15 Feb RAIN DELAY? NO SWEAT FOR THE CHAMPIONS TOUR PLAYERS
A year ago, Marcos Baghdatis likely would not have been hanging out in the media room while waiting out a weather delay prior to a scheduled match on the ATP Tour. Life on the ATP Champions Tour is not quite as tense, so there Baghdatis was Saturday afternoon just chilling in the media room, autographing posters and willing to grant a short interview before his scheduled debut match at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center. That never would have happened while he was playing on the main tour before retiring last year.
“It’s more relaxed,” said Baghdatis as he waited to take the court against James Blake on Day 2 of the Delray Beach Open Champions Tour event. “Talk to people, get some food, relax. . . . When I played (on the main Tour), you wanted to win no matter what. It was life or death. You would think all the time, you would be a bit more stressed about (a delay). Now, it’s more relaxed (on the Champions Tour).”
Baghdatis last appeared at the Delray Beach Open in 2014 and reached No. 8 in the ATP rankings in 2006. This is his first year competing on the Champions Tour.
“You want to play, you want to win. It’s competitive,” Baghdatis said. “But we don’t train as much as we used to. Just try to enjoy a friendly match.”
David Ferrer, who achieved a career-high No. 3 ranking on the ATP Tour in 2013 and is making his debut in Delray Beach after also retiring in 2019, agreed with Baghdatis.
“It’s different because we don’t have the same pressure,” said Ferrer, who took time to do an off-court TV interview while waiting out the weather delay. “For us, it’s fine.”