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April 15, 2014

Michael Llorda


M. LLODRA/J. Janowicz
6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in French, please.

Q.テつ You made many winners on your return.テつ Was it a plan of yours?
MICHAEL LLODRA:テつ From the start of the match, I had decided that I should do that because I felt he was not confident yet on clay.テつ I was trying to chip my returns to move him around.
I know his forehand is very strong only cross‑court.テつ I noticed he was always serving in the same places.テつ I believe he's not used to clay yet.テつ So I chose the option to be aggressive on my returns.
It's like this last return:テつ I had anticipated he was going to play my backhand, and I was able to hit the ball hard.

Q.テつ You are preparing with your brother now.テつ How did this come about?
MICHAEL LLODRA:テつ Well, he was a director in the Club Med for everything having to do with the gym.テつ He's been doing that for 20 years.テつ Although he's not a tennis specialist, he does know about physical fitness.
He was always with me all these years anyway, so now he's been helping me on a consistent basis since Marseille.テつ I decided I was not going to Indian Wells.テつ We've been working together a lot, especially on the fundamentals.テつ Today it's paying off.
I feel stronger in my legs.テつ I feel a lot better.テつ After playing several matches in a row, I feel no pain at all, although clay is very demanding, you need to slide, et cetera.
I know if I can play well, I can be dangerous.

Q.テつ You thought playing singles would be complicated, but it is going well.
MICHAEL LLODRA:テつ Well, this year I forgot to enter Miami, so this left me with a long period between Marseille and here without playing singles.テつ I was able to play matches.テつ I know what I have to do.
I'm 34 years old.テつ Some people say I'm not playing enough.テつ But I know what I need.テつ What I need most is physical training.テつ Of course, it was a mistake to forget to enter Miami, but I just made that mistake once in 15 years.テつ It's not that bad.

Q.テつ Since you got the phone call from Arnaud Clテδゥment, things seemed to have turned around for you.
MICHAEL LLODRA:テつ It was a challenge.テつ With my experience in Davis Cup, I knew that last‑minute retirements do happen fairly often.テつ I knew Richard, for example, had a bad back.
I responded to Arnaud Clテδゥment favorably.テつ Also it was a message to him that I'm always there, that he could count on me.
That particular morning when I got the phone call, I was jetlagged, I was tired.テつ But half an hour later I was off to drive 400 kilometers to join the team.
As you know, it is the emotional side of things that gets me going.テつ When I got to Nancy, I was like a 12‑year‑old kid.テつ It was like when I give candy to my son.テつ I was very excited.テつ I enjoyed each moment.テつ There we were able to practice very hard.テつ The staff was taking care of us extremely well.
The way things happened, I had to play the doubles with a lot of pressure.テつ I had no right to mess it up.テつ It was a beautiful victory, and a collective victory because each player brought his own point to the team.テつ This improved the relationships between all of us.
After that I felt very confident.テつ I have to thank Sergio Tacchini who sponsored me, got me this last wild card to be able to play quallies here in Monte‑Carlo.

Q.テつ In September the semifinals of Davis Cup might be at Roland Garros.
MICHAEL LLODRA:テつ It's not official yet, but there are chances.

Q.テつ So apparently for you things are turning around, getting suddenly very bright.
MICHAEL LLODRA:テつ Yes.テつ My strength is that I never get discouraged.テつ I went through a bad period, indeed.テつ But I know that if I practice well, I can start playing well very quickly.
Tacchini is a brand that is coming back to tennis.テつ They were very happy to sponsor me.テつ I just loved what they told me.テつ I said yes immediately.テつ This really re‑energized me.テつ On top of this, I'm able to work with my brother.テつ All this gives me a lot of confidence.

Q.テつ When is the last time you needed a wild card to play the quallies?
MICHAEL LLODRA:テつ Well, it's so long ago I don't remember.

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