Tennis: Another black day as Henman is beaten again

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The Independent Online
TIM HENMAN is facing a new crisis after going out of the Champions' Cup in Indian Wells, California, in the first round on Tuesday.

The British No 2 appeared to have regained his touch after a dismal run when he reached the quarter-finals of the recent Guardian Direct Cup in Battersea. But the world No 19 will have to go back to the drawing board after slumping 6-3, 6-4 to the Zimbabwean qualifier Wayne Black, a player ranked 60 places below him.

"I need a better game plan," Henman said. "How many times did I come to the net. Single digit number. And when did I start? 6-3, 5-2 down. I need to be able to change my tactics."

Pete Sampras celebrated his 100th consecutive week at the top of the rankings by cruising into third round with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Todd Martin. The defending champion, Michael Chang, withdrew from the event with a sprained left knee.

Steffi Graf, who has confirmed her entry for the Direct Line Insurance Championships at Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon, continued her comeback in style when she beat Natasha Zvereva 6-3, 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Evert Cup, also at Indian Wells.