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How does it feel to ride the tail of a tiger?
The 10th seed must have felt secure leading 4-3 in the first set, serving for the 8th game.
But Llodra broke back and the scores were soon level at 5-5.
Llodra then stepped the pace up a notch , reeling off seven games in a row to lead 7-5, 5-0.
Davydenko gave the Frenchman a taste of his own medicine, executing serve-and-volley tennis to clinch the sixth game of the second set.
But Llodra was not to be denied and closed out the set and match 6-1.
Llodra’s brand of serve-and-volley, chip-and-charge tennis left the Russian bewildered and grasping at straws.
With deft touch at the net—reminiscent of John McEnroe—, Llodra exploited the angles created giving the Russian little time to react to the volleys and soft chips.
Llodra on his victory:
"I knew it was tough against him, because he has very good returns. This is typical from him. I knew I shouldn’t get scared even if I was broken,I needed to be very serious about my serves, and I needed to play serve and volley because he was returning well. And also, I was very lucid on break points. When I had opportunities, I tried to be aggressive. I think today it was more mental victory than a tennis victory."
Federer ensured that this year’s Paris sojourn would be better than his previous voyages. He beat Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-1, 7-6(4) in 71 minutes. This is his first ever semi-final at the final Masters of the season.
He will now meet Monfils in the other semi-final on Saturday.