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Archive for the ‘julien benneteau’ Category

Image is Everything: D Cup Quarter-finals

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Because nothing generates quite so much fantastic photoage as Davis Cup. You know it to be true.

sorry but ive to say i fcking won davis cup!omg

Pretty sure I could snap him like a twig. A twig.

Marin’s left arm makes a desperate bid for freedom.

Get the man a Big Mac, a big drink and a big vuvuzela.

“Did I leave the gas on …?”

This is not the face I’ve missed.

This is the face I’ve missed.

Put it away, Nole. Or I will come to Serbia and show you where to … never mind.

“Mr. President. What the hell.”

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned Serbian love huddle.

Eduardo Schwank looking in no way ridiculous.

Eduardo Schwank being no way ridiculous.

Kind of impossible to dislike Gael when he finds himself on this planet long enough to win a big match.

Tipsy wants a cuddle. No-one on this earth can blame him.

They shoot horses, don’t they?

Premature celebrating.

Yeah, Youzh better run.

Having beaten Spain at tennis, France take them on at the art of the manly hug. And win.

Have him caramelised and sent to my room.

Nole Major and Nole Minor.

Look who showed up to ‘help’.

“I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the woods …”

Kolya contemplates the many tragedies of life.

Shamil contemplates finding another job.

You’re not helping.

Homoerotic celebrations: must try harder.

Posted in david ferrer, david nalbandian, davis cup, eduardo schwank, gael monfils, gilles simon, horacio zeballos, igor andreev, ivan ljubicic, janko tipsarevic, julien benneteau, marin cilic, markko djokovic, michael llodra, mikhail youzhny, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

D Cup: France 5 – 0 Spain

Posted by gauloises1 on July 12, 2010

Bad news for Spain? Fairly comprehensive Davis Cup humiliation for the reigning champions. Good news for Spain? Pretty sure nobody in Spain noticed. Bad  news for France? None. They were awesome.

A fantastic team effort from Les Bleus, starting off with Gael Monfils playing the kind of tennis that makes him almost impossible to not warm to against David Ferrer for two sets on Friday. Then, being Gael Monfils, he was distracted by something shiny, and lost the next two.

It looked very much like Ferru, five-set Davis Cup warrior that he is, would pull off another amazing comeback, and in some ways he perhaps deserved to. He certainly put in around 90% of Spain’s effort this weekend. However, Gael raced ahead in the fifth and even Ferru breaking serve as Monfils served for the match couldn’t get it done.

I missed the Llodra-Verdasco match but I wasn’t completely surprised by the result; Llodra has put in some great Davis Cup performances (albeit in doubles), can drive any player to distraction on his day, and Verdasco has been having a torrid time of it lately. Still a huge upset win for Llodra, who at 30 seems to be playing some of his best tennis lately.

This set up a fairly mouthwatering doubles clash between Benneteau/Llodra and Lopez/Verdasco, both great doubles teams that have delivered for their countries in the past. For two and a half sets it wasn’t much of a contest, though, as Bendra came out absolutely on fire; energetic, aggressive and intense. By contrast, Verdasco at times seemed hardly in the match and his serve wasn’t making much of an impact (I’ve not been keeping up with the injury latest there, but it looked to me like something was up). A sudden and inspired fightback at 4-2 down in the third kept Spain in it and the fourth was closely contested, especially after Spain saved three break points on Lopez’s serve. Crucially, a double-fault from Verdasco gave France the lead in the tiebreak and Benneteau served it out. Then came one of the most gleeful celebrations I’ve ever seen.

This is why we stalk them at Queens.

Both teams appeared more than a little hungover for today’s dead rubbers, with Gilles Simon and Julien Benneteau defeating Nicolas Almagro and Feliciano Lopez in straights. But it’s kind of understandable, given that this is the first time since 1932 that France have beaten Spain in Davis Cup – and without their highest-ranked player in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, too. They will host Argentina in September and have a great chance of making it to the finals.

Hence the ritual jumping around in the showers.

As for Spain … well, they’ve won the last two. It’s only fair that someone else should have a go. I have to credit Ferru, though; not just because it felt like he was the only player who really showed up for this tie on that side, but because after the last dead rubber was done and the others exited as quickly as possibly, he stuck around to congratulate the French and sign autographs for the fans on his way out.

Pictured: class.

R1 – G.MONFILS (FRA) def. D.FERRER (ESP)
7-6(3)  6-2  4-6  5-7  6-4
R2 – M.LLODRA (FRA) def. F.VERDASCO (ESP)
6-7(5)  6-4  6-3  7-6(2)
R3 – J.BENNETEAU / M.LLODRA (FRA) def. F.LOPEZ / F.VERDASCO (ESP)
6-1  6-2  6-7(6)  7-6(5)
R4 – G.SIMON (FRA) def. N.ALMAGRO (ESP)
7-6(4)  7-6(7)
R5 – J.BENNETEAU (FRA) def. F.LOPEZ (ESP)
7-6(3)  6-4

Posted in david ferrer, davis cup, gael monfils, gilles simon, julien benneteau, michael llodra | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Wimbledon Manic Monday Preview: Gentlemen

Posted by gauloises1 on June 28, 2010

I’ve decided the best way to sum up Friday and Saturday’s action at Wimbledon is to look forward to Manic Monday, a.k.a. the greatest day of tennis in all the year, when the entire R16 – men and women – play on the same day.

Roger Federer v Jurgen Melzer

H2H: 0-0

Roger’s got his Wimbledon back on track with a straight sets victory over Arnaud Clement, a good match-up for him at the best of times. Jurgen Melzer toiled slightly more with a four-set win over Feliciano Lopez. Doubles partners in the juniors, these two have unbelievably never played on the senior tour. Melzer can be a tricky opponent and knocked out Novak Djokovic at the French Open, and Roger has obviously looked wobbly, but I reckon he’s found his feet now. Prediction: Roger in four.

Winner to meet …

Tomas Berdych v Daniel Brands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H2H: 0-0

Daniel Brands has, for me, been one of the surprises of the tournament; after beating Igor Andreev, Nikolay Davydenko, and Victor Hanescu (albeit in circumstances which bear examination, more on that later), he’s now through to the round of sixteen in his very first Wimbledon. And that’s not something that every bronzed sex god can pull out of the bag (I saw him at several points during Wimbledon, and he is.) He’s been excellent in tiebreaks and high-pressure situations, but Berdych certainly should be a bridge too far; he won his first two matches in straights and did get taken to five by Denis Istomin – but Istomin has been having some very good results of late. Definitely the hottest match of the day, anyway … Prediction: Berdych in three.

Novak Djokovic v Lleyton Hewitt

H2H: 3-1

Probably the most eagerly anticipated match-up of the day on the men’s side, what’s surprising to me is that Nole has won both of their previous meetings on grass; once at Queens in 2008, and once at this stage during Wimbledon in 2007. Since that time, however, Nole has been floundering – not least at Wimbledon – and Lleyton is arguably riding a great wave of confidence, coming off a win against Federer in Halle and a very decent Wimbledon last year. Everyone seems to be giving the edge to Hewitt, who’s had a good run including a straight sets defeat of Gael Monfils in the third round; Nole, on the other hand, seemed to make progress in his defeat of Taylor Dent, but laboured to a victory over a dreadful Montanes. I’m going with Nole, however, in the hope that that will Make It True. Prediction: Nole in five.

Winner to meet …

Andy Roddick v Yen-Hsun Lu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H2H: 3-0

Please. Despite many predictions of an early exit, Roddick has withstood inspired tennis from Michael Llodra and Philipp Kohlschreiber to be in the fourth round. When he does go out, it won’t be to Lu – no disrespect to the player from Chinese Taipei, who I saw putting paid to Horacio Zeballos in the very first round. Prediction: If it isn’t Roddick in three, something’s gone seriously wrong somewhere.

Julien Benneteau v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H2H: 3-3

Neither of these two have had a very smooth route through, but through they are as part of a stellar showing for France at this year’s Championships. Benneteau has played fourteen sets in beating Vliegen, Beck and Fognini’s eyebrows, while Jo was stretched to the limit by the artist formerly known as Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr. in the second round. I’m surprised their head-to-head is so evenly balanced, but Jo won their only other meeting on grass, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t go the same way – especially since Benny has had to work so hard to get here. I just hope it isn’t a total disappointment, as it is all too often when the French play each other. Prediction: Jo in three.

Winner to meet …

Sam Querrey v Andy Murray

H2H: 0-3

Sam has never taken so much of a set off Andy in their previous meetings. And Andy has yet to drop a set at this year’s championships. I think both these things might be about to change. Murray has yet to be seriously tested – and now has the full weight of our nation’s expectations back on his shoulders after the abysmal performance of England’s footballers at the World Cup today – while Sam has had two tough matches against Malisse and, er, Ivan Dodig. He also has his famously laid-back attitude (when he’s not storming back off to the States in a snit) which serves him well on an occasion like this. Still, I think Andy will win. I have to believe that when Andy loses here, it won’t be to Sam Querrey, Queen’s champion though he might be. Prediction: Murray in five.

Robin Soderling v David Ferrer

H2H: 5-2

Two of my favourite players still in this year’s draw. I’m excited. But not that excited, because Robin has looked in fearsome form and while that sometimes means a player is ripe for an upset, especially when they’re being tipped as a strong contender, it’s not going to come from Ferru (bless him), who narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of Jeremy Chardy last round when the latter enacted what I don’t think it’s unfair to describe as a massive choke. Will Ferru prove me wrong and deny everyone a Nadal-Soderling quarterfinal? No. Prediction: Robin in straights.

Winner to meet …

Rafael Nadal v Paul-Henri Mathieu

H2H: 9-0

You’ll notice Paul-Henri Mathieu is pictured running into a wall. There’s a reason for that. Rafa encountered a spot of bother in his last match, courtesy of an inspired and determined Philipp Petzchner, eventually triumphing in five sets during which he called the trainer more than once and was warned for coaching. However, Rafa says the knee (for which he called the trainer – also, something in the armular region, possibly) is not an issue, and while Mathieu has been on a good run, most impressively beating Mikhail Youzhny, it ends here. Honestly, we all know Mathieu is frantically talented, but does anyone really think he’ll keep it together enough to seriously challenge Rafa? Prediction: Rafa in straights.

What do you think?

Posted in andy murray, andy roddick, daniel brands, david ferrer, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, jurgen melzer, lleyton hewitt, novak djokovic, paul-henri mathieu, rafael nadal, robin soderling, roger federer, sam querrey, tomas berdych, wimbledon, yen-hsun lu | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Wimbledon Daze: Tested

Posted by gauloises1 on June 24, 2010

And now a little shoutout to those who have struggled, some unexpectedly, but are still standing. And, possibly, better than they ever did.

Did you know Roger Federer came *this* close to losing to Ale-Alejandro Falla? He didn’t, though, because he’s a big tease.

Just to underline the point, he then dropped a set to Ilija Bozoljac, best known for dating a housemate from Serbian Big Brother. Which is very much like the Queue. See? It all comes back to the Queue.

After narrowly avoiding a third set against Laura Robson, JJ dropped the first set to Aleksandra Wozniak tonight before coming through in three. Her dress was and is amazing, though.

After cruising through his first match against Rajeev Ram, Wimbledon’s favourite son the Other Andy struggled initially with an inspired Michael Llodra before knuckling down and winning in four.

Sveta went three with Akgul Amanmuradova in her opening match, because that’s how she rolls.

Nole struggled mightily against Olivier Rochus on Monday night, finishing two minutes shy of curfew (yes, there is one). Better news? He looked much improved against Taylor Dent today.

Aravane Rezai survived 75 in the third against the occasionally-good on grass Magdalena Rybarikova.

Benny came back from two sets to love down against an utterly obnoxious Kristof Vliegen. I take full credit for this (along with @crystaleyesd, of course). We “allez Julien!” and “c’mon Benny!”‘d him through this match, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Yanina Wickmayer went three with surprise Edgbaston semi-finalist Alison Riske on Monday, before narrowly beating her doubles partner Kristen Flipkens in two today. ‘mon Wicky.

And Philipp Kohlschreiber was forced to bagel Potito Starace in the fourth set of his opening match before outlasting Teimuraz Gabashvili in the battle of players who scare Roddick fans. His reward? A third-round meeting with Andy Roddick …

Posted in andy roddick, aravane rezai, jelena jankovic, julien benneteau, novak djokovic, philipp kohlschreiber, roger federer, svetlana kuznetsova, wimbledon, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

RG Day Four: Por IRTTY

Posted by gauloises1 on May 26, 2010

So NB’s official second third fourth favourite Argentine, Leonardo Mayer a.k.a Horseface, had an excellent win today over Julien Benneteau, 67(4) 63 64 64, to progress to the third round where he’ll face Marin Cilic. I feel it’s only right to mark the occasion with a small picspam in honour of IRTTY, Horseface’s biggest fan …

Fear him, world.

The sadness of the Lamb.

Posted in french open, julien benneteau, leonardo mayer | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

RG Day One: Oh, Bum

Posted by gauloises1 on May 23, 2010

Three players from whom much was expected bit the dust today at Roland Garros on the very first day. Ernests Gulbis, two sets and a break down to Julien Benneteau, was forced to retire in the third after pulling a hamstring (or what looked very much like an arse muscle, whatever you call that) sliding for a wide ball.

In Ernie’s own words:

 “When I returned a serve, 2 1, second set, I stretched my leg, my hamstrings, and I heard two cracks. I don’t know what is it, so I’m going to go to MRI to hospital in 20 minutes and check it. I hope it’s nothing serious, because it can be anything, but it’s for sure like a little bit stretch of the muscle, but I hope it’s not here. So we’ll see. Of course I’m disappointed. I prepared really good for this tournament, but it’s okay. It’s a Grand Slam, it’s a big tournament. But I have maybe nine more, eight more years of my career, I will have 20 Grand Slams in front of me, and if I concentrate on one, which wasn’t that good, I will get nothing, but it’s okay.”

It’s really bad luck that he got injured and I hope he gets better soon. But I don’t think the result would have been that much different had he not been hurt, because Julien ‘Lamb’ Benneteau was having one of his occasional days when he plays like a top 10 player. He’s beaten Roger and played Nole close before, and from what I saw, Ernie would have had to have been serving at least 15-20% better to really impose himself on the match. Just my opinion and a well-deserved win for Benneteau.

It was a sad day too for Rome champion Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez, from whom much was expected especially given her position in the weaker bottom half of the draw. She strained her back during the warm-up and went down tamely to Akgul Amandurova, 62 64.

And in what was technically but not actually the biggest upset of the tournament so far (all one day of it), Victoria Azarenka lost 61 62 to Gisela Dulko. I thought this would be the outcome as soon as I saw the draw, frankly; not only is Vika no clay-courter, she’s retired three times since Miami – the last time in Madrid – and has barely had time to get her feet under her. It’s a good win for Dulko, but she didn’t really have to do that much.

Now for god’s sake rest up for Wimbledon, Vika.

Posted in akgul amandurova, ernests gulbis, french open, gisela dulko, julien benneteau, maria-jose martinez sanchez, victoria azarenka | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

D Cup: WTFrance?

Posted by gauloises1 on March 7, 2010

Seriously. First of all we have them looking kind of cool and sophisticated and sexy at the official dinner:

Then a mere matter of days later, we have … I don’t even know how to describe this. What are they doing? Why are they doing it? All I know is that it appears to be happening in the showers:

And that Richie dropped the soap.

(photos & humour courtesy of crystaleyesd)

Posted in davis cup, gael monfils, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, richard gasquet | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

D Cup: France 3, Germany 0

Posted by gauloises1 on March 7, 2010

Congratulations to la belle France. And I do mean exactly that. They were probably the most attractive squad of any nation playing this weekend and will be picspammed accordingly.

In amongst that lot: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra. Easily the nation with the greatest strength in depth (aside from Spain, obviously), they’ve all too often suffered meltdowns and embarrassing defeats in the past. But it was plain sailing this weekend, after Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pulled off singles victories against Philipp Kohlschreiber and Benjamin Becker on Friday to put France 2-0 up.

… ably supported from the bench by Gasquet and Gilles, of course:

With Arnaud Clement not on the squad, it was up to Davis Cup debutante Julien Benneteau to partner Michael Llodra in today’s doubles and he was really impressive. Apart from a third-set wobble, the pair fairly cruised against a German pair who never looked like winning.

After they finally closed the match out at 75 in the fourth, the whole team celebrated awesomely. I’ll just let the pictures tell the story …

OK, that was a lot of pictures. But come on, how often do you get to see all these guys so happy? You carry on with your bad selves, Team France. They’ll meet either (probably) Spain or Switzerland next, so they’d better enjoy it while they can …

R1 – G.MONFILS (FRA) def. P.KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)
6-1  6-4  7-6(5)
R2 – J.TSONGA (FRA) def. B.BECKER (GER)
6-3  6-2  6-7(2)  6-3
R3 – J.BENNETEAU / M.LLODRA (FRA) def. C.KAS / P.KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)
6-1  6-4  1-6  7-5

Posted in davis cup, gael monfils, gilles simon, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, richard gasquet | Tagged: , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Hometown Triumphs

Posted by gauloises1 on February 22, 2010

Two winners in their home countries this week. Mariana Duque Marino beat my one-to-watch Angelique Kerber 64 63 for the Bogota title. She was adorably happy about it, as she should be, considering she hadn’t won a WTA tour match in nine months before this.

Enjoy your testicular trophy, Mariana. And in Marseilles, Michael Llodra defeated Julien Benneteau 63 64 for the title. Still a good week for Lamb, even if he wasn’t able to back up his defeat of the defending champion, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in the semifinals.

Posted in bogota, julien benneteau, mariana duque marino, marseilles, michael llodra | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Rotterdam: Soderling, Kolya, Nole and Youzh Into Semis

Posted by gauloises1 on February 13, 2010

Semi-finals are set in Rotterdam and it’s a very decent lineup. Nole has somehow sneaked his way in there despite only playing one match after getting a walkover from Florian Mayer. He’ll face Mikhail Youzhny, who won a highly entertaining against Gael Monfils. The commentators were intent on casting it as Russian meticulousness and tenacity against French flair, which does something of a disservice to both their games, but in the end Youzhny was that little bit more focussed in the end.

In the other half of the draw, Nikolay Davydenko and Robin Soderling both progressed in straight sets. Kolya calmly saw off Jurgen Melzer, 63 62.

Talk to the hand.

I would like to pinch your cheeks, Kolya. Take that as you will.

Robin Soderling, however, put in the most dominant performance of the day, utterly dismissing Julien Benneteau 60 61.

A return to form for the Sod?

Full Results

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d F Mayer (GER) w/o (left leg)
[2] N Davydenko (RUS) d J Melzer (AUT) 63 62
[3] [WC] R Soderling (SWE) d J Benneteau (FRA) 60 61
[6] M Youzhny (RUS) d [4] G Monfils (FRA) 57 62 63

Doubles – Quarter-finals
M Llodra (FRA) / A Ram (ISR) vs [2] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK)

Order of Play

Centre Court (matches start at 2 p.m.)
1. Robin Soderling v Nikolay Davydenko
2. Daniel Nestor / Nenad Zimonjic v Julian Knowle / Robert Lindstdt
3. Novak Djokovic v Mikhail Youzhny (not before 7.30  p.m.)
4. Simon Aspelin / Paul Hanley v Michael Llodra / Andy Ram

Posted in gael monfils, julien benneteau, jurgen melzer, mikhail youzhny, nikolay davydenko, robin soderling, rotterdam | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »