Baghdatis targets Nalbandian scalp in Washington final

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Marcos Baghdatis enters tonight’s Legg Mason Classic final against David Nalbandian as the 9/4 underdog to win, but the Cypriot is used to battling against the odds.

Baghdatis overcame Xavier Malisse in Saturday’s semi-final despite injuring his ankle in the second set, and his determination will again be crucial to his hopes in the final.

Having called an injury time out, Baghdatis held his nerve to beat Malisse 6-2 7-6, and another straight sets win against Nalbandian is priced at 9/2.

“It looked fine at the end and I was moving pretty good. Hopefully I won’t have pain and it will be fine for the final,” Baghdatis said of his ankle after beating Malisse.

Nalbandian was in ominous form as he dismissed Marin Cilic 6-2 6-2 in the other semi-final, and the Argentine is priced at 10/11 to beat Baghdatis in two sets.

As the 1/3 favourite, Nalbandian will be confident of becoming the second successive Argentine to win the Legg Mason Classic, following Juan Martin Del Potro’s win last year.

And with 10 career titles to his name, Nalbandian is a player of vast big-game experience.

There is, however, more than one reason to back Baghdatis.

In four meetings between the two players, Baghdatis has won three – two of which have been in straight sets.

The players’ respective world rankings also suggest that the Cypriot could win, as he is in 25th place in the world, compared to Nalbandian’s standing of 117th.

Baghdatis has already won an ATP Tour title this year in Sydney, and the powerful Cypriot could be well worth backing to clinch his second against Nalbandian in Washington tonight.

The last time the two players met, Baghdatis won in straight sets. He is 9/2 to do it again. See the full Nalbandian vs Baghdatis Match Betting Odds market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.