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Exciting Baghdatis into Classic semis

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/01/2017 Ben Leahy

Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus celebrates after winning his match against Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic on day 11 of the ASB Classic. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus celebrates after winning his match against Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic on day 11 of the ASB Classic. Cypriot excitement machine Marcos Baghdatis has swept former champion Jiri Vesely aside in straight sets as the fan favourite marched into the ASB Classic semi-finals.

The No.8 seeded Baghdatis mixed his shots well on Thursday and was never challenged on his serve as he won 6-2 6-4.

Having started slowly in his last match at the ASB Classic, Baghdatis fired early against Vesely, breaking him twice to run away with the first set.

The 2015 champion Vesely by contrast could make no headway into Baghdatis' serve as he failed to bring up any break point opportunities during the match and was outgunned across the court.

Appearing to move freely as he volleyed well at the net, thirty-one-year-old Baghdatis showed few remnants from his horror run with knee, elbow and ankle problems in recent years.

Instead he closed out the second set and match with a convincing service game as Vesely played an unforced error into the net.

Now in Auckland for his third ASB Classic, Baghdatis is coming off a resurgent 2016 campaign and will head to the Australian Open confident.

While earlier in the week doubting he was ready to repeat his 2006 run to the Australian Open final, in which he lost to Roger Federer, he hopes to cause a few surprises.

But first he needs to concentrate on unfinished business in Auckland as he faces an in-form Portuguese world No.44 Joao Sousa in the semi finals.

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