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Retiring Baghdatis is expecting an emotional farewell

 

Right time: Marcos Baghdatis is glad he’ll retire at SW19
Right time: Marcos Baghdatis is glad he’ll retire at SW19

By Jonathan Veal

Marcos Baghdatis says Wimbledon is the perfect place for his retirement and knows there will be tears.

The Cypriot (34) has called time on his near 20-year career and will finish after his run at SW19 comes to an end.

Niggling injuries and his wife Karolina becoming pregnant with their third child have been the catalyst, as well as a slide down the rankings.

"It is about time for me. I feel that it has been a good ride, it has been hard for the last two years on the body and trying to get back to where I believe my level is," he said. "Unfortunately my body doesn't allow that.

"I am so grateful to be able to finish my career here. It is an honour for any tennis player to finish his career at this historical tournament."

Baghdatis, who reached the semis at the All England Club in 2006, begins his final campaign against Canadian Brayden Schnur today and it promises to be an emotional affair.

He has a special affinity with Wimbledon, with the 1992 men's final between Andre Agassi and Goran Ivanisevic being the first game he ever saw on television.

"It is a happy decision, it is not a sad one," he said. "Everything comes to an end, it has been four or five years, I have some problems with my hip, my ankle, my foot. It has been a few years.

"It came now and it came for me at the perfect moment and I am happy with that decision.

"It is my wife's favourite tournament, the first ever match I watched on television was Andre Agassi against Ivanisevic in the final in 1992. I was seven.

"There have been tears for the last two weeks. It is happy tears and I wish I could take all these fans with me, because they gave me something special."

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