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 levelled 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.