Michael Llodra loses temper at French Open

French player Michael Llodra likened the court at the French
Open to an Arab marketplace after receiving a warning from Moroccan
chair umpire Mohamed El Jennati for throwing a ball at a female
security guard in the stands on Monday.

Upset that the guard was distracting him, the 22nd-seeded Llodra
lost his cool during the second set of his first-round loss to
Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis. TV footage of the incident showed
Llodra comparing the atmosphere on the court to a souk, a
commercial quarter in Arab cities.

”We are not in a souk. We are not selling carpets in a
market,” Llodra told the umpire after receiving his warning.

Llodra, who lost 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, then said at a
post-match news conference that the umpire should not have warned
him for the incident and should have instead called the security
staff or told the female guard to stop moving. He added that he
felt the umpire’s decision was unfair and said he just told Jennati
”to do his job.”

”I would have preferred to get the warning because I was
getting restless on the court, which was not the case,” said
Llodra, whose best performance at the French Open was reaching the
fourth round in 2004 and ’08. ”I don’t think the umpire was doing
his job. It’s too easy to give me a warning and it was useless.
Anyway, it was not that serious.”

Tournament organizers told The Associated Press that El Jennati
was not available for comment because he is not allowed to speak
during the two-week tournament.

Llodra’s coach, Olivier Malcor, told the AP that Llodra has a
good relationship with El Jennati and that the player didn’t want
to offend the Moroccan with his angry comments.

”He probably used the word ‘souk’ for ‘brothel,’ because it was
a real mess in the stands,” Malcor said in a telephone interview.
”They’ve known each other for 10 years now and there is absolutely
no problem between them.”

Tournament director Gilbert Ysern said no action would be taken
against Llodra.

”It’s just a chair umpire call, and Michael Llodra’s comments
following the incident ended the argument,” Ysern said in a
statement to the AP.