Llodra, Nieminen reach Open Sud semis
Michael Llodra of France and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland advanced to the Open Sud de France semifinals in contrasting fashion on Friday.
Llodra hit 11 aces in a 7-6 (3), 6-1 win against Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic, sealing the victory with a volley at the net, while Nieminen rallied to beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2), with both players dropping serve three times.
Stakhovsky broke Nieminen to lead 3-1 in the deciding set, but Nieminen leveled immediately. Then Nieminen broke Stakhovsky in the 11th game only to be broken back.
Llodra's semifinal opponent will be the winner of Friday's all-French quarterfinal between fourth-seeded Gilles Simon and eighth-seeded Benoit Paire, while Nieminen takes on either third-seeded Richard Gasquet or No. 6 Julien Benneteau.