Friday, August 5, 2011

Young beats Baghdatis to reach Washington semifinal

Young beats Baghdatis to reach Washington semifinal

Donald Young defeated Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 7-6 to advance to the semifinal at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washing where he will meet Radek Stepanek, who eliminated Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-4.

“He’s very talented, but it’s a tough world out there,” 2006 Australian Open finalist Baghdatis said. “You have to keep on working. You have to stay with your feet on the ground and keep on working hard and fighting.”

Young played aggressively Friday, looking for openings to rush to the net, where he won the point on 12 of 18 trips.

He won 10 consecutive points early in the first set to grab a 4-1 lead. Baghdatis lacked his usual verve—perhaps a result of being forced to play a pair of three-set matches Thursday—and put only 38 percent of his first serves in play.

“It’s not an excuse, but yeah, for sure, playing six sets yesterday was a tough day. I wasn’t 100 percent ready today,” said Baghdatis, the runner-up in Washington last year. “He played smart. He knew that I was a bit tired. … My hands were a bit tight. I couldn’t just hit the ball the way I was hitting it yesterday.”

Young closed the opening set strongly, serving it out with the help of his only two aces, including one that caught a line on the last point.

Baghdatis picked up his game considerably at the beginning of the second set. He won the first eight points, capped by an inside-out forehand winner that broke Young at love, en route to a 3-0 advantage.

Young, though, got back into the set, shortly after slapping a forehand into the net and admonishing himself by yelling, “Hit it!” Two points later, he broke Baghdatis by smacking a forehand winner down the line, then pumped his fists.

That was part of a four-game run by Young to go ahead 4-3, before Baghdatis broke back for 4-all.

Ahead 6-5, Baghdatis held three set points on Young’s serve—and thought that might have been a turning point.

“You never know. He’s a young kid. Maybe mentally he would give up a bit, just put his head down,” Baghdatis said. “But he didn’t give up.”

Indeed, Young saved all three of those set points. And in the tiebreaker, he won the final three.

Article from AP