Baghdatis almost pulls off big upset

— -- There's something to be said for comfort and familiarity. A roaring fire, macaroni and cheese, obedient, loving Golden Retrievers -- these are a few of our favorite things.

Marcos Baghdatis, Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios all share a wonderful moment Down Under -- winning the Australian Open junior tournament. Baghadatis was the 2003 champion, Tomic won in 2008 and Kyrgios took the title in 2013. They've all done quite nicely for themselves, and there's a sense that Tomic and Kyrgios' best days are still ahead.

Baghdatis, on the other hand, is 29 years old and looking back on his better days that included a surprising Australian Open main-draw finals appearance in 2006. The colorful Cypriot lost to Roger Federer in four sets, and, even in retrospect, that doesn't stop him from believing -- especially in Melbourne.

Friday morning on Court 3, Baghdatis channeled his former, brilliant self and took the first set from No. 10 seed Grigor Dimitorv. Baghdatis was everywhere, tossing in winners at every turn and taking the set with a forceful service game at love. It was easy to forget that Baghdatis is the ATP World Tour's No. 78 player. When he won the third set, converting his eighth break point opportunity, Baghdatis seemed to be in charge.

But Dimitrov -- who is more famous for being Maria Sharapova's boyfriend -- showed some gumption and won a five-set match 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. The contest required 3 hours, 30 minutes.

"Marcos was playing extremely good tennis," Dimitrov said afterward. "At the same time early in the match I didn't go for my shots. Marcos, the crowd was for him. But at the end of the day, I kept the good composure, I won."

Bouchard advances

There was a lot of prematch hoopla, but No. 7 seed Eugenie Bouchard managed to handle Caroline Garcia of France.

The final was 7-5, 6-0, and the glaring error was Garcia's 38 unforced errors. Bouchard was down a service break in the first set, but rallied famously.

Bouchrd is on track to meet No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals.


No. 14 seed Sara Errani lost to Yanina Wickmayer 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. ... Unseeded Julia Goerges of Germany converted her fourth match point to defeat Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (6), 7-5. In the fourth round, she'll meet No. 10 seed Ekaterina Makarova who defeated No. 22 Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-4. ... No. 7 Tomas Berdych beat Viktor Troicki.. 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. ... No. 21 Shuai Peng took care of Yaroslava Shvedova, 7-6 (7), 6-3