Baghdatis into Open 2nd round

2010-01-19 12:24

Melbourne - Unseeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis said he was fitter than ever after cruising into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The 2006 finalist here continued his good early season form by beating Italy's Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in just on two hours in front of some boisterous fans.

Baghdatis faces a testing second round match against 17th-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer.

Speaking after the win, he said the injuries that hindered him in 2008, and saw the former world number eight's ranking plummet to 100, were now behind him.

The 24-year-old, now ranked 31st, said he was in better shape than when he reached fourth round of the Australian Open last year.

"I can say much, much better," he said.

"Last six months I didn't have any injuries so I could work in the right way.

"I could build up my body, and I feel much fitter than last year."

The first round result followed on from Baghdatis' success in Sydney last week when he won the Medibank International to claim his fourth ATP title and build on his improved form late in 2009.

Baghdatis, who hit 31 winners against Lorenzi, has nine uncles and 20 cousins living in Australia and welcomed the vocal support he received from sections of the crowd.

"It feels like you're playing at home," he said.

"When the support is there it feels good, it does make a difference."