Marcos Bagdatis is through to the third round of the Australian Open after rallying from a set down to defeat Japan’s Tatsuma Ito 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Baghdatis admitted he was concerned about the amount of energy he was expending on court after his five-set win in the first round, but aggressive tennis against Ito saw him advance in two hours and 13 minutes.

“I was happy,” said Baghdatis, reflecting on his performance. “I think the last two sets were much better and more positive than the last match. I think towards the end, I started playing better and better. At the end of the match, I was a bit more aggressive, my ball was heavier than at the beginning. I actually pushed him back, didn’t let him take control of the points. That was very pleasing.”

He will face fourth seed David Ferrer on Friday, after the Spaniard also needed four sets to defeat Tim Smyczek.

After his marathon four hour first round match, Baghdatis was keen to keep the match short and tight.

“The good thing today is I didn’t spend too much time on court. Before the match I was worried that I didn’t want this match to go long. I’m really happy it didn’t. They were four short sets,” he said.

Baghdatis gets what feels likes a home crowd behind him every time he’s in Melbourne, which he says he’s so grateful for, and definitely contributes to his game.

“The fans and the people here give me so much positive energy. They help me a lot to come through tough matches like the last two. That’s the reason I do so well here.”

In Ferrer, Baghdatis faces his biggest challenge of the season so far. The World No. 4 had a career-best season in 2012, leading the ATP World Tour with 76 match wins and seven titles. Baghdatis has beaten the Spaniard only once before, in
Melbourne coincidentally three years ago.

Before Friday’s contest with Ferrer, Baghdatis will team up with Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in doubles. They face Matt Ebden and Ryan Harrison in the first round on Thursday.

The match against Ferrer is scheduled last in the Margaret Court Arena day session, with play beginning at 11am.