Tennis: British wild card comes up trumps

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GARY HENDERSON, a British wild-card entry from Ilkley, reached the quarter-finals of the Northern Electric Open in Newcastle yesterday when he bridged a a gap of 200 places in the world rankings to beat Italy's Pietro Pennisi 6-4, 6-4 6-2.

Henderson, 24, competing in only his second Challenger event since turning professional nine months ago, came back from 4-1 down to take the first set with a run of five games.

His reward is a match with the top-seeded Haitian, Ronald Agenor, who cruised to a 6-4, 7-6 victory over Belgium's Dick Norman.

The only other British survivor, the Scottish qualifier, Miles MacLagan, bowed out 7-6, 6-4 to the fifth seed, Brent Larkham of Australia.

In a closely-contested first set, Larkham eventually took advantage of his opponent's unforced errors to take the tie-break 7-4.