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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Soderling stunned by Llodra

Soderling stunned by Llodra

February 20, 2010 09:35 IST

Frenchman Michael Llodra made up for missing out on a wine-tasting evening with friends by stunning top seed Robin Soderling 7-6, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Marseille Open on Friday.

World number 79 Llodra staved off two break points before dominating his Swedish opponent 7-2 in the opening set tiebreak. He then took the only break point he created in the second.

"I couldn't lose that game because I was supposed to take part in a Chateau-Latour tasting today with friends, including Amelie Mauresmo, and I was really upset to miss that one," Llodra told reporters.

"Maybe that's the reason why I played an almost perfect match.

Llodra, who lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in last year's final, now meets German Mischa Zverev, who beat French wildcard Guillaume Rufin 7-5, 6-7, 6-3.

Second seed Tsonga brushed aside Ukraine's Illya Marchenko 6-3, 6-4 to guarantee that a Frenchman will be in the final. Tsonga next faces Julien Benneteau after the eighth seed upset third-seeded compatriot Gael Monfils 6-3, 7-5.


However, the highlight of the day for the home fans was Llodra's spirited performance against Soderling.

"I knew that, if I served well, he could get frustrated and that's what happened when I broke him early in the second set," said Llodra.

"My game may not be as consistent as the best players' but, except for (world number one Roger) Federer, none of them can say: 'Great, I'm going to play Llodra'".

Soderling, who won his first title of the year in Rotterdam last Sunday, acknowledged the quality of Llodra's performance but was disappointed about his own tactics in the match.

"He (Llodra) served well, he volleyed well, so it was tough today as he played very well," said the world number eight.

"It is tough to say but maybe I should have done things a little bit differently especially in my return games."

"I had two break points in the first set and if I could have got one then maybe it would have been a different match.

"I feel good, my body feels good but it is tough mentally when you play many matches in a short time but that is what you want to do," added Soderling,

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