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Marcos Baghdatis (143-CYP) didn't quite take back the ship's helm in the second set last night at the Sony Open, but he did let Santiago Giraldo (65-COL) know he wasn't captain anymore.


It looked like heavy seas and strong winds for Baghdatis during the first leg (set) of this voyage and then he decided to right his ship and come back from 2-5 to win the second set.


Giraldo was hitting some well-paced nearly flat ground strokes that Baghdatis could have mostly covered in the first set, but he seemed to be a little flat on his feet and not quite engaged. I thought he was hanging out a little too much in his ad court or at least leaning toward it. One is not any better (or worse) than the other if that where one's mind and physical energy are focused - it's a disadvantage. I imagine he was expecting some cross-court backhand rallies, but Giraldo would abruptly halt such nonsense with a crisp backhand winner down the line.


I was pulling for Baghdatis, not for any other reason than I just like the guy. Oh, he has some very smooth strokes all around the court as well. He's hard not to like and if you don't even truly care, he's impossible to hate. His court demeanor is one of the best on the men's tour - he's composed, but loose and he's downright pleasant.


With the head tie, goatee and long hair pulled up, he reminds me of a pirate. Not the slovenly nasty type - more like a Capt. Jack Sparrow. He doesn't have snarling looks or fits of anger with himself when the going gets tough. He simply turns the ship and uses some other cannons. And when it works, you know it - that smile.


If you heard a good portion of the crowd last night pulling for Giraldo, you would have thought Baghdatis was taking on the Colombian Navy at times. Well, he pulled in just enough patrol boats from Cyprus to win the battle 7-5 in the third.


My ship was in the Mediterranean, off the coast Cyprus, with the potential to help evacuate some Marines and citizens from Lebanon. I can imagine Capt. Baghdatis, sailing from Cyprus, pulling his warship alongside ours, with a smile, and calling out, "Ahoy. We've got your back." Okay, good enough.


I didn't want to see Giraldo lose necessarily, it was just the necessary consequence of the Pleasant Pirate of Cyprus winning.


"Fair winds and following seas" to The Cap'n during this tournament and his career.

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