Erratic Henman scrapes through

Tim Henman, the British No 1 who is battling to rediscover his best form, began the process by scrambling through 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 against Spain's Sergi Bruguera in the first round of the European Community Championship in Antwerp as the tournament lost its top seed, Goran Ivanisevic, and fourth seed, Boris Becker, to injury yesterday.

Henman, seeded sixth, appears to have lost a little confidence since his first-round defeat by Germany's Martin Sinner in the Dubai Open last week. His backhand repeatedly let him down yesterday.

Bruguera, a wild-card entry, is ranked 47 in the world, 28 places below Henman, but he is still a class player, having twice won the French Open, in 1993 and 1994.

The British No 1 took the first set easily enough and was twice a break up in the second before Bruguera squared the match at one set all. Then, in a third set of missed chances on both sides, games went with serve to 4-4, before Henman gained the only break in the ninth game to lead 5-4 and served out for victory.

Reaching the final of the Qatar Open in Doha and then winning the Sydney International last month took Henman up to 14 in the world rankings.

Since then he has lost in the third round of the Australian Open and the first round in Dubai and is now down to 19.

He has also been struggling slightly with a groin injury, a legacy of too much physical work in the past few weeks as he tries to build up his strength.

"I wasn't able to finish the job off and that's where I probably made life difficult for myself,'' Henman said. "I was able to hang in there and got my opportunity in the third and was able to hang on to it. I'm pleased to come through a match like that. I needed it."

Henman, 22, now meets Mikael Tillstrom in the second round in what will be his first match with the Swedish player.

Ivanisevic withdrew with tendinitis in his shoulder, only hours after Boris Becker pulled out because of tendinitis in his wrist.

Ivanisevic, a former winner in Antwerp, was beaten by the Austrian Thomas Muster in the final of the Dubai Open on Sunday. He was due to play Guy Forget, of France, in a first-round match today.

In another first-round match, the defending champion, Michael Stich, who was furious over some disputed line calls, fell to a 7-6, 6-4 defeat by his fellow German Marc-Kevin Goellner yesterday. Stich, beaten in the first round of last week's Marseilles Open, called for the ATP supervisor midway through the second set but his pleas to have a linesman changed were refused.

n The British No 2, Greg Rusedski, has pulled out of the ATP Tour event in Memphis because of wrist trouble. The 23-year-old, who hurt his left wrist in Sunday's final in San Jose - which he conceded - against the world No 1, Pete Sampras, saw a Los Angeles specialist yesterday and was advised to withdraw.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
TV
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Credit Controller (Sales Ledger, SAGE)- London, Old Street

£12 per hour: Ashdown Group: Credit Controller - London, Old Street A well es...

Y4 Teacher - Leicester

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: We are currently recruiting ...

VMware Infrastructure Engineer - (VCP, VMware) - £45k, London

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Infrastructure Engineer, VMware (VCP, NetApp,...

Business Development Manager

Salary/Rate: £32,000/annum: M&E Global Resources Ltd: Description/Main Duties ...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor