Nalbandian Defeats Baghdatis to Win Copa Puegeot Argentina

by John on December 21, 2009

The tennis year ended on a high note yesterday for Argentine David Nalbandian. Just seven months ago Nalbandian was hobbling around on crutches after undergoing season-ending hip surgery in early May. Last night the Cordoba native continued his remarkable comeback by defeating Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-4 to cap a busy day and hoist the Copa Peugeot Argentina championship trophy in Buenos Aires. A week ago the Argentine won a four-man event in San Juan. Earlier Sunday, Nalbandian lost a three-setter to Gaston Gaudio, a match postponed by heavy rain the day before. Still the Argentine advanced to the final by winning the most sets in his section of the round-robin format. The six-man exhibition, which Nalbandian has won twice before, also featured Fernando Gonzalez, Juan Monaco and Carlos Moya. Yesterday’s win had to be the most meaningful and significant of Nalbandian’s trio of championships. The Argentine played brilliantly at times, occasionally appeared a bit rusty, but never faltered when pressed by Baghdatis. Nalbandian broke Baghdatis to start the match and held until the sixth game when the Cypriot broke back to even the set at 3-3. The Argentine returned the favor immediately and then held twice to take the first set. Nalbandian looked to be getting tired at the start of the second set and lost serve to trail 0-2. Just as quickly, though, a refuse-to-lose mentality and second wind kicked in. The 27-year-old Argentine broke Baghdatis twice in a row to take a 3-2 lead and held the rest of the way to capture the set and match. Nalbandian posted a 2-1 record over the four-day event, while winning five of seven sets. The Argentine’s ground game was very impressive, his movement good, his serve still in need of some work after the long layoff. Most important, though, was Nalbandian felt no pain during or after his matches. The former World No. 3 returns to the tour on Jan. 11 in Auckland.

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