Baghdatis just one away from final berth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Baghdatis just one away from final berth

By Guy Hand 26/01/2006 06:07:10 AM Comments (0)

It may be Australia Day, but there promises to be far more Greek and Cypriot flags flying at the Australian Open on Thursday night than the home nation's.

Tournament surprise packet Marcos Baghdatis and his football-like fan club take to centre court on Thursday night- Baghdatis just one match away from a spot in the men's singles final.

Unseeded Baghdatis, from Cyprus, takes on No.4 seed David Nalbandian in the semi-final on Thursday night after belting second seed Andy Roddick out of the tournament in the quarter-finals.

The 20-year-old has become the feel-good story of the Open, with his colourful entourage toting Greek soccer scarves and various Hellenic flags making their presence felt at Melbourne Park.

Meanwhile, Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne get the opportunity to set up a repeat of their 2004 Open women's final in their semi-finals on Thursday.

Clijsters on Wednesday crowned her remarkable comeback from career-threatening wrist surgery with a three-set quarter-final win over Martina Hingis to regain the world No.1 ranking and a semi against Amelie Mauresmo.

Victory over the French third seed would propel the 22-year-old US Open champion into her second straight grand slam final where she could face Henin-Hardenne.

Henin-Hardenne plays Russian fourth seed Maria Sharapova.

Australian Paul Hanley and doubles partner Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe play their men's doubles semi-final against top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States.

Hanley is also due to partner Samantha Stosur in the mixed doubles against Americans Mike Bryan and Corina Morariu.

Hingis, whose singles comeback faltered, returns to centre court on Thursday when she partners India's Mahesh Bhupathi in the mixed doubles against Australian duo Todd Perry and Rennae Stubbs.

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