Baghdatis downs in-form Bautista Agut at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

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Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis rolled back the years with some vintage tennis to advance through to the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The former Australian Open finalist got the better of in-form Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5 6-0 to set-up a potential meeting with World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the last four.

"Roberto's in great shape and great form, he's won two tournaments already this season. He is one of the most confident guys on the tour," the 30-year-old said.
"I knew it would be very tough physically and mentally and I think that's why I held strong in the first set because I knew beforehand that it would be tough. I'm very happy with the way I ended up playing in the second set."


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Wawrinka's personal pep talks help Swiss star reach quarter-finals in Dubai

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No.2 seed Stan Wawrinka has revealed he has been giving himself pep talks after travelling to Dubai alone but it hasn't stopped the Swiss star's progress through to the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The World No.4 made light work of Frank Skugor, winning in straight-sets, 7-5 6-1, to set-up a last eight meeting with German Philipp Kohlschreiber, with the pair having last met at the Madrid Masters in 2008.

"I've had texts to say congrats and good luck (from coach Magnus Norman). I talk to myself with my brain," the two-time Grand Slam winner joked in his post-match press conference.




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Lopez excited by 'great opportunity' to face Djokovic in Dubai quarter-finals

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Spaniard Lopez is hungry to face the World No.1 again.

Feliciano Lopez is not shying away from the challenge of facing World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals on Thursday as he explains it is a match he relishes being part of.

The Spanish No.6 seed is 0-7 against Djokovic head-to-head but he put together some of his best tennis to stretch the Serb to four sets at the US Open quarter-finals last year.

Lopez, a two-time Dubai runner-up, booked his place in the quarter-finals with a somewhat nervy 6-3, 7-6 (7) win over Czech power-hitter Lukas Rosol on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old lefty squandered seven of eight break points in the second set, and was down 0-3 in the tiebreak but recovered to record his 401st career match win.

“I think I started pretty well, the first set was good, I didn’t make many mistakes, I got the break and closed the set, saving one break point,” Lopez told Sport360 after his victory.

“Then in the second set there were a lot of opportunities for me, 0-40 and a few more break points, I had many break points and I couldn’t make it so that was getting me very tight. So I didn’t know what would have happened had I lost the second set. After being up in the scoreboard and after losing so many chances, my head was going nuts a little bit at that time. But luckily I made it in the tiebreak, I don’t know how.”

Djokovic, who is on a 17-match winning streak and is looking to reach a record-equalling 18th consecutive final, is undefeated this year. But Lopez is keen on trying to be the one to hand the Serb his first loss of 2016.

“I hope I have a beautiful match. I hope to have a big battle against him. It’s a great opportunity for me. I practice every day and I work very hard every day to play these matches so I’m really looking forward, to play that match,” said Lopez.

“I played some of my best tennis at the Open last year against Novak in the night session. I remember the match was very close and I had a few break points to go up a break in the fourth, but then he played very well in the tiebreak. I have great memories from that match, we played in Shanghai after that but he beat me easily, he was unbeatable by that time of the year.

“I just hope to be aggressive, be there, take my chances and… I’m so proud just to play against him, in a stadium like this, full of people, it’s a great opportunity.”

Later the same day, Lopez reached the doubles semi-finals alongside his good friend and compatriot Marc Lopez with a 6-4, 6-4 win over top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.

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