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Archive for the ‘michael llodra’ 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 »

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 »

Dubai, Dubai!

Posted by gauloises1 on February 24, 2010

… never seemed so strange. Anyway, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga got a bit of a let-off today when compatriot Michael Llodra (who picked up his Marseilles title a matter of days ago, lest we forget) abruptly retired after a tight first set which Tsonga took 11-9 in the tiebreaker.

A speedy recovery to Llodra, and a whispered “WHOO!” to Jo.

And speaking of people who I’d rather watch than other people, Marin Cilic played his first match since Belgrade today, beating Arnaud Clement 62 64.

In JMDP’s absence, I’ll take all the lanky, awkward adorableness I can get. In the spirit of which, check out this video. There are a few moments of my-limbs-are-too-long-for-this-world Marin magic. And frankly, it’s worth it for Jason Goodall’s overblown commentary and rampant redefinition of words like ‘eager’ and ‘delighted’. (Thanks to rachael for the link.)

Results

Men’s Singles – First Round
[4] N Davydenko (RUS) d F Serra (FRA) 67(5) 64 61
[5] [WC] J Tsonga (FRA) d M Llodra (FRA) 76(9) ret. (left hamstring)
[6] M Cilic (CRO) d A Clement (FRA) 62 64
[7] M Youzhny (RUS) d L Lacko (SVK) 67(3) 76(5) 61
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d A Seppi (ITA) 76(4) 75
M Berrer (GER) d S Stakhovsky (UKR) 64 76(3)
T Robredo (ESP) d J Benneteau (FRA) 62 61
[Q] S Devvarman (IND) d M Chiudinelli (SUI) 64 75
[Q] B Phau (GER) d [WC] M Ghareeb (KUW) 30 ret. (back)

Men’s Doubles – First Round
S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) d N Djokovic (SRB) / D Vemic (SRB) 64 63
J Tipsarevic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB) d F Serra (FRA) / G Simon (FRA) 76(4) 60
C Kas (GER) / D Norman (BEL) d I Ljubicic (CRO) / J Melzer (AUT) 64 76(4)

Order of Play

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
M Berrer (GER) vs [4] N Davydenko (RUS)
V Troicki (SRB) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 7:00 PM
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs J Tipsarevic (SRB)
[5] [WC] J Tsonga (FRA) vs I Ljubicic (CRO)

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
[Q] S Koubek (AUT) vs [6] M Cilic (CRO)
Not Before 4:00 PM
[Q] B Phau (GER) vs [7] M Youzhny (RUS)
N Davydenko (RUS) / I Kunitsyn (RUS) vs [4] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK)
[WC] R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) vs A Clement (FRA) / R Lindstedt (SWE)

COURT 3 start 2:00 pm
T Robredo (ESP) vs J Melzer (AUT)
M Baghdatis (CYP) vs [Q] S Devvarman (IND)
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs F Lopez (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP)
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Mirnyi (BLR) vs S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS)

Posted in dubai, jo-wilfried tsonga, marin cilic, michael llodra | Tagged: , , | 2 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 »

Stakhovsky, Melzer, Ljubicic Capture Titles

Posted by gauloises1 on November 2, 2009

Finals galore today. Well, three. I don’t know what the galore threshhold is.

First up, congratulations to qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky, who beat Argentine Horacio Zeballos 26 76(8) 76(7) for the St Petersburg title. It’s the Ukrainian’s second title, the first coming in Zagreb 2008. Commiserations to Zeballos but it’s been a great week for him, too, backing up some solid results on the Challenger circuit. And I can now almost pick him out of a lineup.

horacio zeballos

I’m not a huge fan of Stakhovsky, in terms of either his game or his personality (this will be a theme in today’s titlists), and mainly remember him for being Andy Murray’s defeated opponent in the US Open juniors. But given that his game had completely fallen away after a strong start to the year, it’s a great result for him to be back in the winner’s circle.

sergiy stakhovsky st petersburg

sergiy stakhovsky st petersburg

And well done to Flemski, the British duo of Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski, who took their second ATP doubles title by defeating Chardy and Gasquet 10-4 in the super tiebreak. Wonder if they’ll be able to talk their way into first class this time … I doubt it.

In Lyon, despite the prevalence of French players, the title went to grumpy old baldy Ivan Ljubicic, who kicked it old school by defeating Michael Llodra 75 63 for his first title since 2007.

michael llodra lyon 2009

ivan ljubicic lyon 2009

ivan ljubicic lyon 2009

And in Vienna, Jurgen Melzer irritated me exceedingly by beating Marin Cilic 64 63 for the title. From what I saw of the match (my stream was very poor quality), Marin was as usual defeated by his own inconsistency, but Melzer was extremely solid. Well done to him; it’s nice for him to win a title on home soil after his last final in Kitzbuhel when a certain JMDP beat him during the halcyon summer of 2008. Good times.

marin cilic vienna 2009

jurgen melzer doha 2009

jurgen melzer vienna 2009 trophy

Congratulations to all …

Posted in horacio zeballos, ivan ljubicic, jurgen melzer, lyon, marin cilic, michael llodra, sergiy stakhovsky, st petersburg, titlists, vienna | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Image is Everything: D Cup Sunday

Posted by gauloises1 on September 20, 2009

I can’t believe it’s time for my final Davis Cup picspam. God, I love this event so much. It should be played every weekend.

czech republic

“My work here is done,” he seems to say.

belgium3belgium4

Happiness is a champagne-soaked Belgian.

france2

I’m a sucker for behind-the-curtain photos.

france5

I’m also a sucker for Jo.

netherlands

Back to the dustbin of tennis history with you, Thiemo de Bakker.

france3

Allez Les Bleus.

TENNIS-DAVISCUP-GBR-POLAND

Murray searches for an escape hatch to another country.

89848171CR023_GREAT_BRITAIN

Pole dance.

serbia

That’s pretty much how I reacted to the GB-Poland results.

Except without the laughing. And my hair’s not as shiny.

serbia2

If there was a Crazy Cup, Serbia would win it hands down.

sweden6

I feel as if I’ve interrupted Robin’s dance routine.

sweden5

Gratuitous ass shot #1.

switzerland2

Gratuitous ass shot #2.

india5

Bless you, Somdev.

SOUTH AFRICA INDIA DAVIS CUP TENNIS

Yuki’s eyebrows really deserve a picspam of their own.

Posted in andy murray, christophe rochus, davis cup, janko tipsarevic, jerzy janowicz, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, michel przysieny, nenad zimonjic, novak djokovic, olivier rochus, robin soderling, roger federer, somdev devvarman, steve darcis, thiemo de bakker, tomas berdych, viktor troicki, yuki bhambri | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

D Cup Sunday: Who’s Staying Up, Who’s Going Down

Posted by gauloises1 on September 20, 2009

So what was the craic today? In the dead rubbers remaining of the semi-finals, both defeated nations salvaged some pride and a point, with Lovro Zovko defeating Lukas Dlouhy and Feliciano Lopez losing to Harel Levy in a result I deem genuinely Harel-arious.

israel

Andy Ram thinks it’s funny.

The other nation who were 3-0 up, Serbia, humourlessly crushed Uzbekistan 5-0 courtesy of Troicki and Bozoljac, showing a Federeresque lack of mercy. Speaking of Federer, he did his bit for the land of cuckoo clocks, overcoming a rain delay and the awesome powers of Potito Starace to seal the deal for Switzerland 3-1. Fognini won a dead rubber, by which point Fed was presumably in a hot bubble bath. Quite right too, as after the match Roger revealed he has been struggling with a leg injury since the US Open final. Hopefully nothing a little time off won’t fix.

switzerland

France won their tie with the Netherlands 4-1. And by my calculations, at least 2.5 of said points were contributed by a certain Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He backed up victories in Friday’s singles and yesterday’s doubles with a four-set victory over the bizarrely inspired Thiemo de Bakker to take the tie 3-1, with Jezza popping up handily to make it 4-1 over Huta Guleng. All of which is good, as it would be both sadness and madness for France not to be in the World Group.

france

A hearty “well done” to Belgium, who held off a very determined challenge from the Ukraine. After Stakhovsky beat Malisse (yeah, he still plays, apparently) 63 36 06 61 63, it was all up to Steve Darcis, who delivered a comprehensive beatdown on Sergiy Bubka 62 61 60 to keep Belgium in the World Group. Like it. I mean, how often does Steve Darcis get to be the hero? I’m betting that even if you include his self-penned comic book series, The Heroic Exploits of Steve Darcis, the answer is still “rarely if ever”.

belgium2

Robin Soderling was the hero for Sweden, beating Hanescu 75 61 60 to bounce Romania out of the World Group.

sweden7

I wish Mats was proud of me.

Huge congratulations have to go to India, though. They’ve been out of the World Group since 1998, and now they’re back, thanks to a victory by Somdev Devvaman, who beat Rik de Voest of South Africa 36 67(3) 76(5) 62 64. Devvaman came back from two sets and a break down in a match that lasted nearly five hours, and Davis Cup virgin Yuki Bhambri put the cherry on top by winning the dead rubber in three sets. Great stuff.

india

india3

india6

I don’t know why this makes me happy, but it does.

Oh wait – the ‘boks lost. That’s why.

As of now, it looks like Ecuador will also be in the World Group, with Nico Lapentti just one set away from securing the tie against Marcos Daniel. Jurgen Melzer has split sets with Massu in his bid to keep Austria’s chances alive. Fun scoreboards still.

Posted in andy ram, davis cup, gael monfils, jo-wilfried tsonga, julien benneteau, michael llodra, potito starace, robin soderling, roger federer, somdev devvarman, steve darcis, yuki bhambri | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wimbledon Day Three: All About the Ballkids

Posted by gauloises1 on June 25, 2009

Sad faces all round as Michael Llodra and his pert buttocks were forced to retire against Tommy Haas, although he did manage to do it in typically crowd-pleasing, loltastic fashion:

If square-jawed, boringly handsome Teutons are more your thing, check out Tommy Haas hitting with the ballkids after Llodra left the court.

ballboy

I love the Wimbledon ballkids. So cute and professional even under extreme pressure. Remember this?

A member of the fraternity did manage to get his own back on the ATP by colliding with Ivo Karlovic during his straight sets win over Steve Darcis:

ballboy ivo

ballboy ivo apologises

Don’t worry, kid. He’s more scared of you than you are of him. Bless.

Oh, and Vliegen managed to get in on the act during his loss to Verdasco by nearly killing a line judge:

vliegen linesjudge

And a good time was had by all.

Posted in ivo karlovic, jamie murray, jelena jankovic, kristof vliegen, michael llodra, tommy haas, wimbledon | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »