Llodra denies making racist remark

Published May. 23, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

France's Michael Llodra denied he was making a racist remark when he compared his French Open match, being overseen by a Moroccan umpire, to the shambolic atmosphere of a north African souk Monday.

"I remember what I said very well. The remarks were not racist,'' the 22nd seed told AFP after being knocked out by Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis on a packed Court One.

Experienced Moroccan umpire Mohammed El Jennati was in the chair for the match -- and was described as a friend by Llodra.

"Mohammed is a friend, we are always having a laugh together off the court."

Llodra had become increasingly agitated throughout his 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-3 6-3 defeat, particularly with one of the courtside hostesses.

He claimed she was gesticulating and moving during the points.

"This is not a souk here, we are not selling carpets at the market," Llodra told El Jennati.


"It makes me laugh that these words are considered racist," added Llodra after the match.

"My witness at my wedding is Congolese; my nanny is from Kabylie (in Algeria). There is zero problem with Mohammed, there is a lot of respect between us."


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