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Sunday September 23, 2012

Baghdatis not coming but top four seeds confirm entry

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Open ATP 250 Championship lost a few top players before it even began but the show is set to go on with the top four seeds confirming their presence.

At the draw ceremony at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, it was revealed that last year’s finalist Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, German Tommy Haas, Sam Querrey of America, Andreas Seppi (Italy) and Santiago Giraldo (Spain) have all pulled out.

Tournament director Nick Freyer was a relieved man on learning that top seed David Ferrer of Spain and second seed Argentina’s Juan Monaco will be competing.

Third seed Kei Nishikori of Japan and fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine are already in town.

“It happens all the time, at least three to five players will pull out from a tournament at the last minute. We’re lucky in a way that we didn’t lose our marquee players,” said Freyer.

“I was really sweating on Ferrer because he had a fantastic run in the US Open, making the last four and then he played in the Davis Cup semi-finals last week.

“That means he only had a week of rest and he was not supposed to show up here but he’s coming and that is great news for us.

“Monaco also played in the Davis Cup in Argentina but he’s also coming and should arrive by Monday.

“Baghdatis, on the other hand, wanted some time off after getting married recently while Querrey still has some problems with his shoulder injury.

“Still, we’ve got a great cast here and ticket sales are already up 30% so things are not looking too bad,” added Freyer.

Meanwhile, the draw appears to be favourable for Nishikori who avoided the in-form Ferrer in his half of the competition.

Crowd favourite Nishikori, who made the semi-finals here last year, will receive a first round bye and is expected to take on Spaniard Albert Ramos in the second round.


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