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ATP Cincinnati Preview: Federer vs. Baghdatis

Hey may be the favorite, but Federer is going to have to play his top game.

Roger Federer is on the verge of a spot in the final, a victory away from a chance to defend his title.

Standing in his way is surprise semi-finalist Marcos Baghdatis, who arrives in the final four on the back of a giant-killing spree taking down Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal in succession.

Fed takes a convincing 6-1 head-to-head edge over Baggy into their clash. The six career meetings were notched by the Swiss between 2004 and 2008; the most memorable clash was their clash in the 2006 Australian Open final. Baggy took the first set before succumbing to Fed 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2.

Baghdatis stunned Federer this season when he won their encounter at the Indian Wells Masters 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(4). This gives Baggy the 1-0 edge on Federer in 2010.

On paper, Federer looks like the better bet. He looks like the player that should win this match. But things don’t always go according to paper.

Yesterday, Baghdatis entered his clash against Nadal trailing 0-6 lifetime !! /atp-masters-cincinnati-betting-nadal-vs-baghdatis_20686!!. And didn’t he finally get into the win column, beating Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.  

Nadal didn’t lose the match despite the fact that he wasn’t as sharp as he normally is and made an uncharacteristic amount of errors. Baghdatis won it off him. He won it off him plain and simple with some solid serving, patient groundstrokes and deft touches.

On paper, Baghdatis certainly doesn’t have Federer’s measure. He can have his measure today though if he plays anywhere nearly as consistently as he did against Nadal.

Keep in mind the Cypriot has a win over Federer this season, and that important win should send him into this match with more than just optimism.

Now this is Federer’s tournament to lose as he emerges the de facto favourite to win outright in the absence of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

Will he punch at his weight class or will Baggy out-punch him to the final.

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