ROTTERDAM – Marcos Baghdatis cruised through to the second round of the Rotterdam Open on Wednesday after his opponent, France’s Benoit Paire, retired with the Cypriot tennis star well out of sight.
Baghdatis had been leading 6-0, 6-7(3), 4-0 when Paire was forced to retire the match citing illness. He will now face another Frenchman and fourth-seed Richard Gasquet, who had previously dispatched Viktor Troicki in straight sets.
Although Gasquet is currently on form this year, Baghdatis will take heart from the fact that he managed to beat him in their last two meetings - last year’s London 2012 Olympics and in the 2010 Sydney ATP final.
Earlier in the tournament, Baghdatis and Grigor Dimitrov lost their first-round doubles match falling to Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek 7-6(4), 6-1 in 70 minutes. The Cypriot/Bulgarian duo hit ten aces, but only converted one of their seven break point chances, while dropping their own serve three times.