Marcos Baghdatis continued his fine form by defeating Andorra’s Jean-Baptiste Poux-Gautier to win his 34th consecutive Davis Cup rubber, and end Bjorn Borg’s longstanding achievement. The Cypriot recently reached the Dubai final, where he was narrowly defeated by Stan Wawrinka. Baghdatis has continued to make 2016 a year to remember by setting this new record.
Baghdatis Sets New Davis Cup Record
Former World number eight Marcos Baghdatis has become the holder of the most consecutive wins in Davis Cup singles rubbers. He cruised past Jean-Baptiste Poux-Gautier in straight sets. The 30-year-old required only 56 minutes to see off the unheralded Andorran and secure not only Bjorn Bjorg’s record, but a second win in two for his country in Group III action.
Baghdatis started his stunning run back in 2003, when he lost to Georgian Irakli Labadze as just a teenager on the tour. Since then, he has led Cyprus in 25 ties and his record include wins over Malek Jaziri, Blaz Kavcic and twice defeating recently-retired Finn Jarkko Nieminen. Only once in his 34 victories has he needed five sets. That lone occasion surprisingly came against Irishman Louk Sorensen back in 2009. His wins have only come in Groups II and III, but the record cannot be matched by any other player in Davis Cup history. Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are the active players nearest to chasing him down.
Still Work To Do Over The Weekend
The Cypriot has a chance to further extend his record, as his side takes on Montenegro tomorrow in Tallin. The winner of the tie will win Pool C and advance to the play-off round to determine which two nations progress to Group II in 2017. He got nearer to the record after comfortably beating Birkir Gunnarsson in another match just under an hour in duration. It is likely that he will complete a 35th consecutive victory against Montenegro, with their best ranked player all the way down at number 627. It would not be surprising to see Baghdatis reach 50 wins in a row in the coming years, dependent on how far Cyprus can progress up the Davis Cup ladder.
His Recent Form Has Been Impressive
It comes as no surprise that Baghdatis has broken the record, given his strong form shown in 2016. In recent years, injury has affected any momentum gained, but a strong start to the season has reminded everyone of his potential. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga proved too much in the opening round at the Australian Open. He would then make the quarterfinals in Montpellier and a second round exit in Rotterdam, despite stunning David Goffin in three tight sets. His run to the final in Dubai included wins over Viktor Troicki and Feliciano Lopez, before Wawrinka won an exciting battle in straight sets.
Next up is Indian Wells, with Miami likely to follow in back-to-back Masters 1000 events coming in quick succession. His clay season will begin at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston in early April.