Tennis: Henman on way up

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The Independent Online
TIM HENMAN has a good chance of climbing above Greg Rusedski for the first time in more than a year during the coming week.

Not only does Henman, now world No 11, move to within a mere 300 points or so of Rusedski when today's world rankings are announced, he has by far the more favourable draw of the two Britons in this week's event at New Haven, Connecticut.

Henman has been seeded sixth at the upgraded Pilot Pen International, with a probable quarter-final against Richard Krajicek, whom he beat when the Dutchman was defending Wimbledon last year.

The most serious threats to Henman en route seem to be either the hard- serving American Jonathan Stark, or the subtle Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, the only male top-30 player to use two hands on both wings.

By contrast Rusedski, sixth in the world, but certain to fall in the rankings, will play his first real match for two months against a tough opponent. This is Magnus Larsson, the skyscraper Swede, whose ferocious hitting troubled Pete Sampras in the semi-finals of the ATP Championship in Cincinnati on Saturday.

The British No 1 has been seeded third at the RCA Championships in Indianapolis, and though he has a first round bye he may find it hard to progress.

Rusedski has been practising for less than three weeks, and the ankle he injured in June still swells after a session.

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