Pico vs. Llodra in the First Rubber is beginning now. I am getting one of the best streams I've received in a long time. No freezes so far:
Vamos Pico and Argentina!
Bizarre! Pico just broke Llodra to go up 2-1 (Pico now serving) and the Palais des Sports de Gerland in Lyon broke out in a celebration so loud, I had to make certain Pico had completed the break. The Argentines are well represented here.
Thus far, the Palais des Sports is NOT proving to have a very intimidating crowd or arena. This looks good.
Pico now up 3-1 in the First Set and crowd is loudly applauding his game. Unbelievable!
Pico got broken twice to lose the first set 7-5 and French crowd woke up midway through the set. I still think a lead in a match by Argentina could quiet them pretty easily, but things not going great so far for Pico.
Llodra is reminding me of his stellar play at the U.S. Open, although not quite as impressive as he was against Berdych. Pico had an 8-1 Forehand winners lead at 5-5 on the positive side. On the negative side, whenever a rally is involving the net, Llodra is showing off his great volleying skills and winning all of those points.
Pico just broke again, and dug himself out of a 15-30 hole on his own serve to consolidate the break in the Second Set.
Score is 7-5, 2-4 Llodra. But Pico is playing really tough out there right now. Better when he gets in a baseline exchange. Worst thing for him to do is to leave the ball short for Llodra to jump on.
This stream has been a little better for some reason:
Pico takes the second set, 6-4, and the Argentines in attendance are once again singing and showing their presence.
Pico seems to be pouncing on balls not hit deeply and passing Llodra with some great forehands. He looks VERY good! He seems to found a great gameplan against Llodra, not playing too far back, but not letting it get to net exchanges either. He is hitting the majority of his shots just within the baseline and throwing Llodra off, and also giving himself sizable room to pass Llodra if he comes into the net.