What makes Marcos Baghdatis so good?

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Well, I've seen Baghdatis' last three matches and I still can't seem to pinpoint exactly what makes this guy so good and able to beat top ranked players? Yes, he's got a pretty good serve and pretty good groundies but he'll also often hit tons of first serves into the middle of the net or make unforced errors on relatively easy shots. He also rarely attacks the net even though sometimes he's given the opportunity to do so on a silver platter. Most of his shots also don't seem to be hit with a ton of pace nor spin, like Federer's. Thus, his game is sort of an enigma to me. :confused:

With Federer, for example, you can clearly point out what makes him so good. Incredible forehand, great backhand, lots of variety, all-court game, good volleyer, excellent serve, incredible footwork and movement, use of lots of spin, great court sense and anticipation, etc., etc. With Baghdatis, it's not as easy to figure out.

Any ideas?

(BTW, some people here have called Baghdatis, the new Marcelo Rios. That may be true, because to tell you the truth, I could never figure out what made Rios so good and able to beat the top players and become #1, either. :confused: So maybe it's the same with Baghdatis?)
 

@wright

Hall of Fame
I guess he's somewhat like a Rios with less mystique and not quite as much artistry. I think his game just isn't as natural and sublime as Rios, not to take anything from Marcos. On to his strengths: he fights for the point and usually doesn't seem to get mentally tired in tough situations (like 5 set matches he is 6-0 - that is BIG, and comebacks), he is fast and has incredible on the run shots. His serve is big enough to get some free points, he out-aced Roddick and got many of Roddick's bombs back in play (which bring us to his next strength). His return is great, it has to be almost on the Hewitt level. He is great at putting the short ball away, too. He can hit the ball relatively flat to hit penetrating winners from the baseline, unlike Roddick's slow, loopy blasts. I'm watching the Nalbo match again right now at work and I just saw him hit another clean return winner - can't overstress the return. He also mixes it up fairly well with varying spins and paces. I think I covered most of it except for his great court sense. That's where Rios comes in. I guess I'd describe him as a poor man's Federer - yeah, that's it!
 

ACE of Hearts

Bionic Poster
In all seriousness, i agree with the poor man's Fed, his forehand is pretty good, i will say its stronger then Roddick's forehand.I am sure the crowd will be pulling for him in the final.
 
R

rmsblue

Guest
Baghdatis is the next Grosjean. Pretty solid player good enough to go very deep in some slams but take out those thick legs (for chasing down shots and for umph on the serve) becomes a "mere" Top 30 pro.
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
rmsblue said:
Baghdatis is the next Grosjean. Pretty solid player good enough to go very deep in some slams but take out those thick legs (for chasing down shots and for umph on the serve) becomes a "mere" Top 30 pro.
He has already gotten farther than Grosjean ever has in a Grand Slam. I think he will have a much more successful career than Grosjean.
 

austro

Professional
What amazed me th emost when watching him play was his ability to play winners even when he was totally stretched and basically just retrieving. While almost at the floor, he would for example hit a BH dropshot just behind the net. If the other player would even get it, Bags would already be there for a flat DTL.

I think it is the combination of great control (a low number of UE), good serves, good imagination and anticipation together with his hunger to win and his endurance that make him so good. Also, he seems to choke the least of all the players, Fed excepted.
 

VolklVenom

Semi-Pro
he does have a solid serve/return and runs like hell, but he's greatest asset is his ability to absorb pressure.
He shows great maturity for a 20 yr old.
He talks to the crowd when facing defeat in the eyes; calms down his fans, truely amazing.
I've never seen anybody talk to the crowd like that. He just seems to shrug pressure aside.
At one stage he was facing a break point, only to smile and have a quick word to someone in the crowd.
He just goes out and has fun. What energy!
 

Shabazza

Legend
austro said:
What amazed me th emost when watching him play was his ability to play winners even when he was totally stretched and basically just retrieving. While almost at the floor, he would for example hit a BH dropshot just behind the net. If the other player would even get it, Bags would already be there for a flat DTL.

I think it is the combination of great control (a low number of UE), good serves, good imagination and anticipation together with his hunger to win and his endurance that make him so good. Also, he seems to choke the least of all the players, Fed excepted.
I second that!
+ as @wright mentioned, his superb return game
 

VolklVenom

Semi-Pro
when a play hits a dropshot at a critical phase of a game, that is nothing more than a fancy, cheeky shot, and loses the point, then that shows that he is really relaxed out there and totally unphased by the occasion.
Big components required in being the best.
 

GRANITECHIEF

Hall of Fame
MB's backhand looks very very similar to Agassi to me, he can even take it fairly early. His forehand is very explosive where he can generate super pace, like Fed. Combine that with a very good serve/return game and super foot speed and its not hard to see why he's in the finals.
 

VGP

Legend
From what I can tell, he just plays relatively clean aggressive tennis. He's got good court sense.

He serves good enough (although his 1st serve % hasn't been great), his second serve seems to be very heavy and not easily attackable. Plus he returns well.

He hits big enough off the ground. He's got good balance and a good transitional game from back to front. He shrinks the court. Plus his winners-unforced differential has been big in the positive of some of his matches (Federer-like numbers).

The biggest thing I can see is that he avoids the choke. When things get tight, he just plays great. Even I can feel the tension watching on tv, but Baghdatis comes up big on the important points. This tournament, he hasn't gotten down on himself even in long matches (6-0 in five setters now).
 

Shabazza

Legend
Moose Malloy said:
I know about the 3 five setters this week & the five setter at last year Aussie Open. I couldn't find the other 2 on the atp website, but found them at itf. Check out the scoring used in these davis cup matches from '01(not sure if they should count to his record)

Arnaud SEGODO (BEN) 3-5 5-4(7) 2-4 4-1 4-2
Noureddine MAHMOUDI (ALG) 5-3 4-1 1-4 1-4 4-2

http://www.itftennis.com/mens/players/activity.asp?player=30021121
It doesn't matter if they play "first to 4" or "first to 6", for me they are 5 setter and still count.
 

fastdunn

Legend
This guy is born with great court sense and natural foot work.

I don't think Federer's talents were that clear (except forehand)
when he broke out the scene. Federer also born with court sense
and magical hand.

I don't think Baghdatis(spelled right?) hits many handsy shots like
Federer often magically escapes pressured situation. But I think
Baghdatis is more athletic mover. Federer is astute mover with
unreal ability to anticipate. But I think Baghdatis' court movement
is more explosive and natural.

I have seen only couple of Baghdatis matches but I would expect
Baghdatis would hit better forehand than Federer when they are
on the run (when stretched pretty wide..)



BreakPoint said:
Well, I've seen Baghdatis' last three matches and I still can't seem to pinpoint exactly what makes this guy so good and able to beat top ranked players? Yes, he's got a pretty good serve and pretty good groundies but he'll also often hit tons of first serves into the middle of the net or make unforced errors on relatively easy shots. He also rarely attacks the net even though sometimes he's given the opportunity to do so on a silver platter. Most of his shots also don't seem to be hit with a ton of pace nor spin, like Federer's. Thus, his game is sort of an enigma to me. :confused:

With Federer, for example, you can clearly point out what makes him so good. Incredible forehand, great backhand, lots of variety, all-court game, good volleyer, excellent serve, incredible footwork and movement, use of lots of spin, great court sense and anticipation, etc., etc. With Baghdatis, it's not as easy to figure out.

Any ideas?

(BTW, some people here have called Baghdatis, the new Marcelo Rios. That may be true, because to tell you the truth, I could never figure out what made Rios so good and able to beat the top players and become #1, either. :confused: So maybe it's the same with Baghdatis?)
 

D-man

Banned
he's just seems really hyped up lots of mental energy but i'm not sure how long it will last after this slam
 

ohplease

Professional
fastdunn said:
This guy is born with great court sense and natural foot work.

I don't think Federer's talents were that clear (except forehand)
when he broke out the scene. Federer also born with court sense
and magical hand.

I don't think Baghdatis(spelled right?) hits many handsy shots like
Federer often magically escapes pressured situation. But I think
Baghdatis is more athletic mover. Federer is astute mover with
unreal ability to anticipate. But I think Baghdatis' court movement
is more explosive and natural.
Ding ding ding. Rios, Hingis, Marcos, Donald Young - and to a lesser extent Federer - all win with court sense.

If you can't figure out what these players do right, then you're probably placing WAY too much importance on strokes.
 

timmyboy

Professional
ACE of Hearts said:
What makes him so good is the wife he is banging every night:mrgreen:
i know! how'd an ugly guy like that hook up with such a hot chick?! but she's so unemotional though during match play. she just stares and rarely stands up and applauds. like Safin's girl.
 
Vanderwhosincrusinshaggin said:
What makes Marcos Baghdatis so good?

I think it's his beard that does it.
Yes, he's like Sampson...but down under.

Seriously though, to me it looks to be a case of comitting less unforced errors than the opponent. He can handle pressure. He is willing to sweat and bleed for a ball. And he has a killer backhand return. It worked on Roddick's big serves, it worked on Ljubo's big serves and it worked on Nalby's big serves.

But you got to give it to the guy. To be down 2-0 and win it takes serious guts! When was the last time anyone did something like that in a Grand Slam semifinal?!
 

dennis1188

Semi-Pro
Bags, has a good attitude (a good tennis role model),no excuses,honest enjoyment for the game, plenty of guts and of course the talent. BTW her amazing bright, blue/violet eyes, camille, doesn't seem to blink when on camera.
 

dmastous

Professional
I think I'd like to see him a few more months before I annoit him The Next Big Thing. Yes, he's had a fantastic tournament. He's beaten some very high quality players (Roddick detractors aside).
He has a very fluid game. I think the court sense is a good point and very important to his success this month. He also has very good hand-eye-coordination. His ability to hit amazing shots on the dead run is similar to Federer as well. But is he this good on a normal basis, or is he seeing the ball like a beach ball right now, and in a really good groove. Let's see if he can sustain this kind of play for a few tournaments. If he can he will be top 5. If not he will be top 50.
 
All this excitement over Marcos is good now, but give it a few months and if he doesn't do well in the next couple of Grand Slams everyone will rush to call him overhyped and his a AO success a mere fluke.

Hopefully, that won't happen, but unless Marcos continues to impress wherever he plays it seems inevitable. Shame.
 

Phil

Hall of Fame
He may just be having a nice run; the "new" guy who beats a couple top players and gets to the finals, generates some excitement, only to fall back, hard to reality. Think Nalbandian at Wimbledon and Blake and Ginepri last year, or Johansson a couple years ago at the USO.

I think that BECAUSE he doesn't have the big offensive weapons, and relys on speed and heart, that he'll NOT be the multiple Majors winner and GOAT that everyone around here, it seems, is predicting. This is the typical TW overenthusiasm for a new face-most of those faces fade real fast when they realize just what they're up against.
 

PM_

Professional
Baghdatis laid a trap and Nalbandian fell in it.
He did the same to Ljub and Roddick by luring them into a false sense of confidence and then raising the level of his game. If he played with the same intensity from the beginning of all those matches, then his opponents would have ingested enough time to adapt to his style and weapons.

Remember, he didn’t show the down the line BH he finished Roddick off with to Nalbandian until later into the match. His serve too.

Might have been a tactic his coach suggested him.
 

dmastous

Professional
PM_ said:
Baghdatis laid a trap and Nalbandian fell in it.
He did the same to Ljub and Roddick by luring them into a false sense of confidence and then raising the level of his game. If he played with the same intensity from the beginning of all those matches, then his opponents would have ingested enough time to adapt to his style and weapons.

Remember, he didn’t show the down the line BH he finished Roddick off with to Nalbandian until later into the match. His serve too.

Might have been a tactic his coach suggested him.
If this is the case then he will not last. Because players will no longer take him for granted when they get up on him. But this rope-a-dope thing is not the best way to approach a match. I wouldn't recommend it as a tactic.
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
he knows how to "play" the game and enjoys it in the process.

also, he has good hands and sense of the court.

this is enough in today's tennis, where many players are just heavy bashers.

but there are indeed some possible parallels with Federer and Rios ...
 

rfprse

Professional
Good shot maker + good court sense & game sense + free spirit at shot selection (without being a nut).
Now what's missing is a better fitness. I thought he couldn't come through this much with his fitness but it's a pleasant surprise.
I can't wait for the fun match with Federer.
 

fastdunn

Legend
Baghdatis's footwork seems to be underrated.
It looks somewhat laid-back but his is prime example of natural
footwork of someone who is born with...
 

PM_

Professional
I think you would call Baghdatis a "hustler" in today's times.
The heavy breathing, crouching down, looking up and questioning the heavens in act of hopelessness-he got everyone.

He's a boxer who saved his best for last.
Remember Nalbandian as he rolled into the third. He was on such a high. He thought he waltzing into the finals, and each time he went up a break or two, Bags quietly closed the gap. Made Nal feel like he was just hanging on.

Tell me, if this guy was so exhausted, where did all that energy come near the end all of a sudden? Was he thinking of the reward his girl would give him if he'd win-heck no! He was saving it in disguise.

But you're right dmastous. He won't be putting anyone on the next time.
Next time, Roddick and Nalbandian will seal the hatch and finish him off when they have the lead and it's bye bye Bags.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
PM_ said:
Baghdatis laid a trap and Nalbandian fell in it.
He did the same to Ljub and Roddick by luring them into a false sense of confidence and then raising the level of his game. If he played with the same intensity from the beginning of all those matches, then his opponents would have ingested enough time to adapt to his style and weapons.

Remember, he didn’t show the down the line BH he finished Roddick off with to Nalbandian until later into the match. His serve too.

Might have been a tactic his coach suggested him.
You may be right, PM. For the first couple of sets I was wondering why Bag kept hitting all of his backhands crosscourt when Nalby was standing in his ad corner and leaving a hole the size of Texas down the line? Nalby was just begging for him to hit one down the line which Bag just never did, however tempting it looked. That may have fooled Nalby into thinking that Bag didn't have that shot so played his game as if he didn't. Then later in the match, Bag brings out the DTL BH and catches Nalby flatfooted on the most critical points. Hmmm...maybe it WAS planned after all?

That gives me an idea. Perhaps I should try double faulting on all of my serves in the 1st set and then once my opponent sits down on the baseline and relaxes whenever I serve in the 2nd set, I can bring out the heater and ace him every time? Just might work. ;) LOL.
 

rfprse

Professional
hmm... hustler Baghdatis...interesting.
I thought he came to the match with a bad game plan (probably thinking that he could match Nalbadian's grinding with his own) or the occasion was just too big for him to play his game for the first two sets. Then after losing two he just let go and play more his own style.
But still interesting,... maybe you guys give him too much credit about his guile.
 
Another important factor is his die-hard fans. Surely when you have such wonderful support you could never just give up.

I've been told that the last time a player got such an enthusiastic (and so football-like) support from his fans was 30 years ago, when Adriano Panatta won Roland Garros and his Italian fans took over the stands shouting OLE! OLE! after every point.

Tennis needs some wild fans every now and then. It shouldn't be a country club sport. Get some blood sweat and tears into it i say!
 
The fear that if he loses he'll probably lose the hottest piece of a@@ he'll ever get! They don't get much hotter than her, anywhere!
 

PM_

Professional
BreakPoint said:
You may be right, PM. For the first couple of sets I was wondering why Bag kept hitting all of his backhands crosscourt when Nalby was standing in his ad corner and leaving a hole the size of Texas down the line? Nalby was just begging for him to hit one down the line which Bag just never did, however tempting it looked. That may have fooled Nalby into thinking that Bag didn't have that shot so played his game as if he didn't. Then later in the match, Bag brings out the DTL BH and catches Nalby flatfooted on the most critical points. Hmmm...maybe it WAS planned after all?

That gives me an idea. Perhaps I should try double faulting on all of my serves in the 1st set and then once my opponent sits down on the baseline and relaxes whenever I serve in the 2nd set, I can bring out the heater and ace him every time? Just might work. ;) LOL.
LOL that'd be funny but I'd don't think he'd have a seat.

Guys, think about it. When I saw Baghdatis in the first set he might have fooled me for a rec player if i didn't know who he was. His legs were straight and close together, there was no emotion even as his crowed continued their usual chants, he kept looking over at his coach and g/f in disbelief.
As he was trying to fool the world into believing he didn't have it that night.

And remember Nalbandian. How he just kept his composure after losing the third, then the fourth. He hinted at times he was gonna smash his racquet but he doesn't. B/c he was still believing Bags didn't have enough game to finish it. And then the dagger.

If there's any player that's shown to lose interest during a match, it's Federer. This final should be interesting if Bags should try to pull this crap again. But I think once he realizes the gig, Fed put a stop to the show!:cool:
 
Top