, Grega Zemlja
August 2, 2010 Legg Mason Classic: Legg Mason Rocks the Creek - Ryan Sweeting, James Blake, David Nalbandian, Rajeev Ram, Illya Marchenko, Rainer Schuettler
 

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