Head-To-Head: First meeting
It was an intense weekend for Marcos. After losing his semi-final contest with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the If Stockholm Open on Saturday afternoon, the 27 year old received a phone call, while he was still in the locker room, to say that his wife, WTA player Karolina Sprem, was about to give birth to the couple’s first child.
Happily, a baby girl, Zahara Baghdatis was delivered by caesarean section shortly after at 3:30pm, weighing 2,960 grams and measuring 55 centimetres in length.
“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 Marcos. “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.’”
Marcos was forced to wait to meet baby Zahara. Having rushed to catch a flight from Stockholm airport on the Saturday night, he missed the connecting flight in Munich and had to spend the night in Germany before resuming his journey to Zagreb on the Sunday morning. “The worst was when my in-laws picked me up at the airport,” recalled Marcos. “It was so funny as I was sweating so much from excitement, anxiety and all these emotions.”
Remembering the first time he saw his wife and baby, Marcos said, “I saw Karolina first and gave her a big hug. All the emotions were going through my body all the time, all the adrenalin. Everything is good, ‘Zahy’ is slowly getting into a routine and Karolina is doing very well.
“Karolina chose her name,” continued the Cypriot. “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 look like me.”
“Honestly, this is the best year of my life,” said Marcos. “Having these two special people in my life, I truly feel like I am a lucky guy. That’s all I can say!”
After seeing the doctor on Tuesday, Marcos received the all clear on the small tear in his left groin that had caused him to retire in the match with Tsonga. He will resume training by Friday and play his final tournament of the season at next week’s BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.