Tennis: Britons in mood for US Open

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The Independent Online
TIM HENMAN and Greg Rusedski were looking forward to next week's US Open with increased confidence after reaching the quarter-final stages in two separate tournaments at the weekend.

During the first week in tennis history in which two Britons have been ranked in the world's top 10, Henman held eight match points in one of the most thrilling contests of his career, in which the Oxfordshire man lost the tie-break by 18-16 in a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 defeat to the 1996 Wimbledon champion, Richard Krajicek, at the Pilot Pen International in New Haven.

Meanwhile, Rusedski was beaten more routinely, 6-4, 6-3 by the French Open finalist Alex Corretja in the RCA Championships in Indianapolis.

But Rusedski still had reason to be satisfied with his first tournament for more than 10. The British No 1 now has one more week's competition, at Long Island, in which to get ready for the US Open in which last year he reached the final.

Henman, who has a week's break before the Open, thinks he is already prepared.

Although Krajicek beat Henman for the first time in three attempts, the match could have gone either way during a 22-minute tie-break.

"I would have been disappointed had I played badly, but I don't think I did," said Henman. "I'm a better player than I was a year ago and I go into the Open very confident."

n Monica Seles upset Martina Hingis of Switzerland 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the du Maurier Canadian Open. Seles advanced to last night's final against the third-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain, who beat the second, Jana Novotna, of the Czech Republic, 4-6, 7-6 6-2 in the other semi-final.

Seles, 24, the fifth seed, has won the last three du Maurier tournaments. Her only previous defeat at the event was against Sanchez Vicario in the 1992 final.