Llodra closes on singles spot in Davis Cup final
Doubles specialist Michael Llodra’s timely run of fine form
could land him a singles start in the Davis Cup final.
Llodra qualified for his maiden Masters semifinal on Friday by
defeating 11th-ranked Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 7-5, 6-1, winning
praises from France Davis Cup captain Guy Forget.
That victory came a day after Llodra upset defending champion
Novak Djokovic in the previous round to reach his first Masters
quarterfinals in 41 appearances.
Forget said Llodra now has a good chance of being rewarded with
a singles spot in his squad for next month’s final against Serbia
”I’m not going to lie to you, he is earning points at the
moment,” Forget told reporters. ”But I also have to say that the
fast surface here suits him perfectly. We don’t know how fast the
court in Belgrade will be, we’ll only find out when we get
After Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was ruled out of the Dec. 3-5 final
with a knee injury, Gael Monfils is all but guaranteed to play
singles against the Serbs while Llodra is fighting with Gilles
Simon and Richard Gasquet for the remaining spot.
”Mika is a key player in doubles,” Forget said. ”As for the
singles, the player who’ll adapt the best will be granted a spot.
I’m in a comfortable position, with four or five players capable of
beating anybody in a good day.”
Known for his serve and volley style of play but also for his
inconsistency, the 34th-ranked Llodra thinks his play has finally
”I think I’m starting a new career,” said Llodra, after
hitting 30 winners and playing serve and volley the whole match
against Davydenko. ”I can even go higher. I’ve improved on many
little things, but the main thing is my mental progression.”
Forget said the 30-year-old Llodra, who played singles in
France’s 5-0 routs of defending champion Spain and Argentina in the
previous Davis Cup rounds, found a new level of confidence by
excelling in those matches.
”His win against Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals has
probably something to do with this,” Forget said. ”And I’m also
sure he is more serious at training.”
The French tennis federation said Forget will announce his squad
for the Davis Cup final on Nov. 23.