With Sao Paulo rained out for the day, and the forecast looking dicey for the rest of the week in New Caledonia, it was good that one of the challenger events was actually able to fit some tennis into their week.  The first day’s play went off without a hitch (well, unless you were Benoit Paire – then there were plenty of hitches).  Here are the results, as expertly cut and pasted by moi from the INTERNATIONAUX DE NOUVELLE-CALEDONIE 2011 webpage itself:

Simple messieurs, premier tour

[3] G Muller (LUX) b D Udomchoke (THA) 46 75 76(5)
V Millot (FRA) b [4] M Gicquel (FRA) 63 75
S Rieschick (GER) b [5] B Paire (FRA) 61 61
[6] J Ouanna (FRA) b [Q] M Yani (USA) 63 64
[7] D Guez (FRA) b [Q] F Wolmarans (RSA) 61 64
[8] S Vagnozzi (ITA) b [WC] N N’godrela (FRA) 64 61
P Cervenak (SVK) b R Jouan (FRA) 76(8) 63
[WC] C Reix (FRA) b [WC] C Brezac (FRA) 64 76(2)
F Cipolla (ITA) b M Viola (ITA) 75 64
R de Voest (RSA) b [Q] D Meffert (GER) 76(1) 76(1)
[Q] A Weintraub (ISR) b O Patience (FRA) 16 63 63
G Burquier (FRA) b L Rochette (FRA) 63 62

I’m still waiting on the results for the more complicated messieurs, but those are scores for the simple ones at least. 

A lot of surprises there: that Gilles Muller was so extended by Danai Udomchoke, for one.  But at least Gilles deLUXe actually won.  4th and 5th seeds Marc Gicquel and Benoit Paire were not so fortunate.  I suppose it’s less shocking that Paire went down to Sebastian Rieschick, who is a quite capable player himself.  And, as has been recounted here, Benoit is entirely capable of imploding.  Plus Vincent Millot, that fire hydrant-shaped Frenchman, is only ranked 50 spots lower than his 33 year-old countryman at this point. 

 Benoit udomchokes another one away

So actually, now that I look at it – I’m not surprised at all.  I take it all back.  I’d erase the above paragraph, but then I’d have to write something else, and I’m far too lazy to do that.  So we’re all stuck with it.

All the qualifiers bit the French island dust, save for Amir Weintraub, who’s put together a nice little run of wins lately.  I am surprised (no, really) that Fritz got blitzed so badly, but that’s about it.

Anyway, there’s your update.  I hope you like it, because we might not have another for quite some time.  In the meantime, I’ll be blathering about Challenger tennis players who’ve been making inroads into ATP 250’s.  But you’ll have to find such blather in a different post.