Archive for the 'Michael Llodra' Category


Del Potro wins his 10th ATP title in Marseille.

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Juan Martin Del Potro won his 10th career ATP title  with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Frenchman Michael Llodra in the final of the Open 13 in Marseille. The fourth seed conceded only 13 points on serve as he swept aside the home crowd’s favourite, firing down 11 aces against the 2010 champion. Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion and now rebuilding his career afrer injury, broke once in each set and did not face a break point on his way to victory in just 82 minutes. Del Potro briefly wobbled at 0-30 down when serving for the match, but closed out the victory when Llodra netted a forehand. The world number 10 is now looking further up the rankings.

“When you win a title, it’s special,” he said. “You really have to celebrate it. I think I am getting closer to the best players in the world. I’m in the top 10 now. I beat (Tomas) Berdych last week and (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga this week. “If I keep working, staying at this level, step by step, I’ll get closer to the top players.” The beaten Llodra, who had not dropped his serve in the previous two rounds, said: “Juan Martin played a great match and didn’t give me any opportunities on his serve. “He was impresive on his serve. I was a bit less strong with the most important parts of my game like my serve and my volley. He served well and we know the quality of his ground strokes so there wasn’t much I could do. Therefore, I don’t have any regrets. He was just better than me.”


Djokovic looking to make it three in a row in Dubai.

Novak Djokovic began his bid for a third straight Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title, beating world no.27 Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-3 in 63 minutes in the first round of the ATP World Tour 500 event.

Two breaks in the first and a break in the second set were enough for Nole to defeat the Frenchman for the second time in their three meetings. Novak hit 4 aces to Llodra’s 1, and made 1 double fault. The Serb converted 3 of his 4 break point opportunities, while the Frenchman didn’t use any of his 3 chances for break. Djokovic won 61 points to Llodra’s 42.

The world no.3 will next play against the winner of the match between Spaniard Feliciano Lopez and Tawainese Yen-Hsun Lu.


France unchanged for the Davis Cup final against Serbia.

Forget named a squad of Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Michael Llodra, Arnaud Clement and Richard Gasquet for the tie on December 3 to 5, though that group will have to be cut down to four by December 2. Gasquet did not feature in the semi-final against Argentina. “I selected four players in Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement, but I put Richard Gasquet in the group because for a meeting of this importance it seems essential to prepare five players,” Forget told French sports daily L’Equipe.

In the semi-final, which France won 5-0, the opening singles rubbers were played by Monfils and Llodra, who teamed up with Clement for the doubles. The dead-rubber singles were played by Simon and Clement. In Serbia, France will be going for their 10th title and their first since 2001.


Soderling will face Llodra in the Paris Masters semifinal.

Robin Soderling eased into the semi-finals of the Paris Masters with a straight-sets win over Andy Roddick.

The fourth seed had eight break points during the match, but two proved enough as he overcame the eighth-seeded American 7-5 6-4.

Soderling will next face home favourite Michael Llodra, whose remarkable run in Paris continued with a dominant display against Nikolay Davydenko.

Unseeded Llodra, who knocked out defending champion Novak Djokovic in the last eight, broke the Russian 10th seed four times as he recorded a 7-5 6-1 victory in one hour and 15 minutes.


Verdasco, Berdych and Roddick need points in Paris!

Richard Gasquet set up a second-round meeting with world number two Roger Federer with a win over fellow countryman Nicolas Mahut in the Paris Masters on Monday night. The 24-year-old, a former world number seven, needed all three sets to get past his compatriot, eventually prevailing 7-5 4-6 7-6 (9/7). He must now face Federer, fresh from his Swiss Indoors win over Novak Djokovic, in the next round on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the crowd had seen two more of their own secure their passage through as Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra both won their games. Clement progressed after prevailing in a three-setter with Spain’s Feliciano Lopez. He did so despite Lopez sending down 30 aces, and losing the first set, with Lopez winning a tie break 10-8. Clement hit back to take the second set on a tie break of his own, and the 32-year-old closed out the victory with a 6-3 win in the third, to take the match 6-7 (8/10) 7-6 (9/7) 6-3. He will meet another Spaniard, the sixth seed Fernando Verdasco, in the next round.

Llodra, the world number 34, was thoroughly impressive in his despatching of Italian Potito Starace, dropping just five games as he ran out a 6-4 6-1 victor. “It was quite good for my confidence to win,” said Llodra afterwards.

“Since the surface is quite fast, we need to get accustomed to it. So in the beginning I wasn’t doing so well, but after I understood that playing slice shots was quite efficient.” Llodra will now face John Isner in the second round.

Another winner was world number 63 Jarkko Nieminen, with the Finn getting the better of Xavier Malisse, 24 places ahead of him, 6-4 6-3 to set up a clash with number eight seed Andy Roddick.

Spaniard David Ferrer, who won the Valencia Open on Sunday and is on the brink of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals in London, lies in wait for Italy’s Fabio Fognini, the qualifier who beat Michael Berrer 7-5 3-6 6-4.

The number 12 seed Gael Monfils will come up against Benjamin Becker after he saw off Denis Istomin 6-4 6-4 and Radek Stepanek had little trouble in brushing past Michael Russell 6-0 6-2 to put himself up against Nicolas Almagro.

Santiago Giraldo of Colombia also earned himself a place in the second round, beating Thiemo de Bakker to set up a contest with Jurgen Melzer. In the day’s final game, Federer’s compatriot, Stanislas Wawrinka, saw off the challenge of another home player, Josselin Ouanna, 6-3 7-5.


Monfils and Llodra put France ahead 2-0.

France’s Gael Monfils continued in Lyon where he left off in New York, defeating Argentina’s David Nalbandian 64 26 64 63 in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas semifinal clash in Lyon.

Monfils reached the quarterfinals at the US Open last week and his victory over Davis Cup stalwart Nalbandian has left the visitors with a mountain to climb over the course of the weekend.

Earlier in the day, Michael Llodra put his first set nerves to one side to give France the first point against Argentina.

It took three hours 22 minutes, but Llodra finally closed out a 75 46 75 63 victory over Juan Monaco, finishing the match with a blistering ace.

Monaco jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set and was producing solid returns, but in the eighth game Llodra struck back and broke to level the score. The crowd went crazy with excitement and then when Llodra broke in the 12th game to clinch the first set the noise created was deafening. The flawless forehand Llodra struck down the line saw the fans erupt with joy.

“I knew I had to stay focused and play my game,” Llodra said. “In the end, you know, it’s tennis and anything can happen in Davis Cup. I eventually saved all the break points on my serve. It was a good match today. That’s one point, two to go.”

The match still had a long way to go with Monaco winning the second set after breaking serve in the fifth game. And like Llodra in the first set, the Argentine hit a forehand winner on his first set point to level the match.

The third set created more see-saw tennis and, at 57 minutes, was the longest. Late in the set, Llodra stretched for a forehand mid-court and lost his footing. There was an air of concern as Llodra clutched his right ankle, but he was soon up and about.

Monaco survived break points in the tenth game but two games later Llodra made no mistake. He broke the Argentine on the third break point and that gave him the set as he directed a forehand deep to Monaco who then sent the ball wide. Llodra leapt sky high and punched the air and the crowd went ballistic.

Tomorrow’s doubles rubber takes on even more critical status – a loss for the visitors means they exit the competition, whilst a win for the hosts seals their place in the Davis Cup final for the first time since 2002.


Monfils heads up French team in Friday’s Davis Cup.

France hosts Argentina in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals on 17-19 September with a place in the final against either Serbia or Czech Republic at stake.

Gael Monfils leads the French team in the absence of the injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who misses out for the second straight tie with a recurring knee injury.

Monfils has jumped to No. 15 in the world rankings after reaching the US Open quarterfinals last week when he lost to eventual runner-up Novak Djokovic.

“For an emotional player like me to play in Davis Cup is just something unbelievable,” said Monfils, who made his debut in last year’s World Group play-offs against Netherlands.

“You’re not playing for yourself, you’re playing for your flag. You have your whole country behind you, an unbelievable crowd, your friends on the side, your captain on the chair. There’s a different spirit.”

The 24 year-old, who is unbeaten in Davis Cup play this year, is joined by Michael Llodra, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon, while Julien Benneteau is also absent through injury.

Llodra found himself playing singles and doubles in France’s quarterfinal whitewash over defending champions Spain, and he may be called upon to play a similar role in this tie.

Argentina is once again hoping for a match-winning performance from its talisman David Nalbandian. The experienced 28 year-old has won the deciding fifth rubber in both his team’s 3-2 victories this year, away in Sweden and Russia.


French duo wins the doubles to eliminate Spain.

France booked a place in the Davis Cup World Group semifinals at the expense of the defending champions Spain.

Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau clinched the vital point by defeating the experienced duo of Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez in a decisive doubles rubber, 61 62 67(6) 76(5).

Despite an impressive Davis Cup doubles record together, Verdasco and Lopez were unable to maintain Spain’s bid to win its third successive Davis Cup title, a feat that was last achieved by USA in the early 1970s.

On Friday, Gael Monfils overcame a strong David Ferrer fight-back in the opening rubber, eventually prevailing 76(3) 62 46 57 64 after nearly four hours on court. Llodra then defeated Verdasco 67(5) 64 63 76(2) to put France firmly in the driving seat, before Llodra teamed up with Benneteau to seal a famous victory.

It was an historic win for the French, who hadn’t defeated their European neighbours since 1923.

Argentina have taken a 2-1 lead over Russia in their quarter-final tie after Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos beat Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Kunitsyn 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 6-7 (3-5) 6-1.

Argentina captain Tito Vazquez made the decision to rest David Nalbandian, and the move paid off.

Russia’s chances of fighting back will be further hampered with Davydenko now doubtful to play after another rough day.

Serbia hold a 2-1 lead over Croatia after Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic defeated Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig 6-3 6-2 6-4, meaning Serbia need only one more point to secure a first ever trip to the semi-finals.


Defending champs go down 2-0 to French!

French No. 1 Gael Monfils staved off an incredible fightback from Spain’s David Ferrer to win the opening rubber in Clermont-Ferrand 76 62 46 57 64 and give France the 1-0 advantage.

Spain’s No. 1 Fernando Verdasco was outplayed in the second rubber by serve and volleyer Michael Llodra to put the two-time defending champion’s deep in a hole. Llodra defeated Verdasco in four sets after losing the first in a tie breaker.

Both Monfils and Ferrer have impressive five-set records and although early on the Frenchman looked the more tired of the two, he made the most of the courtside support and 6,000 fans inside the Grande Halle d’Auvergne to end Ferrer’s eight-match winning streak in Davis Cup and improve his career five-set record to 6-2.

Monfils credited his captain Guy Forget after the match, who kept Monfils mentally in the game by consistently telling the 23-year-old to play “like a boxer”.

It is an encouraging start to France’s campaign to defeat Spain for the first time in Davis Cup since 1923.


Llodra wins his 4th.ATP title in Marseille.

Michael Llodra powered to his fourth ATP career title with victory over fellow Frenchman and doubles partner Julien Benneteau in the Open 13 final.

Llodra, a runner-up at the event in 2009, never looked in danger on his own serve and cruised to a 6-3 6-4 victory in Marseille.

The world number 79 created only two break points in the match and converted both to win in an hour and 10 minutes.

Llodra fired down 14 aces, including one on his first match point, and afterwards spoke of his delight to have avenged his defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year.

“I had set myself one aim this year and that was to win a tournament in France at last. I’m proud,” said Llodra, who won his previous titles in Hertogenbosch, Rotterdam and Adelaide.

Eighth-seeded Benneteau battled for almost three hours to beat defending champion Tsonga in the semi-finals on Saturday but he refused to blame Sunday’s loss on fatigue.

“My previous matches have been tough and long but that is not the reason why I lost. I lost because of Michael Llodra. I can only say ‘hats off to him’ as he served extremely well. I’ve had no break points,” Benneteau, 28, told Sport+.

“It’s tough to end a tournament this way but I couldn’t do anything,” the world number 39, who has yet to win an ATP title, added.

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