Llodra cruises to Marseille title

Reuters - Sun, 21 Feb 14:45:00 2010

Michael Llodra cruised to his fourth career title when he beat fellow Frenchman and doubles partner Julien Benneteau 6-3 6-4 in the Marseille Open final.

France's Michael Llodra hits a return to compatriot Julien Benneteau during their final match at the Marseille Open ATP tennis tournament - 0

The two finalists then teamed up to land the doubles title with a 6-4 6-3 win against Austrian Julian Knowle and Swede Robert Lindstedt.

Llodra, who lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in last year's final, never looked in danger on his own serve as he fired 14 aces, including one on his first match point.

The world number 79 had only two break points in the match and he converted both to win in an hour and 10 minutes.

"After I lost in the final here last year, I'm glad I managed to get over it," said the 29-year-old Llodra.

"I had set myself one aim this year and that was to win a tournament in France at last. I'm proud," he added after winning his previous titles in Hertogenbosch, Rotterdam and Adelaide.

Eighth-seeded Benneteau battled for almost three hours to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals on Saturday but he refused to blame Sunday's loss on fatigue.

"My previous matches have been tough and long but that is not the reason why I lost. I lost because of Michael Llodra. I can only say 'hats off to him' as he served extremely well. I've had no break point," Benneteau said.

"It's tough to end a tournament this way but I couldn't do anything," added the world number 39, who has yet to win an ATP title.

Llodra had luck on his side when he broke Benneteau's serve in the first set thanks to a volley that hit the net before falling behind.

He looked in total control of the game throughout and a superb backhand passing shot earned him another break in the second set.

He then fired a 14th ace to seal victory on the first of his three match points.

Reuters

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