Tennis: Injuries improve Henman's Hanover chances

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GREG RUSEDSKI has fallen from sixth to 12th place in the new ATP world rankings, losing his British No 1 spot to Tim Henman.

Rusedski, the defending champion in last week's Paris Open, suffered an injury in his second-round match against Albert Costa and was forced to withdraw, while Henman, the world No 10, reclaims his British top ranking after reaching the third round in Paris.

If Henman fares better than Tommy Haas in the Stockholm Open this week he will be in a good position to claim a place at the ATP Tour World Championship in Hanover later this month. Both Pete Sampras and Nicolas Kiefer are rated doubtful for Hanover, while the ninth-placed Marcelo Rios will not be competing in Germany.

Jamie Delgado is top seed for the British National Championships, which start in Telford today. The Berkshire player, ranked No 191 in the world, hopes to take advantage of the absence of both Henman and Rusedski to take the title for the first time. Delgado, who meets Avon's Nick Gould in the first round, should face his first stern test in the third round against the No 7 seed, Miles Maclagan.

The only major absentee in the womens' draw is Sam Smith, who has dropped from British No 1 to sixth place following her disastrous performance at Wimbledon. Surgery to an ankle in August has sidelined her until next year. Julie Pullin opens the defence of her title against Anna Hawkins.

Jeff Tarango, of the United States, beat his second-seeded compatriot, Vincent Spadea, 7-6, 6-2 in yesterday's first day of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.