Tennis: Henman struggles but remains upbeat

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TIM HENMAN recorded a 7-6, 7-5 victory over Peter Wessels, from the Netherlands in the second round of the Legg Mason Classic in Washington.

The No 5 ranked player in the world, struggled against his 120th-ranked opponent and twice survived break points against him in the first set.

"I would have liked to have started quicker, but I feel confident about the way I am playing. My game is in good shape and I was pleased with my shot selection," Henman said. "Now I want to keep it going into the US Open."

Henman, insisted that he was happy enough with his performance. "Barring one game, I never really felt threatened on my serve," said Henman.

The defending champion Andre Agassi, seeking his fifth title here, cruised to a 6-1, 6-1, win over the 137th-ranked Swedish qualifier Mikael Tillstrom.

"Some nights go a little bit better than you can hope for and tonight was one of those nights," Agassi said. "You try to enjoy these. They don't happen very often."

Serena Williams injured her right shoulder in practice on Wednesday morning and had to default in her second-round match against Silvija Tajala of Croatia, in the Du Maurier Open in Canada.

Amelie Cocheteux of France, who as a lucky loser in the qualifying event took Williams' place in the draw, was beaten 6-4, 6-1, by Tajala.

The 1994 Wimbledon champion, Conchita Martinez of Spain, beat this year's Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Jelena Dokic of Australia, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. After losing the first set, Martinez became far more aggressive and dominated the final two sets to go throught to the next round.

Jana Novotna, the No 4 seed from the Czech Republic, was beaten 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, by Ai Sugiyama of Japan as she continued her run of poor form.