Fiery Llodra puts France ahead

Fiery Llodra puts France ahead

World number 30 Llodra went to the net, served well and recovered from a second-set hiccup to prevail after thee hours and 21 minutes. French number one Gael Monfils was scheduled to take on David Nalbandian in Friday's second singles match.

Llodra cancelled out an early break to bag the opening set with a superb forehand down the line, triggering wild celebrations in a packed Palais des Sports.

In the stands where a few Olympique Lyon football players, including Argentine Cesar Delgado, who left his team-mates to cheer on his country in the crucial encounter.
Despite the cries of support from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Julien Benneteau, who are missing the tie through injury, Llodra conceded the second set as Monaco peppered the court with excellent forehand winners.

Llodra continued to attack and broke Monaco's resilience on his fifth set point to move ahead courtesy of a dazzling backhand down the line. The Parisian stayed hot in the fourth set, dropping only five points on his serve to end the contest with his 22nd ace.
France last won the men's team event in 2001 while Argentina are hoping to go one better this year than their three runners-up finishes.

Djokovic pulls out
Novak Djokovic has pulled out of Serbia's opening Davis Cup semifinal match in Belgrade against the Czech Republic because of gastro-enteritis, an ITF spokeswoman said in London  on Friday.

"He does not play the first match. He is sick. He has gastro-enteritis," Barbara Travers told Reuters in Lyon.World number two Djokovic, who was due to play Radek Stepanek, was replaced by Viktor Troicki.

Djokovic said on Thursday he was ‘exhausted’ after travelling back from the US Open, where he lost to Spain's Rafael Nadal in the final. In Friday's second match, Janko Tipsarevic will face Tomas Berdych

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