Henman's misery in Moscow

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The Independent Online
Britain's No 1, Tim Henman, suffered his third successive first-round defeat when he was beaten in three sets by Byron Black, of Zimbabwe, in the Kremlin Cup in Moscow yesterday.

Henman, who dropped three places to 28th in the latest world rankings issued this week, staged a fightback after going down 6-2 in the first set. He won the second 6-3, but, in a disappointing end to the Oxford- based player's startling year on the Tour, Black proved too strong in the decider, which he took 6-4.

"I had to go for my serve a bit more because the quality of his returning was so great," Henman said. "I thought my performance was good. It's just that my start wasn't so good."

Stefan Edberg's 14-year singles career ended last night in Stockholm when he lost to his Swedish compatriot Nicklas Kulti 7-6, 6-3.

Throughout the 80-minute contest, the sell-out crowd did everything they could to inspire the 30-year-old former Wimbledon champion, clapping and cheering for him between virtually every point.

Kulti, ranked No 71 in the world going into the tournament, gained the only service break of the match in the fourth game of the second set.

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