Tennis: Henman's top five incentive

THE KEY BISCAYNE tournament began its 15th and final run as the Lipton Championships yesterday before connecting to a new sponsor, Ericsson. It is not often that a commercial link is severed with sentimentality, but the Lipton has been everybody's cup of tea, bringing together the men's and women's tours for one of the most successful events outside the four Grand Slams.

Fittingly, all but one of the world's top 20 men are here (the American Todd Martin is resting an injured stomach muscle for the Davis Cup tie against Britain at Easter) with the No 1 ranking up for grabs again, and five former women's champions are competing.

Many changes have taken place here over the years, not least the fact that Britain now has players good enough to enjoy the luxury of sitting out the opening round of the men's event waiting for opponents. Greg Rusedski, who slipped out of the top 10 after narrowly losing to Tim Henman in the third round at Indian Wells last week, ought to be primed to make a speedy move up from No 13 with few points to defend in the months ahead, and Henman is only one place from breaking into the top five. Henman's second round opponent is Cecil Mamit, from Los Angeles, who yesterday defeated his American compatriot Paul Goldstein 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Rusedski plays the Romanian Adrian Voinea, who was too strong for David Caldwell, a qualifier from Virginia, winning 6-0, 6-3.

Mamit, ranked No 86, gained minor prominence last month by reaching his first ATP Tour final at the Sybase Open in San Jose, California. En route he defeated Kenneth Carlsen, watched Andre Agassi swear himself to disqualification and had wins against Mark Woodforde and Michael Chang. Mark Philippoussis was too strong for Mamit in the final. Then again, the Australian denied Carlos Moya the Indian Wells title last week after the Spaniard had supplanted Pete Sampras as the world No 1.

Yesterday it seemed that Mamit would find Goldstein too good for him, particularly after double-faulting three times in a row to go 0-3 down in the opening set. Goldstein, it may be remembered, is the college boy who eliminated Rusedski in the second round of the Australian Open.

Mamit might lack height (5ft 8in), but the 22-year-old of Filipino extraction is a game competitor. Although he was unable to convert either of two break points for 4-4 in the opening set, he outplayed Goldstein in the second set and recovered a break of serve to win the final set.

Henman has actually defeated Mamit on slow clay courts in satellite events in Florida, albeit before the Briton began his climb up the rankings. "From what I remember, Tim is the type of player who puts a lot of pressure on you, especially on your second serve," the American said. "He's a crafty player and he obviously has a lot more experience than me."

Mamit said his progress in the San Jose event had given him a lot of confidence. "It's good to look back on that tournament, and how I came through against the good players, and gave them a good match. When I saw the draw here I really wanted to play against someone of Tim's stature."

Not surprisingly, given his own stature, Mamit models himself on Chang. "But I try to be aggressive as well," he said. One of his ambition is is to play in the main draw at Wimbledon. "I played in the qualifying event in 1997, and lost in the first round," he said.

Voinea, ranked No 77, has the look of a right-handed Rusedski, partly because he is tall and lean, but also because he sports a headband. He has never played Rusedski before and will do well to counter the British No 2's serve.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory