The British No 2, who is defending the title he won last year, was leading 7-6, 1-0 yesterday evening when the second-round match was called to a halt because of rain. Henman had taken the opening set after fighting back from 4-1 down to force a tiebreak, which he won 7-4. He held serve to win the opening game of the second set and it was deuce in the second when the rain closed in.
In a match that beat the rain yesterday, Lleyton Hewett, the 16-year- old Australian who beat the world No 4, Jason Stoltenberg, on Tuesday after becoming the lowest-ranked player to win an ATP Tour event on Sunday, lost 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 to his compatriot, Michael Tebbutt.
In the women's draw, Anna Kournikova lost to Lindsay Davenport, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, after five delays for rain, while Serena Williams reached the quarterfinals when Sandrine Testud retired because of tendinitis in her left knee while trailing 7-6, 3-0.
Unexpected defeats in windy conditions for Pete Sampras and Greg Rusedski, the leading Australian Open seeds, in Melbourne yesterday gave the players plenty to think about for next week's Grand Slam event.
In the swirling winds affecting the Kooyong Classic, Rusedski, the British No 1, lost 7-5, 6-4 to the Australian Mark Philippoussis, while Sampras fell to Gustavo Kuerten, the French Open champion, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The beaten pair will now play each other today, the second day of the exhibition tournament that has become the traditional warm-up event for the Open.
Rusedski, seeded fifth for the Open, was relaxed about his defeat to Philippoussis. the 15th seed, and said: "It was ideal practice for the Australian Open. The courts are the same and the balls are virtually the same. It was difficult for both of us to serve at pace in the windy conditions and I am not at all disappointed."
Andre Agassi had earlier gained a 6-4, 6-0 win over the Austrian Thomas Muster, while the left-handed Croat Goran Ivanisevic beat the Ukrainian Andrei Medvedev 7-6, 6-3, who had stepped into the tournament after Michael Chang, the defending champion, had withdrawn with a strained stomach muscle.
The tournament is being played in two groups of four with the top player from each going into Saturday's final.Reuse content