The greatest living Cypriot tennis player,
Marcus Baghdatis, has beaten Lleyton Hewitt overnight to reach the semi-finals
at Wimbledon.

The surprise Australian Open finalist,
seeded 18th at Wimbledon, has rediscovered his magic touch and was
too good for Hewitt, winning in four sets, 6-1 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Big Occasion Baghdatis has timed his run beautifully
after spending months in the doldrums after his amazing Australian success in
January. Having suffered several injuries and indifferent form, his
self-confidence seemed to wane but suddenly, on unfamiliar grass, he’s back.

Such was the former junior world number one’s
performance today that he led 6-1, 3-0 before Hewitt, a former Wimbledon champion, had worked
out which end of the racquet to grip.

Hewitt being Hewitt, he fought back to take
that second set, but when the Australian lost the third set in a tie-break, it
all slid away.

“It’s amazing for me,” Baghdatis told BBC Sport. “Everything has happened
so fast for me. It’s just unbelievable emotions and I hope I can keep it
going.”

“It didn’t happen out there,” said Hewitt.

Baghdatis now plays the winner of the
quarter-final between French Open champion Rafael Nadal and Jarkko
Nieminen, which was suspended until tomorrow. No matter what happens, this
fortnight’s run goes close to matching the Bag Man’s heroics at Melbourne Park.
Baghdatis is only playing his second Wimbledon and
lost in the first round last year.

In the other men’s quarters overnight, top
seed Roger Federer was masterful in beating Mario Ancic, 6-4 6-4 6-4, and will
now be surprised to find he’s scheduled to face Swedish veteran Jonas Bjorkman
in the last four. The 34-year-old Bjorkman outlastedCzech Radek Stepanek, boyfriend of Martina Hingis, in an epic
thriller, 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.

Peter Fray

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