• Baghdatis hammers Gil in Roland Garros opener

    5/23/11 8:37 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Baghdatis hammers Gil in Roland Garros opener Marcos Baghdatis rolls over Frederico Gil in straight sets on Monday at the French Open. Baghdatis is through to a second-round clash against Leonardo Mayer.

    Marcos Baghdatis rediscovered his game just in time for the second Grand Slam of the year and he turned in a stellar performance out of almost nowhere on Monday. Baghdatis dismissed Frederico Gil 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 24 minutes to reach the second round of the French Open.

    A tight first set saw the two players exchange one break of serve each en route to a tiebreaker, at which point Baghdatis took control. Gil stayed within striking distance and was on serve trailing 4-5 in the decider, but two straight unforced errors sealed his first-set fate. Baghdatis capitalized on his first set point when his opponent struck an errant forehand volley.

    From there it was all Baghdatis, who could do no wrong throughout sets two and three. The world No. 29 had won only two of eight matches during the clay-court swing, but he looked like a different man against Gil. Baghdatis broke twice in the second and that allowed him to serve things out at 5-2.

    A reeling Gil lost his way immediately in set three, donating serve right away. Portugal's top player at No. 78 in the world could not recovered and he surrendered one more break before the finish line. Baghdatis finished off the proceedings on serve at 5-2 and clinched victory with an ace out wide that was called out but confirmed good by the mark.

    The Cypriot wrapped up his clean effort with 36 winners and 26 unforced errors while Gil recorded 32 winners against 35 mistakes. Next up for Baghdatis is Leonardo Mayer, a four-set winner over Dustin Brown.

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