Baghdatis bids emotional farewell at Wimbledon

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Marcos Baghdatis expected to cry happy tears and he did just that after his retirement was confirmed on Thursday.

The 34-year-old Cypriot announced plans to call time on his 20-year career when his Wimbledon campaign ended.

He admitted before the tournament started that he would struggle to keep his emotions in check when that moment arrived, and it came on day four following a 6-1 7-6 (4) 6-3 defeat to Matteo Berrettini.

Baghdatis struggled to hold back the tears as he soaked up the applause from the crowd on Court Two after the match ended.

He also treated the fans, handing out tennis rackets and clothing, including his shoes, in an emotional goodbye.

Roger Federer, who beat Baghdatis in the 2006 Australian Open final, led the tributes.

He said: “I remember Marcos when I played him at the US Open in a night session match. He was still very young. He had super long hair. I don’t know, I think he took a set off me, too.

“You could see how good he could become because he had the speed, simple technique, forehand, backhand, which is always going to help you throughout the course of your career.

“He also had a winner mentality, liked the big stage. I think that’s also one of the reasons he did well here and also in Australia when the big matches came about.

“Off the court, he was always a lovely guy, always very funny, easygoing, good to be around with. So, yeah, I liked him on the court, off the court.

“I think for Cyprus, he did so much coming from such a small country and becoming, you know, a sporting superstar. I’m sure that was a big deal at home.

“You know, this is his last hurrah, but I hope he can go out in style, do it his way. He’s always been a joy to watch also for us players, so we’ll miss him once he retires.”

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