Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: For losing?
Q. No. For the runner-up, for the great play during the week.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Thank you.
Q. You were quite close in the first set and also in the second set. What was missing to bring the victory home finally?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I think just playing this level more often. I think that was the difference, you know. I mean, I think I was in control of the match until 3-2. Then I got broken twice.
And yeah. Then I think I played much better in the second set. I was more control of myself, and yeah, I found a way to get it to tiebreak, you know.
In the tiebreak, I mean, yeah, I think I was a bit unlucky there. Yeah, that was the difference. But I think more matches throughout the year at this level would make me go in there and believe from the beginning that I can win, you know, not wait three, four games and start believing, you know.
So I think that was the difference today. I mean, I can see a bit more experience from Stan playing at this level at these big tournaments. And, yeah.
Q. Must be very encouraging the whole week because you played very, very well and you’ve beaten three players inside the top 24.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah. I mean, I have been playing very well throughout last year, too. I think I had some great matches also last year.
I mean, like I said last year, I lost 11 times to the winner of the tournament, 3 times to the finalist of the tournament. This year I lost four matches. Three of them are to the winner of the tournaments. So I think I’m playing very good tennis. It’s just this week I think I was a bit lucky and I went through the quarterfinals and the semifinals, you know. I found my way to win. I think, like I said, more matches at this stage, at this level I think will make me improve. That’s what’s happening.
You know, I didn’t win the tournament this week but I won a lot more, you know. I won my confidence back.
I see — I mean, with my team we see the way to come back, you know. It’s a small light that we see, I mean, in the tunnel.
We come from a long way back. You know, I’m happy I’m back and playing this kind of tennis now. It’s just to continue improving, and, like I said, play at this level throughout the year.
Q. You talked about the fan support of the semifinals.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yes.
Q. Plenty of support in the final. How was the experience of playing in the final?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Ah, great. I think the atmosphere out there, no doubt one of the best I ever had. You know, I mean, every time I come here in Dubai there is a great atmosphere. Every time I play here in center court there is a great atmosphere.
So it wasn’t a surprise for me. Yeah, I mean, I love playing here. I want to thank all the people that came out here today and performed that atmosphere.
Q. How big of a factor was the nerves today, especially in the first set? You seemed to struggle a bit with the ball toss.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Yeah, I mean, nerves for sure. You know, before the final, I didn’t play at this level — I mean, he’s No. 4 in the world. He’s playing at this level for a long time.
I mean, it’s not the same, you know, facing a guy who beat the top 4 and he is the top 4. So, yeah, a lot of things go through your mind the night before and day of the match. It’s not that you don’t believe but all these things goes through, and you go into the match and then you see a way, I’m 3-2 up, I’m serving, like I’m a break up.
So a lot of things go through your mind. Like I said, I think I need to play more at this level so I can start, you know, controlling my nerves and my serve from the beginning of the matches.
Q. You’re already back in the top 40. You’re close to the goal you set this year. Do you think you will set a higher goal?
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: No, I think I’m not yet to my goal. I don’t think I will change that. I think I will continue working the way I’m working. I want to be a better player, better person than I was yesterday. That’s what I’m going to try to do.
I mean, right now I’m not at my goal, so I won’t change anything right now.