AUGUST 8, by Paula Schumann
Even before the two finalists walked onto the court, chants of “Ole Ole David” could be heard from the highest seats in the Stadium Court, and the Argentine flags were waving. It appeared that we had a crowd favorite. 28 year old David Nalbandian (ARG), who is ranked 117th and came into the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on a wild card, was about to face Marcos Baghdatis (CYP), age 25 with a ranking of 25, in the singles final. Nalbandian’s ranking had dropped after not playing for nine months due to hip surgery, and being out again for two month
this summer with a hamstring injury.
After the obligatory photo ops and hand shaking, the coin was tossed and Baghdatis was the first to serve. It was broken and Nalbandian went on to serve and held for an early lead at 2-0. Both players continued to dazzle the crowd, Nalbandian with his whip-like forehands and Baghdatis with his adeptness at the net. Despite some double faults at key points, Nalbandian began to dictate play and finished off the set at 6-2 in 53 min. As people got up from their seats you could tell what everyone was thinking….this won’t last long.