These days should be disputed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Specifically, the tennis modality, which is the one that matters most to us. Since the COVID-19 did not seem to take into account these plans, theirs would be to rescue some history from the past to somehow maintain that Olympic aroma. In an article written in your own handwriting, Michael Llodra account on the website of the ITF what you felt eight years ago in London 2012 by winning the silver medal in doubles with his partner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. A badly suffered medal that represented the greatest achievement of his career.
“As with the Davis Cup, this is the kind of tournament I always dreamed of when I was a kid. I still remember the London 2012 semifinals, a crazy game. I had already experienced something like this with Arnaud Clement in Beijing 2008 losing a 4 hour 48 minute match, then we would also lose the medal match. It was not easy having to live with that, “says the French veteran, retired since 2014.
This time life was going to smile on them after a duel at the dog’s face against David Ferrer and Feliciano López in the semifinals (6-3, 4-6, 18-16). “In London we saved three match balls with my service, a 0-40 that I still keep very fresh in my memory. Then when we took the game they put 0-30, but we turned it around and we won. It seemed impossible, in those moments everything stops, until Tsonga appears to pick me up. It was an outstanding moment ”, highlights the one that became No. 3 in the world in the modality.
Hours later, already in the final, the Bryan brothers would be in charge of stopping his passage to the title, what they could not avoid is that four Frenchmen climbed into the drawer to hang the medal. “The podium moment was also fabulous and special, there were the world’s No. 1, who had defeated us all, but also a group of four Frenchmen, four friends boasting a medal. The Marseillaise did not sound, but we were all very proud to be up there and to be able to bring home two medals for French sport ”, he happily affirms after sharing that photo with Julien Benenteau and Richard Gasquet.
For a player like Llodra, used to having so many compatriots ahead of him in the rankings, that silver tasted like gold. “I feel very proud every time I remember that moment, it was very emotional. I left feeling that I had given everything to win, I really fought for that medal. I was very close in Athens 2004, where I reached the quarterfinals in doubles, and it hurt so much that I could not even imagine that in the future I would have this opportunity again. It was like when I lost my first Grand Slam final, but then it was shown that with perseverance everything is possible ”, warns the Parisian.
Win a Grand Slam or hang a medal? For some like Michael, there is no doubt. “Winning a medal brought me recognition for all of French sports. I have been decorated but, frankly, I don’t really like that, the decoration is not the most important thing. I have been fortunate to experience all of this from within, to share it with my family, to achieve a medal that I have been pursuing with all my might for many years. This is what I am very, very proud of. “