I bumped into Marcos Baghdadis on a flight from Melbourne to Doha. He had lost a tight second round match in the Australian Open to Rublev.

I remember seeing Marcos in 1999 when he played in the ITF- funded east European development championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. To everyone’s surprise we saw a player from Cyprus beating all the top East European Juniors. He was then selected as a member of the ITF Junior teams and went on to become a top 10 ranked player and runner up at the 2006 Australian Open singles.

Also on the flight was Malek Jaziri from Tunisia who also lost a tight second round march to Giles Mullet. It’s really an indictment on Irish tennis that Cyprus and Tunisia have top male and female players and Ireland struggles to produce players and are not represented at this year’s Australian Open.