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Beyond the Baseline

Marcos Baghdatis is a daddy

Marcos Baghdatis baby photo (Facebook)

Congrats go out to Marcos Baghdatis and Karolina Sprem on the birth of a healthy baby girl, Zahara Baghdatis. By the looks of it, little 'Zahy' has her dad's dark mop of hair. Time will tell if she's got her dad's trademark smile, too. Baghdatis, who couldn't get back to Croatia in time for the birth, says Sprem chose the name.

"She liked it very much. The name is derived from the Greek word ‘zahari’, meaning ‘sugar’. I liked it too, and we even have a nickname for her, ‘Zahy’. Everybody says she looks like me."

Baghdatis had just lost his semifinal match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Stockholm when he got the call that Sprem was in labor.

"As I got to the lockers I picked up my phone to call Karolina, as she was going in the morning for a check up at the doctor," explained Baghdatis. "The phone was ringing and it was her sister. She told me, 'You are going to be a father today.' I was a little confused as Karolina wasn’t due to go in until Thursday, but she told me, 'She is in now.' So I told her I will arrange my tickets to get to Croatia.

"[Then] as I was walking up the stairs to say goodbye to the tournament staff and leave, I got a call and Karolina’s sister told me, 'You are a father.'"

After a mad dash through Europe and a missed connection in Munich, a sweaty Marcos finally made it back home to Croatia. He says mother and baby are doing great.

"Honestly, this is the best year of my life," said Baghdatis. "Having these two special people in my life, I truly feel like I am a lucky guy. That’s all I can say!"

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