Marcos Baghdatis has played some of his best tennis at the Australian Open over the years, but he could not find a way through the brick wall that is Spaniard David Ferrer in a 6-4 6-2 6-3 defeat in the third round on Friday night.
Baghdatis was never really in the contest, except for a brief period in the first set when he came from a break down to even the score at 4-4. But as he almost always does, Ferrer pushed his foe back, rarely made mistakes, and simply ran the Cypriot off the court.
Ferrer broke Baghdatis to love to go up 5-4 when the 28th seed committed four straight unforced errors, and then won the set when Baghdatis erred on a forehand.
Baghdatis tried to dictate play by coming to the net whenever he had a reasonable opportunity and dictating with his backhand, but Ferrer has improved a great deal over the last few years, as his first serve is now a weapon, his forehand is heavier and he can take care of points at the net.
He easily won the second set by breaking Baghdatis to love when he ripped a backhand passing shot. He broke him early in the third set, and then finished the contest in style with an ace.
Ferrer, who reached the Australian Open semis in 2011, did not play brilliantly, but finished the contest with 25 winners and 30 unforced errors to just 16 winners and 42 unforced errors for Baghdatis.
“It was my best match of the week, I played solid,” Ferrer said.
“I felt good physically and I was strong.”
The fourth-seeded Ferrer will face 16th seed Kei Nishikori in the fourth round on Sunday.
“Well, it's a very difficult match,” Ferrer said.
“I will have to play very good for to beat him. I will have to play similar like tonight: consistent, solid. It's going to be a very physical match, no? Because he has a very good shots, very powered on all his shots. I will be fast in my legs.”