Confident Henman dismisses Schalken

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The Independent Online

Tim Henman defied the formbook to defeat the fourth seed, Sjeng Schalken, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, to progress to the quarter-finals of the CA Tennis Trophy in Vienna last night.

The British No 1 now holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Schalken, though the Dutchman is ranked 26 places higher in the world rankings, in 14th, and was the clear favourite going into the tie.

Henman looked confident on the hard indoor surface and grabbed an early break in the first set, as he had in both sets of his first-round victory over the Italian qualifier Stefano Pescosolido. He soon broke Schalken a second time to wrap up the set. But the big-serving Schalken broke Henman twice in the second set to send the match into a deciding set.

In the third, Henman broke Schalken at the first opportunity to seize the initiative away and then closed out the match in emphatic fashion.

"I'm really pleased with my overall performance," Henman said. "Sjeng's a good player so it's a good boost for my confidence and another match under my belt.

"In the second set I was too aggressive and made too many unforced errors, but I got the balance right in the third set where I was more patient and served well," he added.

Henman will now face the Swede Jonas Bjorkman or the eighth seed, Albert Costa, of Spain, in the quarter-finals.

Costa edged past the Armenian Sargis Sargsian, 6-4, 6-4, Max Mirnyi, of Belarus, beat the American Jan-Michael Gambill, 6-4, 6-2, and the German Nicolas Kiefer overcame Austria's Alexander Peya, 7-5, 7-5.

Carlos Moya shrugged off the loss of a tight second-set tie-break to overcome Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.