It took Britain's Tim Henman 4 hours 10 minutes to subdue a spirited charge by French wild-card Michael Llodra at the French Open Sunday. And for the first 1:49, by Henman's estimation, he was playing the wrong way.
"That's not a great sign," Henman said of his 6-7 (7-2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 9-7 victory. "But you know, to come through a match like that and find a way to win, I think it kind of is character-building, that's for sure."
Llodra was the third and final Frenchman ousted in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, leaving No. 2 seed Amelie Mauresmo to carry the French flag in the final week of the tournament.
Llodra came out slugging against the favored Henman, the ninth seed, dictating the tempo and keeping Henman off balance with high-risk shots. Henman eventually settled down and found his rhythm, managing to close out the match by winning 12 of the last 13 points.
Henman is the second British player to reach the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in the Open era; Roger Taylor did so in 1973.
Among those in the stands at Suzanne Lenglen court was British rock star Sting.
Davenport May Skip Athens
Lindsay Davenport, who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics, indicated Sunday that her enthusiasm has waned for competing in the upcoming Games in Athens. The U.S. women's team won't be named until next week, and Davenport acknowledged she'll have to decide fairly soon whether she wants to be on the list.
Part of her hesitation has to do with safety concerns, she said, and part of it has to do with an already-packed summer schedule. But the more she elaborated, the less it sounded as if she planned to go.
"It's not something I've definitely made up in my mind," Davenport said. "It's just more like, 'Wow, when you look at it on paper, getting ready to pack, be gone for the rest of the summer, it seems like an awful lot.' "
Asked about security concerns, she said: "There's no question. I mean, it's an awkward feeling going somewhere where maybe Americans aren't really wanted."
Young Loses in Junior Play
Donald Young, a 14-year-old left-hander originally from Chicago, made an impressive debut in junior Grand Slam tournament play Sunday before falling to Korea's Woong Sun Jun, 7-6 (10-8), 7-5, 6-3.
Entries in the 64-player junior draw are awarded according to ITF point standings, but tournament officials granted Young a wild card because of his recent impressive results, winning both the Orange Bowl and Easter Bowl junior titles against bigger and older players.
"It was nice to be out there," said Young, whose family recently moved to Atlanta.