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Robredo Advances; French Wild Card Upsets Ljubicic

Lyon, France

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Fifth-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo (pictured) knocked out Michael Llodra of France 6-4, 6-3 at the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon on Monday. The 26 year old struck eight aces and won 70 per cent of service points to advance to the second round in 64 minutes. The pair had previously met at 2004 's-Hertogenbosch.

Robredo, currently No. 19 in the ATP 2008 Race, improved to 36-21 on the season, highlighted by one ATP title in Bastad (d. Berdych) and a final appearance in Warsaw (l. to Davydenko). He is making his fourth appearance in Lyon (2-3 record). The 28-year-old Llodra, who captured ATP crowns at Adelaide (d. Nieminen) and Rotterdam (d. Soderling) in the first two months of the 2008 season, dropped to a 23-21 mark.

French wild card Josselin Ouanna, currently No. 182 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, recorded his maiden ATP win. The 20-year-old Tours native, who started playing tennis aged five, overcame 2001 champion Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes.

Ouanna struck 11 aces and won 50 of 62 points on first serve, while Ljubicic hit 24 aces and won 72 per cent of service points. Former World No. 3 (May 1, 2006) Ljubicic, currently World No. 46, dropped to 18-17 on the season (126-66 career indoor mark). The 29 year old reached the Zagreb final (l. to Stakhovsky) in February.

Former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain beat Sam Querrey for the second time this year, after defeating the American 6-3, 7-5 in 81 minutes. Ferrero also won their Wimbledon meeting in July and has a 20-14 season record.

Julien Benneateau won an all-French battle against Arnaud Clement, the 2000 winner (d. Rafter) and 2003 runner-up (l. to Schuettler), with a 6-3, 6-2 winner in 86 minutes. Benneteau, who reached the quarterfinals last year (l. to Grosjean), improved to 19-19 on the season highlighted by a runner-up finish at Casablanca (l. to Simon).

Meanwhile, Belgian Steve Darcis edged past Czech wild card Radek Stepanek 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 33 minutes. Stepanek hit 13 aces, but could only convert one of five break point opportunities.

 

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