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A good day for the French: wins for Gicquel, Razzano and Monfils

Text by Emmanuel VERSACE

Latest update : 2009-05-26

French players Marc Gicquel, Virginie Razzano and Gaël Monfils gave con brio performances in the first round of the French open, while Michael Llodra was no match for Juan Martin Del Potro.

Frenchmen shone on Tuesday at the French Open at Roland Garros.

Marc Gicquel, who recently won the BNP Paribas Primrose tournament in Bordeaux, throttled the German Rainer Schuettler in three sets, 6-0, 6-0, 6-4.

While the margin of the win seems comfortable, the Breton said he was worried, when, in the last set, he was down 4-3 and the score was 30-all during his service. In that situation, “things can change quickly,” he said. “I concentrated on my service and on staying in the match until the end.”

The line-up of his opponents in the next round doesn’t worry him much. “There are no real clay specialists, like the Spanish or the Argentines,” he said.

Nevertheless, he’s taking his next opponent seriously. Andreas Beck, another German, beat him on the grass at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, last year.


Monfils: "Why not take things further?"

Gaël Monfils’s match was a bit of a surprise, since he had been suffering from an injured left knee. But he nevertheless impressed the crowd at the Suzanne-Lenglen court with his defeat of Bobby Reynolds, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.

“I feel strong, and I was hitting strong,” said Monfils. “After a few more matches and with a bit more confidence, I’ll be hitting even harder. And I tell myself, why not take things further?”

In the next round, he faces the Romanian Victor Crivoi, whom he should be able to handle.
Michael Llodra, however, met his match on court number one. Juan Martin Del Potro, ranked fifth, took the match in hand from the first games. Despite the support of the home crowd, the Frenchman was put out of the show by the Argentine, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.


Among the women, only Razzano goes through

On the women’s side, Virginie Razzano goes through after her victory over the Slovak Daniela Hantuchova.

But the Open is over for Nathalie Dechy, who lost in a tie breaker against the Austrian Sybille Bammer, ranked number 28.

The same ill fate befell Claire Feuerstein and Kristina Mladenovic. Feuerstein lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova (6-1, 6-4), and Mladenovic managed to take the second set against Magdalena Rybarikova before losing in a tie breaker in the third (6-1, 2-6, 8-6).

World number, Serena Williams almost got defeated by the relatively unknown Czech Klara Zakopalova. The American needed nine match points to win her game.

Date created : 2009-05-26

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